When I’m in full creative mode my work seems to carry me in forward momentum to the neglect of things around me. Some say its focussed attention that blinds us to other tasks that also need taking care of. Multi tasking is seen as a positive trait now attributed to half the population, which isn’t true at all. Most people can and do multi task when essential and of course it’s essential in fifty percent of the jobs people do. Creative work seldom allows for multi tasking. Ask a writer to write well his book or his article, or the violinist to play two or three violins at the same time. Critical thinking demands devoted attention.
Two days ago John and I multitasked quite capably. We swept the shop, washed dishes, dusted skirting boards (base trim US) and stacked wood. We hung shelves, added hooks to hang stuff from and created a clean and safe workshop environment. We did this so we could get back into the creative, non-multitasking mode of our work. I forget to multitask when I am working. It’s the best and generally the only thing to do. Once my tools are fully in order I begin to dismantle the orderliness piece by piece as I lose myself in my work once more. My sphere of creativity begins with displaced tools and sawdust and shavings crumpled beneath my knees and feet as I work. The bench fills once more with my tools. The sharpening stones lie in wait for the chisels edge. Seconds later the edge is sharp and I return to task.
I like to clean and tidy the workshop. Everything in its place, but when I work I like the way the tools lie on my bench in wait for my hands.