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Poll: Can You Multitask As Well As This?

I was holding an open copy of Lorraine Hansberry’s  A Raisin In The Sun in my right hand. In my left hand I was holding the hard-boiled egg that I was eating. I was also standing in front of the toilet, taking a freestyle and well-deserved pee.


When I tried to turn the page one-handed, the book fell out of my hand, plummeting towards the in-use toilet bowl. I reacted like a ninja, bringing one knee up and altering the trajectory of the book so that it fell in the bathtub.

My egg wasn’t so lucky. It fell into the toilet. The wall wasn’t so lucky either. My whiplash reactions and high-kicking savagery left me with an unprecedented amount of urine to clean off the walls, sink, and mirror.

After cleaning that very same mirror, I looked deep into my own eyes and said, Time for a change, laddie. There must be a better way.

How about you? There are those who say that multitasking is the surest way to do nothing particularly well. And there are those who say that multitasking is the way to get the most done.

As for me, I…well actually, I think I’ll quit while I’m only slightly behind.

The end.


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photo credit: focusedcapture

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jenn March 2, 2010, 12:34 am

    I’m a mom. I don’t get a choice if I want to retain any semblance of me.

    I’m not sure about peeing and eating at the same time. :-/ Makes for a funny story though. Thanks for the laugh.

    • Josh Hanagarne March 2, 2010, 4:07 pm

      I understand. My little boy just turned two. I can’t remember the last time I was actually only doing one thing at a time.

  • Kris Wragg March 2, 2010, 5:18 am

    Very funny Josh, but I’m sure it wasn’t funny at the time!

    Multi-tasking just doesn’t work, at least not for me. I like to give 100% to something or nothing at all.

    I would never have attempted what you did though, have you not heard of a bookmark? 😛

  • Greg March 2, 2010, 6:14 am


    My wife came into our bedroom two nights ago to find me laying on the floor stretching, with a book propped up on the dresser trying to read. For some reason she thought this was hilarious…

  • Julianne Fuchs-Musgrave March 2, 2010, 6:22 am

    Thanks for the laugh–my own excess usually culminates with smacking my head on the freezer door when the fridge is also open!

  • Boris Bachmann March 2, 2010, 6:35 am

    Oh man. That’s like a scene from Me, Myself, and Irene. I’ve been lucky that I’ve always had a singleminded clear sense of purpose in/on the *****er. I try to transfer that to other areas of life as well.

    I have a hard enough time doing well the things I actually choose to focus on. Adding tasks makes things even more mediocre.

  • Terrence March 2, 2010, 7:18 am

    My Mom used to say, “You don’t eat where you wash your butt!! eating while peeing and reading, Josh!! give me a break!!

  • Heather March 2, 2010, 7:38 am

    Tee-hee-hee-hee-heee-heeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Gross and funny! Further proof that you truly are a Man’s Man—only a Man’s Man would do someting like this!

    I can’t multi-task. Hell, I can barely walk and chew gum at the same time. Multi-tasking tends to waste more time than it saves, and the results are often disastrous. Thanks for the giggle! I needed it!

    • Josh Hanagarne March 2, 2010, 4:09 pm

      “Multi-tasking tends to waste more time than it saves”

      That’s really interesting, and I believe it’s true.

  • Megan Horton March 2, 2010, 8:21 am

    uh oh. SO I’ve done almost the exact thing, minus the peeing standing up and holding an egg. I have tried to hold a book and brush my teeth while standing in the bathroom and the book has ended up in the toilet. Luckily not my toothbrush. I guess this amazing multi-tasking skill must run in the family:)

  • Joy Tanksley March 2, 2010, 8:52 am

    Multi-tasking is a myth! Research shows our brain can only do one thing at a time. When we multi-task, we are actually just stopping and switching from task to task, which is terribly inefficient. But, I will admit that I still fall into the trap. Here’s a great article on the subject in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

    • Josh Hanagarne March 2, 2010, 4:10 pm

      It’s hard to stay away from, even with the mountain of evidence staring us down:)

  • Andria March 2, 2010, 9:01 am

    Great post, Josh! 🙂 And to answer your question: Yes, I can multitask as well as that…which is to say, my triple multitasking usually takes a turn for the worse too.

