Time tweaks

New York is a city of multi-taskers. Most of my peers in the tech industry (media, publishing, advertising..) all have a variety of jobs, gigs, tasks, etc. My friend Nichelle was quoted in the Times in an article about being able to juggle several varying kinds of different work at once. She manages to handle with aplomb being a publicist, bookkeeper, producer, the list goes on and on. I think the people in New York are more dynamic then possibly anywhere else.

But lately I’ve been  struggling with finding balance between the various types of work in my life. I’ve been working as an IT consultant for years at various small businesses around the city.  I also have been doing an increasing amount of web consulting, helping companies move from static to more dynamic, interactive web publishing. I enjoy seeing the way other companies in other industries work, it helps me reflect on the company I’m building, what to take away and avoid.

But there is the endless tweaking of how much consulting work to schedule to keep the bills paid, while devoting enough time to 30elm (which usually runs 50 or so hours a week..). I’m starting to build more thoughtful quiet time to my carefully color-coded iCal, and am becoming more and more aware of the value of all the smal pieces of time I have. I’ll keep you updated as I continue to make these time tweaks..

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Persistence

When I was young I had the good fortune to travel on one nice trip per year. It wasn’t because my family had the money to- we were just scraping by- it was because my mom had the “luck” to win supermarket and manufacturer contests for free trips.

Now in reality it wasn’t luck at all- it was purely being persistent. She would carefully evaluate local contests that she would find and ones sourced to her through newsletters and zines (this is long before the internet). She would then systematically enter these contests hundreds of times over a few week period- logging the entries in a notebook.

Weeks later she would log whether the entries were a success or failure. The total investment might be two hundred bucks a month in postage but her persistence payed off. Over the five or ten years she was doing this we won trips to Hawaii, Viginia and Disney World (4 times!). Of course the biggest win was a Chevy Astro Van- this actually came about through an essay contest by Stanley Tools. I remember her explaining to me how she was writing what the judges would want- the happy fixer-upper family, ready for their van.

New books like Seth Godin’s “The Dip” are merely ways to convince you of the importance of persistence when I’ve know it all along. I just have to remember that it takes thousands of tries before that trip to Disney World.

Disney World

Summer in the city

Well the summer may be a third over- but the definitive guide to summer in the city just came out. New York Mag still does the best job of regional editorial on the web- and their annual summer guide is a great compendium of fun things to do..

http://nymag.com/guides/summer/

Now I just have resist the siren song of Nyack (where Joanna lives) long enough
to spend a quality weekend here in the city. Luckily these hot days are full of weekday events as well.