I know it is true what they say, multitasking is never really productive. Or so says Forbes magazine and Stanford University.
It doesn’t stop me from trying.
I have found while creative think work does not lend itself to multitasking, some adulting tasks pair quite well together. One of my greatest joys in life is figuring out the perfect combination of all of my goals in one simple step.
One afternoon last spring I think I found just the right activity that was the trifecta of task completion, parenting, adulting and self care in one. Can you even imagine the joy of this discovery??!!
Let’s say this is your typical daily to-do list:
- Plan a fun and educational activity for the growing children
- Engage with Community
On most given days, I can usually check off at least one of these. Good days might include two. A really great pat-yourself-on-the-back kind of day would include three. But all four? That’s nonsense!
I call it the Little Library Crawl.
Here is how it works.
**Wait, before I go on, do you know what a Little Free Library is? They are fantastic and adorable and on my wish list for our new home. Read all about it here if you don’t know what I am referring to.**
Step One. Gather all the books in your home that you are either done reading, sick of reading, or never really wanted to read in the first place. I know, I know, filling your home with books is a good thing. But come on, everyone knows clearing out your book shelves gives you permission to buy more. Let’s make room!
Step Two. Convince the children we are going on a scavenger hunt in the neighborhood in search of all of the little libraries. Tell them we are going to be the Library Fairies and fill each of the libraries we find with a few of the books. Kids love being sneaky and they love surprises so they will think this is AWESOME! You are brilliant. You can even make it a learning lesson telling them to take out three books at a time, find all the yellow books, etc. Even more brilliant.
Step Three. Load up the kids in the double stroller, upload your favorite podcast or playlist, and hit the pavement. Challenge yourself to jog, or speed walk, or whatever who cares just move your feet in between each stop. You have heard me talk about it before, but finding every possible creative way to move each day is good for your heart and your sole. Just move, whatever way you choose. Winning.
Step Four. As you make your way around your neighborhood, you’ll find it feels really good to be a part of your community. The mission of little free libraries in the first place was to build community and encourage literacy. Look for your neighbors and say hi. Meeting the neighbors is really challenging for an introvert like myself. But having an excuse like a book exchange makes it easier to break the ice.
Not sure where the little free libraries are in your town? Check out this map. We had a ton in our Austin neighborhood and even more in our Minneapolis neighborhood. If you don’t, you could also go on a thrift store drop or maybe local community centers are accepting book donations. Of course not nearly as charming of an adventure, but important none the less.
Declutter, parenting, exercise, and community connection all in one easy afternoon activity. And we had fun, which is no small task at cranky o'clock, let me tell you. Hurray for that!
Multitasking at its finest. Take that Standford University.
Go on a Little Free Library Crawl of your own and tell me how it goes!