My boyfriend sent me this video on Facebook yesterday, and it made me laugh a lot. Mainly because it was SO TRUE. It’s not that we are from different planets – it’s that men and women’s brain are simply structured in completely different ways. So go watch the video, then come back (it’s 10 mins long, but so worth it, I promise).
So this morning, I’m helping my boyfriend with his latest mad creation (to be revealed soon) and we start talking about male and female brains, and he tells me all about his boxes, and how he really doesn’t get to spend enough time in his Nothing Box. The box that most women, (including myself) don’t even realise exists.
This is my interpretation of the brain structure from watching the above video:
Then several realisations hit me. This is why men can’t multi-task, because that would mean opening several boxes at once, and this is why women can’t help but multi-task – because everything is connected. This is why focusing on one thing at a time seems impossible to a woman, but essential to a man. If you’re a female reading this, you will know what I mean when I say that I will be in full creative flow, then I need a drink of water, so I go downstairs, and on the way I pick up the washing basket. Then I put on a load of washing, and hang up the wet washing in the kitchen by the fire. Then there’s no clean glasses, so I do the washing up, because if I’m washing one glass, I may as well wash the rest, then I clean down all the counters, and finally, I get the glass of water, and head back upstairs to my office. By now, anything from 30 to 40 minutes (sometimes more) has passed. And perhaps the creative juices have ceased flowing, perhaps it’s now time to start making dinner, or to call a relative, or a friend pops up on Facebook. Whereas when a man is in the middle of something and he needs a drink, it will take him two minutes to go to the kitchen and get one. Or, he’ll get someone else to get it for him, so he doesn’t have to stop. Or, even more likely, he will just forget to drink anything altogether because he is so focused on his task.
So what does all of this mean? I did say yesterday that I would post if I found a method of motivation that worked for me. So I have decided to do an experiment, for this week to start with, I may extend it if it works!
This is my Man-Brain Box Experiment. Now, because my own brain is a jumbled mass of wire, an internet browser with 30 tabs open, I need an external, visual representation of the boxes. So, I have created these:
These tiny Really Useful Boxes are labeled with the different categories that take up my attention during my waking hours. Each box is filled with bits of paper (because according to my boyfriend, each box is divided into different sections) and on each bit of paper is an activity that comes under that category. The idea is, for the next week, I will only have one box open at a time, and I have to focus all of my attention on whichever activity I have picked out of that box. I will not have several boxes open at once.
For example, the box that is currently open is this one:
So instead of trying to enforce a schedule where I have to do things at certain times, I will just limit myself to focusing on one activity at a time. Now, if another activity comes up while I am doing something else, I will just write it on a piece of paper and put it in the appropriate box, to be completed when that other box is open. It sounds like a bit of a mad experiment, but from past experience, I know that when I have focused my attention and effort on one task at a time, not only do I complete things, but time slows down and overall I achieve more. Whereas at the moment, my attention is scattered across many different activities, and I spend a lot of time feeling overwhelmed by it all. I find that when I get to the end of the day, there is very little I can cross off my to-do list because I have done a bit of everything, and not completed any one thing.
It’s not that I want to be a man, I’m quite happy being female, but I think that this experiment could possibly have two benefits – the first is that I might understand men a little better by the end of it. And the second is that I might become more productive, less stressed out, and less overwhelmed on a daily basis. I’m hoping it will also slow time down a little, as it seems to be rushing by way too quickly.
So I will post my progress, I would love to hear what you think of the experiment, and whether you would be up for trying it too. I will also try to keep note of which boxes I open the most, and I will let you know if I ever manage to get into my Nothing Box!