Sunday, 22 February 2015

mokie: A package of meat wishes you happy holidays (holiday of the day)
Remember how there are several invented holidays that get thrown at random dates in February, because they're more riffs on Valentine's Day than actual observances? Like marriage counselors trying to make World Marriage Day a thing, or the unattached joking about Singles Awareness Day when the whole month seems to have a 'Forever Alone' motif to it already?

The oddball among these invented holidays is Single-tasking Day. It's the 17th. And the 18th. And the 19th. And the 21st. And the 22nd* (hi!). And the 24th. For a holiday dedicated to doing just one thing at a time, that seems to be skipping merrily towards irony. So is it a secret plot to make you really, really aware of being single, or is that just how long it takes to get things done if you don't multitask?

Neither - it's an office holiday gone feral.

It has to be. Smell it. You can smell the desperate "We have fun here, don't we?" stank, that slightly greasy HR vibe that makes you feel like your soul needs to wash its hands.

At some point, some HR dude attended a motivational seminar and saw the studies on multitasking - that humans are actually terrible at it (no lie) and it decreases productivity and whatnot - and he thought, Single-tasking Day! Improve moral and productivity at the same time!

And some micromanager embraced it, except micromanagers cannot prioritize - they cannot delegate, because they cannot recognize that Job A is vital and needs personal attention but Job B is small and can be passed to a drone. And what is single-tasking? It's delegating! It's saying Job A is vital and needs exclusive attention, but Job B is small and can wait till Job A is done.

But more than that, micromanagers can't recognize that 'reporting on progress' and 'keeping them in the loop' is a whole series of tasks in and of itself, turning this single-tasking job into a whole series of interruptions.

And thus, I imagine, that is why Single-tasking Day never took off. The micromanagers huffed and puffed at the end of the day because the drones weren't really more productive just working on one big job than they would have been working on fifteen small jobs - except when it comes to interruptions, there's no difference between multitasking on one big job under a micromanager and fifteen small jobs under a micromanager. And so they killed it before it ever had a chance.

In any case, I have a couple of jobs that need my undivided attention, nobody's home and email is closed, so this couldn't be better timed. Better crank up some RainyMood or Noisli and get to it!


* That's not why I went with the 22nd, no - I did it because it's the anniversary of the day scientists announced they had successfully cloned a sheep, and that, too, makes 'single-tasking' funnier than it should be.

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