I wonder if there is a day which brings forth more entrepreneurial challenges than that which requires us to multi-task across the full spectrum of our skills, talents and abilities – and all simultaneously with no time for the seamless switch?
I’m writing this at close of business and, as I write it, I can feel the blood booming round my body, stress levels raised. Everything turned out alright in the end, but there were some moments when it was touch and go.
The day began innocently enough, as most days do. I was sitting at my desk enjoying a little chat on Skype when my cleaning lady appeared at my office window, unable to let herself in with her keys because I had yet to unlock the front door. Oops. So I then scarpered, as I like to during her fortnightly visit, not least because this place is like a matchbox and I prefer to get out of Bev’s way and give her full creative wriggle room to work her blissful magic.
So I went for a relaxation session and by the time I returned the coast was clear and the afternoon set fair for me to do a full day’s productive work starting out just after lunch. Nice. Rolling up sleeves, looking forward to it, nothing like a bit of productivity.
But it seems The Big U had other plans.
If I had to put my finger on it, I’d say it was the juggling. Lots of things happening simultaneously which means you have to stack them, like planes at Heathrow Airport. Phone calls, Skype calls, urgent and rather unpleasant emails, a writing deadline, unexpected calls on my time, deliveries, rain, diary appointments falling like dominoes and other unscheduled interruptions. Yuk. Not the afternoon I had intended for myself.
In the middle of this mild chaos, my computer’s USB mouse starts malfunctioning and this is at the root of the stress. So whilst Ocado were delivering during a heavy rainstorm, and when I was chatting on Skype with another call trying to get through, with an unpleasant email exchange skittering across my inbox, a real phone call, planning for an upcoming Cashflow game, an urgent need for the bathroom with no time to escape to attend to it and a mouse malfunction, well that’s when the whole house of cards starts to come tumbling down.
So I called the computer people for some remote fixing and one solution to get my mouse working was deemed to be disabling the trackpad. No worries. I don’t use the trackpad so let it go. It’s gone. But in its place all my programs have started to exhibit symptoms where they appear to be doing things I haven’t requested. So now I can’t get anything done. AT ALL!
But I’ve still got all those ravening hordes on the phone and Skype and email and the writing deadline and, and, and here we go… I’m going to make a decision to switch it off and Step Away From the Machine.
I’ve still got loads of things to do and it’s 7.15 at night and none of them are going to get done now and I’m just going to have to be OK with that. Tomorrow’s another day, another remote fix for the beloved laptop and another new set of challenges. John Lewis want me to wait at home all day from 07.30 until 18.00 for a delivery so that should give me plenty of time to do 1.5 days’ work and catch up.
I was just joking that it looks like God got up this morning and said “Right! Let’s throw a lot of stuff at Judith Morgan today. It’s been a while, wonder if she can still multi-task? Wonder if she’s still got it?” At least, that’s the way it seemed.
And here’s what I’ve decided at the end of this day.
- I’m not going to take on other peoples’ problems [while I’ve got my hands full with my own]
- And I’m not going to multi-task any more. [One thing at a time Sweet Jesus and a time for everything in its own sweet order]
- I’m not going to surrender my sanity to a little mouse, and
- I’m going to face down a bully and call his bluff because I am a brave woman.
Most days I eat the bear, but today the bear very definitely ate me and guess what? I find myself strangely OK with that.