Does anyone else have problems with multi-tasking or, more specifically, with being able to stay "on task" to completion?

You spot a project, across the room, which needs doing but, on the way, you run into a tool which you left out from a project you failed to finish yesterday. You pick it up and detour toward its home,,,,,,,,but, on the way,,,,,,,,(need I go on?)

I am told that this is more of a problem for men than for women.

30 Replies

  • This is a huge problem for me. I can only do one thing at a time. Even walking - have to focus. If someone wants to talk to me I have to turn off the radio and focus on what they are saying.

    I also do the behavior you describe but I've done it for years.

  • I agree with your statement on focus. When you think about it, so many

    things in life involve the ability to multi-task. Tks for your comments.

  • i ageee= i cannot walk and talk or do more hthan 1 thing a ta itme- sory for muy late reply

    lol jIlll


  • I also have started having that problem. I'll be thinking about something and before I can finish that thought I'm thinking about something else. I also have to concentrate when I'm moving.

    I was just curious. How long have you had PD?

  • Maryalice, In answer to your question I was diagnosed in Nov., 2010. I share your problem of "thought hopping". Have you ever been deep in thought, on the verge of figuring out Einstein's theory, when a friend or family member finds a newspaper article heshe thinks would interest you and proceeds to read it to you. Immediately all priceless thoughts of relativity are scattered to the winds. In trying to retrieve them you miss the introduction to the article being read. Now you are forced to sit and listen politely to meaningless items of information until your poor PD brain screams "Overload". Multi-tasking is mental too.

  • I was diagnosed 3 years ago.

  • Hi Ronn. You are not alone. In fact, you are in a long line of people, who can't stay focussed on anything for any length of time. It might just be old age, but it is very common to People with Pd. We can try to maintain focus, if we are aware of the problem and make up our minds to finish one job at a time. Easier said that done!


  • Oh women definitely get it too! Despite our reputation for shopping, texting and eating a bar of galaxy all at once! I can certainly finish a bar of chocolate. I personally don't worry about it. I have several projects on the go all at various stages. The main thing is to finish them eventually and I always do. So unless its a big hole that needs filling in the kitchen floor….. nope don't even worry if its that people can walk around it! Just have a simple rule, perhaps, to finish something at least every week….. or perhaps make it more worthwhile when you have finished something…. like a treat! ( oh here we go more chocolate ! )

  • same here....still cant remain focussed on one task. im starting to feel overwhelmed by all the things that have to be sorted to the extent that i just feel like running away from it all. ive got that i hate being indoors now attempting all this stuff. if i get a few hours after my medication i just want to be out walking or pottering round the garden so im inclined to shove everything in bags out of sight. trouble is when i do start to sort them my concentration and energy dissapears after a short while and i end up putting everything back . A vicious circle and one that is hard to understand if you don't have parkinson ....

  • I can definitely relate to the 'bag syndrome'. It is a vicious circle and causes much frustration. I try to remember to find 1 thing that I know I can finish each day. It's a challenge because I want to float from project to project. If I can finish 1 task no matter how small I can celebrate success!

    It is so very helpful to know that I'm not alone!

  • Yes my husband is the same and struggles even to concentrate even one thing . if he has more than one thing to concentrate on he frets about it .

    I try to remember not to throw too many things at him at the same time . Easier said then done .

    When I was going through the change my memory was dreadful and I couldn't keep up with things . So before I went to bed I would sit down and make a list f things I thought I would like to do the next day . I didn't get everything done but at the end of the day I would cross anything off that I had done and add some new ones .

    Although the list would sometimes get longer I would eventually get round them all and it took the stress away .

    Although my husband has this problem there is nothing wrong with his memory , in fact he is better than me and is the one who reminds me

  • Hi Yes i can be half way through several jobs projects at the same time, trying to finish them as quickly as possible, worried that my off time will catch up with me ! I've always been hyperactive but the PD has definately increased this. even typing this my brain is ahead of my movement , causing spelling mistakes especially letters mixed up to make a word

  • hi

    i have psp nad my typign is really dyslexic now and i try and correct it b4 posting but nto alwya s possible]

    lol jiLL


  • YES!! I do this allot. I have had Parkinson for 12 yrs, I m 56 and had DBS Surgery 2 yrs ago this April. My worst problem is walking and then someone cuts in front of me or follows slowly behind me then that throws me off balance because I was thinking so hard about getting where I was trying to go. As for multitasking I try to make sure I finish one task at a time, when I could write better I would really on a Lists.

