Is it safe to come out yet? Is it 2010? And the birth of Uni-Tasking!

Well THAT sucked. That last week I mean, although some of 2009 was a cruel mistress as well. It’s nice to finally be sitting up again after a week of coughing, vivid fever dreams (starring Robert De Niro of all people) and not really being sure what day it was. I’m pretty sure it’s 2010 now.

A frantic search for more cold medicine a few days ago resulted in me finding a forgotten bottle of Nyquil from sometime around the Reagan Administration era. It was the only thing between me and blowing out a lung or worse with this cough. But now I’m pretty sure I have abs of steel for the pain of it all.

What have we learned? My contempt for December deadlines is perfectly justified. I must remember to sneak off to some quiet island next year for the entire month. Really, I’m going to do it next year.

I’m far from fully recovered as I write this, but if I don’t begin to finish up the overdue 2009 projects (I really thought I would be done with the December deadlines by now), it’ll be a rough start to 2010 and I’m going to avoid that at all costs.

As I continue to try to get back on schedule with Jillian Ann’s soon to be fabulous music video edit (pictured here), I’m going to make a few notes. Not resolutions, mind you, just notes.

Ahem.

1) Multitasking is completely overrated and I’m going to leave it in the dust bin of 2009. No one gets anything done well when multitasking.

To that end I’m offering a suggestion to everyone out there tired of doing too many things at once – badly.

UNI-TASKING FOR 2010!

Think about it. It’s brilliant. Just because we can do a million things at once, doesn’t mean we should.

Let’s practice once, shall we?

“Yes, I’d love to be a part of that project. My schedule opens up on Thursday and I can begin working on it then.”

(Insert the usual, but we need it tomorrow statement, here)

“Wow, that’s a pretty serious deadline. But as I just mentioned, I’m working on another project until Thursday and I’d be happy to get started on it then.”

(Now a more frantic BUT WE NEED IT TOMORROW, here)

“I hear what you’re saying, but you have to understand that the project I’m currently working on is just as important to someone else, and you wouldn’t want me to abandon your project mid-stream for someone else’s emergency, would you? I mean, you would want me to focus all of my energy on your project, right?”

(Something between sobbing and threats, here)

“Yes, there, there now. I know how important it is. And that’s exactly why I’m going to tell you I can’t get started on it today because if I do, my current project will not get completed at the quality level I promised, and your project will get only half of my attention and won’t do anyone any good either. So, see if you can get your deadline pushed back until after Thursday and then I’ll be happy to help out.”

Oh sure, they won’t go away happy, but really. Is it fair to jeopardize one project already in progress for an emergency project? Aren’t we just rewarding bad planning if we continue to try to squeeze one more in… just this once?

So. Uni-tasking. It’s an idea worth considering.

2) My social calendar is like trying to get tickets for the last season of Oprah.

Seriously. It’s like five months now from the time someone asks me to go out for coffee, lunch or cocktails with them and when I actually carve out some time to actually see them.

It started last Memorial Day when I took on an emergency project over the three day holiday weekend and it didn’t let up until… well… it’s actually still going. I kept promising people I could see them next month… and then the month after that… and then the month after… well, you get the idea.

That must end in 2010. It’s just not healthy. It’s all about the balance that I try so hard to achieve in my life and so often come up short. It’s going to mean saying no more often to projects and favors, business or otherwise, even the emergency ones.

Will it frustrate people? Most certainly. Will I make less money in 2010 than I did in 2009? Maybe. But not necessarily. It really depends on how I choose the projects that I do take on.

Will I be healthier for it? But, of course!

All I know is that as everyone was ringing in the New Year, I was trying to help Robert De Niro push a car up a wall in a parking garage…. in my vivid fever dream.

Am I going to make a few modifications in 2010? To quote my car pushing buddy, “A lil’ bit.”

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3 thoughts

  1. I am a big believer in Uni-Tasking. Too many 24 hour work days trying to get all the projects and favors done for people, only to find mistakes and sub-par work, as well as declining health. It’s okay to take a break, Billy; to sit and watch the sunset from your loft or watch America’s Next Top Model. You are loved and well respected, they will wait for your time. If not, they will still remain your friend. Here’s to a “24-hour-work-day” free 2010!

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