Chai-atus and multi-tasking

As most of you know, I have been very busy learning with Lyle Jamieson and working on another commission, so the Chai boy project has been on a bit of a “chai-atus.” (my children are now say, “Abba, that was a terrible pun!”)

I have done a little bit of work on it. I made the dados for the shelves on the side panels, and I made the drawer runners. Now I need to purchase more poplar for the shelves.


Side panels with dados















There are times when I have so much work to do, that I feel like a deer in headlights. There are people who can happily multitask under stressful conditions. Not me. One thing at a time, diligently crossing tasks off the list. When too much is on the horizon, or I get overloaded with work and deadlines, motivation ebbs within me. Creativity and inspiration dries up, and I find myself dreading starting work in the morning and I even find myself not even wanting to head out to my fortress of solitude (the workshop).

American society is changing, pushing all of us and our children to be multi-taskers. I for one am not convinced that multi-tasking and computers have improved our world and certainly have not made our work load any lighter. Granted, the web has given us a load of entertainment and information. Studies have shown that people do not perform tasks as well when they are multi-tasking as when they are able focus on one thing at a time. Seems to me, people just can’t keep focused for very long anymore. Look at modern movies and TV Shows. Scenes shift so very fast for those short attention spanned people. Perhaps that is why the number of tradesmen and craftspeople is going down.

Your thoughts?


About yaakov

Husband, Abba, Furniture Maker, Turner, Bookseller, and all around working stiff.
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3 Responses to Chai-atus and multi-tasking

  1. paloarte says:

    Reading your blog post and listening to the Rolling Stones I Can’t Get No Satisfaction. Thanks to my iMac, my desk is supposed to be wireless—oh, but these bills, magazines, pens, my digital camera, my phones, books and of course, a nice home made earl gray tea make my desk look weirdly busy!

    I second you on your philosophy of why the number of craftspeople is going down. Just like my old friend—who is 2 times older than me—told me once, Jake, people in the future world need no knowledge in crafts, need no knowledge in “how it’s made.” All they will need is economically produced food—in form of which you and I won’t like to eat—made by machines. And as I was listening to him, for a moment I imagined that future world… Now few years have passed since then and I feel that his assumptions are becoming reality. This is unfortunate right now. But, as time will pass, it may be some regular lifestyle…

    By the way, the Chai Boy carcasse looks very sturdy.

    Are you going to put in some pocket screws for the shelves? Just an extra-extra-extra strength 🙂

  2. yaakov says:

    Hey Jake,
    I have not completely made up my mind about adding extra support to the shelves. The back will prevent the piece from racking and so will the face framing. I have debated on putting one screw in on either side and covering with a contrasting wood or camoflaging it. I want to keep working on the project, but you know how it is, you have to work on paying gigs first 😦


  3. All this talk of multitasking is an illusion. Studies have repeatedly shown that the human mind can focus on only one thing at a time. We may switch rapidly between items, but only can truly occupy our focus. Doing three things “at once” just means that it will still take us at least as long as it would to do them sequentially – probably longer since we have to refocus when we jump from one to the other.

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