Friday, August 26, 2005

Male Brains

Men are often taunted (by women) that we cannot do two things at once. Most of the men I know, whilst able to be very single-minded when concentrating on a task, are well able to undertake several things simultaneously. Indeed I (and I know others like me) positively thrive on having several things to do at once and niggling away at all of them at the same time. It means, as a writer, that I can do almost anything I like and then allocate that 'research' to the job with which it is the best fit. Can't tell you how many times I have read a book I am interested in and then found a quote, thought or link to one of the writing jobs I have on the go. Privilege. Of course. But I digress.

There is one way in which I find multi-tasking difficult. An example will help:

I am walking towards a table on which there are three objects. I have two hands (yes really) and cannot pick up all the objects at once. The objects need to go to three different places in my house. At this point, and only briefly, my brain seizes up. I have to do a quick re-boot. It almost never matters which objects I pick up first but I find the decision gets me 'stuck' just for a moment. I cannot prepare myself for this moment. Even if I see, well in advance that I will have to make two journeys my brain still tries to work out how to do it in less even though it is impossible. Crash (not dropping things, just an alt. ctrl. del. moment).

I shared this idea with Richard when he dropped in for supper yesterday and risked asking if he felt like this too. 'Risked' because I knew I would look a plonker if he said anything other than 'Yes, all men are like that'. His answer, sensitive as ever, was something like, 'Of course not Asperger's Boy, it's just you, learn to live with it.'

So here I am this morning having learned yet another side-effect of the acute systematising brain.

Today I will mostly be doing several things.


Tim Sudworth said...

one thing at a time steve, dont over do it!

Lee Abbey 1st Camp 2005 said...

Weird, I was having a conversation with myself (!) about this very thing this morning, while brushing my teeth and cleaning the sink!

Phil G