The other day during a casual conversation, a friend admired my ability to multi-task. I’m not sure she used the word “multi-task” but I’m pretty sure it’s what she meant.
I immediately thought of a typical Michele workday, and my head started spinning. Yes, I multi-task. Who doesn’t? But do I do it well? Hmmm.
It may appear that way to the outside world; however, if you were to step into my office and stumble upon the multiple PILES of tasks that await attention, I’m afraid you’d only see a mess.
I have been self-employed since the day I quit my job as a newspaper editor back in 1989. The first task I tackled was to plan my wedding. And because it was my single focus, boy was it a success! After that is when the multi-tasking began.
With a ring on my finger and a smile on my face, I pursued a business in publishing. I offered skills in writing, editing and graphic design, and my husband came up with a clever DBA for my sole-proprietorship: “Michelaneous.”
Since I could successfully accomplish every miscellaneous task involved in getting a publication from start to finish, I thought it was the perfect name. My biggest client was a large newspaper group, and I handled all the special sections—bridal guides, real estate features, sports and fitness, etc. I wrote the copy, designed the layouts and the ads, and sometimes even modeled for the photographers. Eventually they also gave me the job of writing a weekly column, and I tackled everything with joy and ease.
I’m sure this degree of success and ensuing confidence are partially responsible for our next big step in the business world, which was to create the world’s first disc golf resort. We’ve now owned and operated Sandy Point Resort in northern Wisconsin for 18 years.
Being the sole proprietors of this business has me multi-tasking all over the place. One minute I’m the bookkeeper, the next the housekeeper, the next the reservations manager, the next the webmaster, the next the customer service director, and on and on.
Add to the mix my career as an author (four books published and a fifth in the works) and a jewelry designer (Dream Life Designs), some mornings I get and up and don’t know which hat to put on. Usually it’s the one I trip over when I walk into my office.
So, I do indeed wear many hats. And sometimes I feel like I do a good job—usually it’s when I sell a necklace or make a booking—and yesterday I did both. So, if success is measured in income then yesterday I was successful. Most days, however, I feel constantly interrupted and have to make a concerted, taxing effort to focus on just one task at a time.
Oh, and one more thing? I’m a mother. And most people know that this job provides the mother load of multi-tasking opportunities.
What I’m trying to say here is that without question, I am a multi-tasker. I appreciated my friend’s comment because I know she meant to compliment me. And I realize my abilities might look like something to admire; however, what it feels like is a great big, Michelaneous mess.