One of our intrepid Production Managers at Hand Crank Films, Avielle Heath, forwarded me this article about multi-tasking that rang a very familiar bell. Five minutes ago, multi-tasking was all the rage. If you weren't responding to your email, fielding a call, ordering a cappucino and having a conversation with a co-worker while planning your next vacation, you were not working fast enough. Plain and simple. Job postings everywhere made 'multi-tasking' a pre-requisite to success.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the brass ring. I for one have come to realize that the thing lacking from my work and my life is pretty straight-forward: focus. The ability to dig deep into something and take the time to understand it. To listen. To understand. And then, perhaps, to act.
The resistance tells us we need a 'to-do' lists a mile long. That we are measured in quantity. That speed is a virtue. That check-marks are our most important asset. I've believed it, and lost many opportunities because of it. And that's too bad.
ACTION ITEM: One thing I've tried to do is take some time every Sunday to outline my 'Model Week'. During this outlining process of the Model Week, I mark the 3 big objectives I need to get done in any given day. That may include something as simple as 'Start :30 Script' on Monday and 'Finish :30 Script on Friday, with all the necessary steps in between. If I get my 3 things done everyday, then the rest is gravy. I try not to rush to look for the next thing I can spit out the door. I try to use the in-between time to understand the job at hand. And, most importantly, to Think Bigger.
It's tricky stuff to be sure, but try it next time. Living in the weeds makes you think smaller. No exceptions.
That's the beauty of great film, fine prose, poems that are music. These things pull you into the moment. Grab you. Force you go deep as well as wide. You can live your days like that too.
And that very well may include a phone stack or three in your future.