August 15: multi-tasking

As I was running round the park today (eight laps, a long way off the 22 I need by end of September) I saw a man multi-tasking. He was doing sit-ups and reading at the same time. I thought at the time: he’ll do himself more harm than good. And: haste, make waste. As I trundled hastelessly round. I, as I run, do not multi-task. I just run. I don’t also listen to music or a pod-cast or any of that stuff. I just run. Women, of course, are meant to be exceptional multi-taskers, though in women I have known this reputation is not bourne out. I have a little thing in work when, as I’m eating a cream cake and reading the paper I say to Sally, the boss: Sally, ask me what I’m doing? and she obliges. She says: What are you doing? And I say: I’m multi-tasking. This makes me laugh, though probably not the other people in the room. Women probably multi-task in different ways. Why, my friend Emma only said to me on the phone a few minutes ago: I’m going to listen to Sibelius at the Proms on the radio and wash a quilt-cover in the washing machine at the same time. If that ain’t multi-tasking… No, my motto is, do one thing and do it well. So, after my run, I’m now going to have a kip. I will not be eating a cream cake at the same time. That will come later.

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