Let’s Do This . . . Eventually

May 2016

Photos by Maureen Joyce

Photos by Maureen Joyce

I love the Home Depot slogan, “Let’s do this.” It’s three exciting words that evoke energized determination and collaboration—things that resonate with me. I apply this mantra to most things I tackle from home-related projects, such as the recent gutting and rebuild of my bathroom to the redesign of Twirling Tiger Media’s website. I took on these two major overhaul projects during the same time period and the results of both are very positive, but they were a challenge as other work and life responsibilities needed to progress without interruption.

There are times when your conscious acceptance of a few chaotic weeks of work can be embraced in the face of above-and-beyond projects, but it’s important to make a plan for things to return to normal … for yourself and others. On a recent conference call with coworkers, carpenter’s hammering and drilling were abuzz in the background and I had become unfazed by the weeks of clatter until a coworker asked me to mute my phone. (Happily, all is quiet next to my home office because the work has been completed, minus a fixture or two.)

Add a little extra time into your project’s schedule as delays happen. Both my home construction project and Twirling Tiger Media’s website redesign were off track at some points, but it was more important to have all of the elements correct, so deadlines got pushed out a bit.

Be the bathroom or be the website. It’s been confirmed: Multitasking affects performance and can lower the quality of the work you produce (no surprise there). As an example, Sanjay Gupta, M.D., states that attention drops 37 percent when you drive a car and introduce listening. Can you imagine the decrease in the quality of your work when spreading your attention in many directions?

Here’s a few guidelines for navigating those sometimes-necessary heavy workload days and weeks:

• Plan to work extra hours to get the projects done, but put an end date on overextending yourself.
• Say “no” to outside activities so that you can get plenty of rest for the workload you’re facing.
• Ask for assistance. Many facets of a project can be chunked out and handed to others to complete.
• Live in the moment! Focus on one task at a time for a reasonable period before you move onto the next pressing project.
• Stay organized and clear your space of clutter.
• Limit the access others have to you so that you can work uninterrupted.
• Bask in the glow of your accomplishments…if only for a few moments.

—Maureen