    I think just trying to allow your self to finish one task at a time will help.

  • I have twin boys who always walk right in front of my feet which makes walking really tricky!

  • I have a thought, children are quick because the air is better down there making the kids areo dynamic..making them moved faster. LOL

  • I have a small brown dog who weaves in and out of your legs if you let him - my solution is the occasional tap of his back end with my boot or walking stick - don't think that's allowed with children though - of course I have had the occasional pay back , misjudged it and ended up lying on the pavement looking up at a small brown dog who I swear is laughing

  • I know for myself I can not stop doing things. Yes like you have about three projects on the go at once. Set deadlines and have baskets with a deadline dates on top.

  • Me too! Now what was i going to write...

    And it has shown up as being quite common for PWP.

    Best wishes!

    Steve (Bisbee, AZ)

  • When working in special education I taught a number of pupils & adults with dyslexia. They experienced the same problems with 'personal organisation' ie. not completing tasks or managing their time. Everyday tasks such as reading which we take for granted were at best a chore & at worst exhausting. I think this was where I first heard 'wading through treacle' which I now understand well. This is no reflection on their academic ability: my son's partner is a dyslexic vet.

    I wonder if there has been any research into this phenomenon as it might relate to conditions like PD, Alzheimer's or MS? I've been dxd 10 yrs now, age 65, & this is one of the more depressing aspects of PD for me. I was never a great athlete or good with my hands but my brain & communication skills have been my majors. I become very nervous when I feel my grip or control of my (shrinking) world loosening - which it certainly is.

  • Now YOU sound like me. I find my local Hallmark to be more mentally challenging than playing lazer tag. I went and stood at the door and just studied the layout. It was at this time that I noticed that everything was displayed to draw your attention. It worked. Too good.

  • So many uncompleted projects, I can't count them all. Ronn, you described it perfectly.

    I don't want to think about it anymore. I just want to sleep, sleep, sleep.

  • me too. I used to be a great organizer,keep the check book. I was considered a neat nick and then that all changed . I was so miserable I could careless about anything. Then I was to have DBS surgery and to have a psychological testing /screening for a grueling 8 hrs. It showed that I had lost my upper executive skills which is for multitasking, organizing , strategizing , dealing with money or even following a recipe. I find myself wandering around the kitchen trying to figure out what I should do next or where I set something. I drive myself crazy!!Glad to hear there are more of me out there:). You need to find different ways to do things now but get the same thing accomplished. To make it easy on your self.

  • I have been diagnosed as 'Long term undiagnosed' Coeliacs leading to: Fibromyalgia, Osteoporosis, Osteo-Athritisis in Knees and Ankles, IBS, Liver and Cholesterol problems due to malnutrition... I am 51 and they medically retired me 4 years ago... I had worked all my life and probably kept going through force of will and bloody mindedness the last two years before retirement on a 'undiagnosed' broken knee described by my consultant as 'a soft tissue injury' which led to a further and much more complicated fall/break and then discovery of the osteo porosis and coeliacs... That is background... I have gone from a super organised workaholic to medical disaster zone. The latest is i have found that when I have been reading labels in supermarkets my hands and arms are shaking... I follow that up online and find myself on here where i see this thing about the bags... Something I find myself doing all the time... I can't seem to follow through on things... I have piles of papers from off my desk , just things that I need to file or put away and I just put them in in a bag for sorting later or a box... I do a website for a local voluntary group but the only way I do anything for it is if my friend comes and sits with me and we do it together. I can't seem to stay focused on my own any more except if it's totally quiet with no distractions. I have not been diagnosed with PD, I wonder whether the fibromyalgia was a misdiagnosis... The shaking worries me!

  • Absolutely!

  • I'm lucky to finish one thing at a time without being distracted and before Parkinson's I was a great multitasker.

  • I have learned the secret. From now on I'll always fini

  • hi i hav e psp and it si now impossible to mufti task ever - i have eto think of my walking alll the time

    like the president tof the US A I cannot walk and talk never e mind chew gum!

    lol jill



  • Me too. More so just lately. It's as though someone is deleting items from my brain, if you get what I'm saying. And as for walking and talking , haven't been able to do that for a long time. If i do I'm on the floor. Or lose my balance. Even thinking about something whilst walking is not a good idea for me.:-)

  • It takes me ages to finish a task .i mentioned this to parkinson nurse she said pace yourselves not to worry how long it takes.I have always been active all my life and it is depressing when you cannot you can not get stuck i

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