Most of us probably spend a lot of our time doing (or trying to do) multiple things at once. I catch up on e-mails while making supper, I watch TV while chatting with my husband, I even write blog entries in my head while driving around running errands. Even when I’m not actually doing two things at once, I’m usually doing one thing while thinking about another.
So it’s not at all uncommon for me to suddenly forget what I’m doing, even when I’m smack in the middle of doing it. Admit it: it happens to you, too. Which of us has never walked into a room and immediately wondered, “Why did I come in here?” At least once a day I go upstairs with some purpose in mind, see something else that needs doing, do it while I’m thinking of it, and then realize I haven’t the faintest idea what I originally came upstairs to do.
Sometimes when I forget what I’m doing, I keep doing things and just hope that whatever it was will come to me. (It rarely does.) Sometimes I tell myself that if it’s important, I’ll remember later. (I rarely do.) But the best solution, if I really want to remember what it is I’ve forgotten, is to just STOP.
Stop my actions. Stop my spinning brain. Stop in the middle of the room and take a break for a few seconds. Stop trying to do six things at once and let myself think about just one. Even better, don’t even think about one. Stop and clear my brain completely for a moment.
It’s like hitting a mental reset button. It’s clearing the cache of the computer that is my brain. Deleting all those extraneous cookies that are clamoring for my attention. It’s giving my brain a chance to clear off its desk and start fresh.
It’s something I need to do more often. I need to stop before I forget what I’m doing. I need to stop for no particular reason at all other than to give myself a mental rest. I need to stop doing the extra, unnecessary things so I have enough mental energy for the crucial, necessary things. I need to stop.