WARNING: This is an opinion piece.
Saturday, I inadvertently spent 5 hours straight, working on my car. During that time I think I cracked the mystery of the masculine mind.
First, how did I end up being a part-time mechanic....well...
A few weeks ago, I scraped the side of my car, parking in one of Chicago's notoriously tight garage spaces. When I went to the shop they quoted me some astronomically high price. So in typical millenial fashion I googled, do-it-yourself YouTube videos.
After a little bit of searching I stumbled upon rubbing compound. (its basically, a cream that will get scratches off your car when you apply pressure and rub it in a circular motion...I highly recommend it)
So, here I am, walking into Reilly's automotive, knowing exactly what I need, down to the product brand. I even knew to purchase a dupli-color paint, to touch up any spots the compound couldn't fix. For those of you not familiar, its a paint-pen that matches the color of your car. (that was my last car tip for today..)
As I was intently focused on getting these scratches off my car... I realized something..... I wasn't thinking.... about anything.....just my car....for hours!
This was mind blowing to me because my brain, generally does not stop! At any given moment I can be thinking, connecting, and solving multiple problems all at once. I think most women have this ability. Its what makes us excellent at multitasking. Things that are seemingly unrelated, can be calculated into an equation that is far more complex than meets the eye. This can be one of our greatest strengths, but also one of our greatest weaknesses.
For most women, our thought process is driven by effectiveness. Which basically means we are good at accomplishing a purpose and producing the intended or expected results.
Men on the other hand seem to operate on an efficiency model. They want to complete something in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort.
For men taking hours to work on one thing makes sense because its efficient to complete one project at a time.Now I know this isn't the case for all men, but I would argue that most men place a high value on efficiency. This explains why some men can go right in the store, pick up a pair of pants and a shirt, buy it, and walk out. It's efficient and the task is complete.
Women on the other hand work on multiple projects at a time because its the most effective way to gain the most results. We like to browse in stores because we are thinking of multiple uses, and scenarios of occasion. Simply put, we are never just thinking about that "one outfit". We process how people will react, how it will make us feel, and how it will render multiple results.
Now the key differences are that one is geared towards results, and the other is geared towards completion. I don't believe that there is a right or wrong way, but this weekend I saw the value in focused completion. Its less stressful, dare I say freeing to be so focused on one thing and completely un-phased by outside factors. Its a luxury that I think men have gained out of privilege. Anyway, my point is that women, we sometimes overcomplicate things and men, you definitely over simplify them.
I believe there is a need for us to learn from each other and not just learn to accommodate each other. I wonder what would happen if women took more time to focus on completing one task and not being so overly focused on the results. I understand we have to be a jack of many trades, especially us single mommies, but every now and then, focus on just one thing. Don't let your mind drift to another task, or how you can kill two birds with one stone. I think we would find that we put unneeded pressure on ourselves to accomplish things that never had a due date. Doing things with your hands isn't a waste of time, or beyond your ability. I think more women should work on their cars, play golf, go fishing, and have fantasy football teams. These seemingly brainless activities have more value than we give them credit for.
As for the men, try to think past a single objective and practice connecting multiple dots focusing more on being effective. Effective in incorporating multiple missions and not just the ones that have value based on your opinion. Try to include someone else's feelings other than your owns. Then choose to go the route that benefits the whole more than the half.
The amazing thing is that we both are capable of being efficient and effective at the same time. But isolating them, to appreciate both in their singular form takes work.
Try it... At best you can gain insight into thinking like someone other than yourself.