Tabless Thursday

It’s 8:44 AM and I have fourteen tabs and three word docs open on my computer.  I don’t even officially start work for another 16 minutes, and I’m already overwhelmed.

No more.

One of the many perks of my job is being able to work with ridiculously smart people.  One of them shared this video with the NYC office while I was visiting, and I think it might literally change my life.

“Singletasking is the new multitasking” – a video from the Atlantic

The premise – you get more done with better results when you finish one thing at a time, close the door, and then move on to the next thing.  Even just one day a week – Tabless Thursday – can make a difference in changing how you complete projects and how you feel about life.  I personally find a hard time doing this even outside of work – I’d rather leave things open than say “I won’t make it to that party” or “I’m not sure there’s a spark here.” My dream is that trying this for one day to start might give me some peace at work – and then also transfer over into the rest of life.

So if you can’t find me online today, assume that it’s because I’m off doing one thing at a time.  If you try it too, let me know how you do!  One fewer tab at a time, we can break away from the tendency to multitask every minute of our lives.

Duct Tape

Tonight’s lesson: be flexible, but be prepared.

With the way my life has been going lately, I have a tendency to over-schedule everything.  When I am going to see someone again, which exact hour I have time for the gym, where we’re going for dinner, etc.  When this happens, I tend to get too involved in my plan, and then I become my own roadblock to happiness.  I end up saying things like, “Well, no, I shouldn’t have another drink, I need to hit the gym later,” or “Sorry, I packed my lunch,” or “I should get home before too long.”

To make matters worse, it’s really easy to convince myself that I’m somehow not prepared for spontaneous events.  Maybe my shoes are too uncomfortable, or my jeans are too casual, or I feel weird that I wasn’t specifically invited.

But tonight, I decided to be more like duct tape.  Flexible, durable, and ready for anything.

I was at an event for my old job, a close-out party within a bigger conference about consumer issues.  I planned to stay for a bit, see some old friends, meet some new people, and call it a night.  Then, I got  a text from my boyfriend saying that he was at a movie screening right down the street and could meet up with me after my party to give me a ride home.  For once, rather than taking the easy way out and getting home two hours before his movie ended as planned, I rerouted and went to join him.

And you know what?  It was totally worth it.

I had so much fun, it didn’t matter that I never had a chance to eat dinner, and that I barely knew the friend he was there to support.  It wasn’t a deal breaker that my back hurt and my bare legs were freezing as I walked to the car after.  I could have let any one of those things stand in the way of having a great night, and for once, I didn’t.

Now, I need more of this.  Less planning, more fun.  From everything I hear, that is exactly what my twenties should be for, and I intend to make the most of it from this day forward.

Work-Drink Balance

As I tried to balance truffle fries and a glass of water last night at a networking event, I was reminded (a little too late) of this great video from Jason Seiden.  His website has all sorts of career and life tips, but this one, shared with me by my friend Abby, is the most valuable one I’ve seen so far:

I have to say, learning to eat with my left hand and drink with my right takes some getting used to (aka I have not come anywhere near to mastering it yet) but the idea is great and it’s nice to have something to work on, especially if that something keeps you from having sticky hands when an important handshake is in your future.

His follow-up on “how to drink without getting drunk” is pretty great too, even though I was already doing it. (Let’s hear it for seltzer water! Woohoo!)

Road Tripping

Results of yesterday’s road test and lessons learned:

  1. If P is going to drive, I need to be much better at shouting out “LEFT” and “RIGHT” at the appropriate times.
  2. I should probably drive because P gets a minimum of eight phone calls every hour.
  3. I will bring my own GPS because I don’t get along with hers.
  4. Canvassing is a great excuse to check out amazing houses with breathtaking views, and then argue over which of you gets to live there (and which of you has to live in the in-law apartment in the garage, though even that had a ridiculous view).
  5. November requires gloves in case people want you to hold signs and the sun has already taken every iota of warmth from the air.  New plan: canvass only in sunny states, hitting the south in the winter and the north only for summer primaries and special elections.

Today is the test round two – maybe the results tonight will convince her that this is a great idea and we should prepare for taking our show on the road, especially the next time there is a progressive woman running for President.

HAPPY ELECTION DAY!  Vote early and often!

On the road again

Today, I continue my quest to get my good friend “P” to quit her job so we can buy a camper and travel around the country working on the campaigns of progressive women. I want to be that dynamic duo that breezes into town and disappears in the middle of the night in the wake of a victory, leaving people to ask “Who were those amazing women?” But for some reason, she is hesitant to commit to this plan, so I am going to try to paint a better picture for her as we drive across Massachusetts today stumping for candidates. I’m armed with munchkins, my playlist, and some good sneakers – bring it on!

PS: Polls open in 21 hours! Vote tomorrow!