Sunday, January 28, 2007


Maureen says:
Tom was spot on with the distinction between the multi-tasking required in the kitchen and the multi-tasking that opening a restaurant demands. It's tempting--though perhaps not very nice--to say to him, "Welcome to my world...

...the World of Multi-disciplinary Multi-tasking (MDMT)."

I'm not saying it's easy to hold down a full-time job, contribute to the restaurant opening, manage seven-tenths of the household, wrangle the cats, retain my grip (however loose) on my sense of Self, nurture relationships with friends and family, and still sleep a minimum of eight hours a night*. But it is possible, even when the adventure you're embarking on is a bit more terrifying than exciting.

[Pause while author tries desperately to rid her ears of Peggy Lee singing I'm a Woman.]

The key for me is thinking of Z not as a business I own, but as a client I've been assigned to service. Approaching it in this way helps keep emotion out of it and enables me to make sound, rational decisions more quickly.

So how do you multi-task successfully across a variety of disciplines where successfully means not losing your mind?

Remember, always, that whether you're opening a restaurant, organizing your child's birthday party or taking up the violin, everything you're doing, no matter how big or small, directly contributes to your highest objective.

Each task Tom's performing has its own mini-objective (usually to cross the damned item off the list). Completing those tasks, however, contributes to the higher objective of opening the restaurant doors on time, on budget, and keeping them open. But the highest objective, here, is for Tom to work for himself and have that work align with his core values (passion for food, commitment to quality service and a deep love for the endangered species known as the independent downtown merchant).

As dissimilar as the items on Tom's to-do list might seem to him at times, they're all leading to the same destination. That's what he needs to remember when he feels like all he's doing is spinning his wheels.

Speaking of spinning wheels...actually, let's not. Mine's still in its box and there ain't no way taking it out is going to get the restaurant open (but maybe one day, the restaurant will support my fiber habit).

*Rest is sorely undervalued in our culture, but it's the one area of my life where I refuse to compromise. Without sleep, I'm rubbish.

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