Wednesday, February 20, 2008

It’s Singularly The Greatest Day Ever

Well, no, it’s not, but the title worked for the post’s subject matter. Tomorrow, Thursday February 21st, is Single Tasking Day. This is of course in direct contrast to multi-tasking or more-than-one-tasking-but-not-enough-to-be-termed-multi-tasking. Although I guess that would just be semi-tasking or couple-tasking? No wait, semi-tasking would be not completing any of the tasks and couple tasking might be either a couples/relationship counselor or perhaps a swinger, and that thought just makes me a little queasy. And by queasy I mean not wanting to eat for several days, even when deep fried nuggets of beautiful cheese are dangled in front of me on a tray with a Mountain Dew next to it. You know, I sat down to write about something and it seems as though I strayed off course just a little. Perhaps that makes me a semi-tasker or at best, a single-tasker. You may not have noticed, but I have trouble focusing on the same thing for more than…does anyone else hear that squeaking sound? See what I mean?

How bad is my tasking ability you ask? Well, while just trying to compose that first paragraph up there, I had to stop typing three times to turn up the ole Ipod and sing along. First time: Night Fever by the Bee Gees, 2nd time: MTA by the Kingston Trio and the third time: The Battle of New Orleans by Johnny Horton. Oh wait, hold on, Garth is on…

OK, I’m back. Perhaps this lack of attention or my mind’s unwillingness to be able to handle more than one project at the same time is why I tend to get a little behind at work sometimes, by which I mean often, which of course means almost all the time, which is really just a coded way of me trying to save face instead of admitting that it’s every day. Do you know how hard it is (that’s what she said) to be working on something and then have to stop because a good song comes on and you feel the unrelenting urge to harmonize to it? And more to the point, have you ever found yourself trying to harmonize to Disco Inferno? It’s not so easy. A simple solution to all of this would be to stop bringing music to the work place. I don’t know about you, but I tried this once and drove myself crazy with all of the one-liners and hair-brained schemes that kept popping into my head. Although, I might actually pursue the deep fried fruit stand idea. I’m willing to sign up franchisees, but act quickly.

When you think about it, Single Tasking Day is a great idea. It gives all of us the excuse to just focus on one thing all day Thursday. I guess it’s the old adage that we should do one thing and do it well. After all, if you have several irons in the fire, you are bound to get burned. I made that up, but that has been my experience. Although I should preface that by saying that I have personally never put an iron in a fire but I do see it as a personal challenge to be able to successfully use my fingers instead of cooking tongs when I move the charcoal around while I BBQ, which really has nothing to do with any of this. I was just reminded of it by the irons in the fire thing. Wow, am I having trouble focusing today. I sure hope I can get that straightened out by tomorrow so that I can properly celebrate Single Tasking Day. Oh shoot, straightening things out reminds me that I need to iron when I’m done with this post. See, this single and multi-tasking thing is hard. Oh look, a humming bird…

So I guess the only thing left to decide is what to single task tomorrow. Logic and common sense would decree that if you are going to spend all day working on one item then it should be an important and lofty task. Unfortunately, that’s not how I roll (did that seem genuine, it’s the first time I’ve used that phrase, does it work, it felt a little forced) so I shall settle all my efforts on just getting to work on time, or perhaps on putting my shoes on without losing my balance and starting to fall over.

Maybe I’ll single task on sitting at my desk for more than 15 minutes in a row and working on the same project for that same amount of time without wanting to get up and walk in and out of my coworkers’ offices asking them if they watched the Knight Rider TV movie the other night (seriously, did you see it? The Hoff had a small part in it…and he looked sober!). After that last sentence, I’m thinking that I should focus on learning how to write shorter sentences. Or maybe when coworkers walk in to my office to ask a question, I’ll stop greeting them by saying ‘Welcome. Can I open a savings or checking account for you this morning?’ That just kills me, but I think everyone else is starting to get a little sick of it. Well, if I can’t single task long enough to decide on what my single task should be, I guess I don’t stand much chance successfully single tasking tomorrow. Did that even make sense? Maybe I should just phone in sick and single task on teaching Lucy and Ethel to correctly identify the entire 43-car field participating in this season’s NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule. They award scholarships for that type of thing, right? Hey, I hear a cricket…

10 comments:

Patti said...

Your single-minded pursuit of humor is a singular joy to behold.
Did you really see a hummingbird?
Those little guys are too cute.

Oh, and I'm first. Yay!

Sizzle said...

You're making this up, right? The thought of doing only one thing to completion scares the bejesus out of me!

Selma said...

To think of just one task to concentrate on for the whole day is actually quite difficult. Once I spent four hours stamping envelopes for my very pedantic boss. I also had to arrange all the books in the office according to size(my boss has some compulsions.) But the worst single task I had to do was loading my boss' holiday snaps onto iPhoto (576 of them) and making a slideshow with copies for all his friends. I haven't been able to look at a fiftysomething man in a Hawaiian shirt since without wincing. Hahaha.

Odat said...

Hey I read your entire post without having to get up and do anything else...except I did open up a piece of gum and popped it into my mouth.
That's how I "roll".
Peace

Kimmer said...

Hey - while you're teaching Lucy & Ethel about the NASCAR Sprint Cup 43-car field, can you teach me? After Silly Season, my head is literally swimming. I can't keep anyone straight.

I keep thinking Elliot Saddler is STILL in the M&M's car (instead of Tony's teammate for chrissakes)...geesh. And he switched out of that car TWO years ago...my lord.

Maybe it's just senility setting in.

chefmom said...

Darn, I already ruined the day. While reading this, I was eating a piece of toast. You really should just be rewarded for being able to write an entire funny post about single tasking. I will be sending your Mac and cheese recipe shortly....

meleah rebeccah said...

The PREFECT usage of "ROLL." That was not forced at all! (well done)

And I toad-ily have the "ADD" of which you speak.

I cannot stay focused on one thing ever.

Natalie said...

Single tasking is utterly impossible. I can't even imagine the thought of it.

Just telling it like it is said...

well procrastination is my middle name..or is it trouble..
I once made out with the Hoff in a terrible nightmare...
what was I thinking??

citizen of the world said...

There's actually research on this - people who multi-task don't do any of the things they are doing as well. So stick to your guns. (And isn't MTA a great song?)