Work Habits & Tools

My boss is retiring next week after 30+ years running our department. There are lots of little odds & ends we’re dealing with. Lots of emails about minute things, things I need to remind him to do in the next week, procedures that need to be clarified.

And I have realized something about myself: I don’t like odds & ends. I don’t like being interrupted by the phone or another three emails. I like working from one big task to the next, calmly crossing things off my to-do list in the order I’ve anticipated. I’m not a fantastic multi-tasker. I’m the same way as a writer. I finished Thrice and sent it off to my agent; now I’m working on the Theatre Ghost Book. When Thrice comes back from Agent Jim, I’ll revise and put the TGB on hold until the revisions are finished. I’m amazed at the way my crit partner Kathleen can switch between multiple projects at once: drafting one, revising two. 

I also got a Staples catalogue this morning at work and realized anew what writer porn office supplies are.

My current must-haves at the office: purple pens, multicolor rubber band ball, 4×6 lined post-its, horizontal letter trays to organize things. For writing: pink post-it flags and purple pens and small lined notebooks to scribble down ideas.

What about you? Are you a monogamous one-project-at-a-time writer, or do you skip merrily from project to project? And what are your current favorite office supplies?

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