  • ami March 2, 2010, 9:31 am

    Your mishaps are our entertainment Josh.

    I’m beginning to think that multi-tasking is for young people. I used to think I could multi-task, now I’m convinced I can’t (which doesnt stop the attempts, sadly) – and a recent NPR report suggested that middle aged brains should avoid multi-tasking in favor of ‘complex thinking’ (whatever that means)

    • Josh Hanagarne March 2, 2010, 4:11 pm

      Yes, I’m not sure what “complex” thinking means either.

  • Srinivas Rao March 2, 2010, 10:10 am

    I’ve made many attempts at multi-tasking. I’ve tried playing the Tuba at the same time and reading a book. It didn’t work very well. I’ve tried to chat with people and write blog posts at the same time-Fail. But with ADHD multi-tasking is kind of hard to avoid. I have definitely become more disciplined about it. The visual of your egg, peeing at the same time, and everything else is pretty hilarious :). That would be an interesting youtube video(minus the peeing part).

  • Mike Tiojanco March 2, 2010, 12:17 pm

    At least you weren’t reading on Kindle for iPhone…

    • Josh Hanagarne March 2, 2010, 4:11 pm

      Ha! That’s the truth. And that’s why I’ll probably never have an iphone. I lose everything and I sit on whatever I don’t lose.

  • Justin Matthews March 2, 2010, 12:21 pm

    I am quite sure the same thing would happen to me. except I may have ended up in the toilet. I usually give up and just sit down to read.

  • Todd March 2, 2010, 12:30 pm

    Sounds like you could use a gadget that Data from the Goonies may have worn. Perhaps an arm to hold the book, and another to hold the egg, thereby leaving your hands free for proper aiming and control. Hell, throw in a laser site to boot.

    • Josh Hanagarne March 2, 2010, 4:12 pm

      I’ll send you my address if you’ll ship one to me.

  • Jon March 2, 2010, 1:01 pm

    “A Raisin in the Sun”

    “An Egg in the Toilet”

    “A Sink Full of Urine”

    • Josh Hanagarne March 2, 2010, 4:12 pm

      exactly. Now you’re seeing the big picture.

  • Veronica Ludwig March 2, 2010, 3:32 pm

    Excellent example. Thanks for sharing and for the laugh.

  • Bamboo Forest - PunIntended March 2, 2010, 6:47 pm

    That’s a great story. Good for you, brother! Don’t back down.

  • I had to read this one out loud to my husband! Great post Josh, thanks as always for sharing.

  • Kelly Diels March 2, 2010, 8:49 pm

    And with this little ditty, I know why I am ever so proud to be your friend.



  • Jessica Marie March 3, 2010, 10:51 am

    Ick to eating in the bathroom. Have you considered installing a reading rack that you could sit your book upon?

  • Patrenia March 3, 2010, 1:44 pm

    You’ve done it again! I can always count on you for a good laugh! I’ll give you plenty props for cleaning up your own mess!!!
    Sometimes multitasking works for me sometimes not. I’ve been known to burn a toast or two for trying to do too many things at once. 🙂

  • Daisy March 3, 2010, 8:32 pm

    But…. at the time, did you think to yourself, “I think this will make a great blog post!”?

    • Josh Hanagarne March 3, 2010, 9:00 pm

      No, that was long ago and the thought of a blog was far, far away.

  • Paul Cunningham March 3, 2010, 8:43 pm

    Dude you eat on the toilet!?!

    There are things I would never do even to improve efficiency and that is definitely one of them.

    • Josh Hanagarne March 3, 2010, 8:59 pm

      Honestly, Paul, I’d never done it before and I’ve never done it since. I actually can’t remember exactly how or why it happened, especially since I’m defiantly inefficient.

  • Jenny March 4, 2010, 9:29 am

    Oh my gosh. That egg is amazing. Reminds me of a creative assignment we had in my high school photography class to take a picture of an egg… mine was cracked at the bottom of a miniature Little Tikes slide. Man. I miss my rigorous high school curriculum.

  • Jim Janney March 4, 2010, 1:52 pm

    Your priorities are right. You saved the book…

  • Alicia March 12, 2010, 11:13 am

    so.. did you flush the egg?