Spent the early hours between 7:15 and 8:30 walk/running the New York City Highline and the sleepy streets of Chelsea. Just me and some runners…I am a lucky, lucky girl to have these few weeks. There is no doubt about it. I love the city and the city loves me and we make no bones about it. Other love affairs should be so easy….That being said, as much as I would love to be reporting that being here has made me more focused and targeted, without the distractions of the children, I instead sullenly admit to a different bright and shiny thing—called the city of Manhattan. Damn! I confess, father, to prioritizing the well planned out rendezvous for my dad and stepmom’s visit tomorrow to ensure the least steps possible to save his aching hip but still allow him to enjoy the Highline, to taking a bike ride down to Battery Park when I should have been on a webinar, to gazing out my balcony with binoculars at the rooftop decks to see if I can tell where that barbecue smell is coming from, to standing and loving the scene on the corner of west 23rd and 7th where the street musician and the little girl totally dig each other and have a moment. I admit to taking too many yoga classes, to losing the $16 I swear I stuck in my sneaker on my run this morning, and to eating way too many home made tortilla chips. I admit that its really important to me that my friends and my kids have an outstanding time when they’re here and that they see the city through my eyes and that they in turn love it as well. Which leads me to admit to spending altogether too much time on Living Social and Groupon.
But here’s the kicker…it occurs to me that every turn here is new stimulation, and we are being stimulated beyond the norm every day on the internet as well when we’re being pulled into a new social media site, spending way too much time on Facebook, look a the clock and realize we’ve been emailing for over an hour when that deadline is in 15 minutes, a webinar for a new tool is set to begin in 5 minutes and we still haven’t reached our goal of Blah. Blah. Blah. Our adult onset ADD is allowed-no, encouraged– to flourish here in NYC, just as it is at home or in our offices on the internet, and it will rise and take over if we’re not careful. As the brilliant Dan Kennedy has said, chunking your work day and your work week down into projects, rather than “to-do” lists will make you more productive and give you more of incentive to finish, not just start- a new project. Focussing on completing one project before starting the next, Dan claims, is more in keeping with how our brains were originally formed. It prevents fragmenting and that multi taskers cry of not doing anything really well. Along those same lines, I love this Seth Godin blog entry. I walked around all of last week without any sense of real work accomplishment, and so I am refreshing and starting over this week with a “project” head, ready to dig in, and with less scattered un -related tasks to be taken care of. Those things will be farmed out.
Here’s a challenge: lets see if we can dig in together, and end our week this Friday with a real sense of accomplishment. This week, even though it is the dog days of summer, even though we really want to cut out early and get to the beach, even though this and even though that…..is the week we make a difference, in whatever sense of the word that might mean to you, and are laser beam focussed on completing really well, one great, magnificent project . And then we can go to the beach. Or walk that highline for the 18th time in 2 weeks.