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The Ladder: Notebook Armageddon – The end of the world (of reason)

Armageddon kicked off with intentions, recycled promises from magazines, friends or inspirational quotes, dredged up on creativity breaks, iTunes open and credit card ready.

I intended to contribute online over the break, assuming the quiet life restricted my activities to a kind of socialised hermitage, emerging every so often bleary eyed and nerdy. Prior my departure, I imagined a tomato burn, sand rashes and books on the rocks; waves crashing below my crab-bait toes and Pelicans frolicking, as children catapulted bread and mud pies when parents snuck a holiday peck — conniving opportunists are often under ten.

I was wrong. Partially tanned and tantalised, ‘nerdism’ became a collective activity, emerging instead doe-eyed and wondering how I’d missed the obvious. Waves of horrible segues crashed on body parts and freckles, a board game absconded with my clothing or attempted to, almost shelling my button-down to the floor; boys catapulted explosives across the New Year, my brothers tried their luck on the horses and my 2012? Well, it started with a bang and a Yaris.

2012 resolution? To love myself. Remove The Divinyls from your associative cognition, there will be no touching! My body is a nun, a honey-trapped nun trading in her habit for killer wedges and tailored curve skirts. Sleep more (trying), budget – both time (failing) and funds (ah…), travel (maybe), grow-up (never), grow happy (mission complete).

Whose rung is it, anyway? Unfortunately, summer sentiments and resolutions cover neither a bustling in-tray, nor an otherwise meandering office. My little corner contrasts well with the relaxed Internet trawling, round-table meeting, holiday mentality symptomatic of January culture. Concepts, ideas, projects…a field of possibilities permeate the design corner, as I scrabble to produce content – quality content – for a launch looming not only large (if you’ll excuse the horrible cliché), but bloated with possibility.

2012 Glitch #1: Convincing conservative co-workers that an industry launch party is not only a solid suggestion, but quintessential to cyber success. To secure the future on the lips of Gen Y, the lunchtime gossip of Gen X and subtle bemusement of the baby boomers, often ornamenting these occasions with professsional (and confessional) wisdom.

2012 Glitch #2: My fingers protesting another article, a kind of transgendered rebellion, taking on the role of feet and refusing to type another word without some respite, a massage or contact from digits they’d intertwined over summer.

Honestly, as last year concluded, the reality of my task hadn’t seeded. It seemed far away, after the holidays, February – time now switches between a motorized rat-wheel, controlled by a maniacal monocle wearing Genteel and an hourglass, around the size of Centrepoint Tower, replicating a personal pressurised sandstorm.

So, my advice for others starting to tow the company line, along with a task list comparable to a Kardashian shopping spree?

Invest in the following:

*A nice notebook. Neat, clean and lovely to touch. Give it a name, something like Sanity, following the American tradition of naming offspring after desirable (and habitually lacking) traits – ridiculous rubrics can be applied to inanimate objects. My own? Red, a Kikki.K number gifted to me by Sparkles for Christmas. I’ve named it Prudence – hopeful, aren’t I?

*Start a list. Not a Woolworths weekly shop list, but a summary of priorities. Highest takes out pole position, colour code at will, strikethrough when knocked over — develop your own system, but commit to it. If you’re single, this is your first marriage; it will be hard, tenuous, you may even sometimes swear colourfully under your breath or on top of it, throwing your notebook on the desk, an adult tantrum brewing. But you will also cherish its chronology; it will comfort you with its order, workflow and black/white solutions. It will be veracious, preventing dreaming self-delusion.

*An Iron Spine. Don’t back down, don’t even cogitate on the needs of others until they’ve indulged your deadlines. If a task must be notched on the list (this will happen), figure out when/how and provide a projected time frame. Your plate is only so big, you have two hands, one brain and despite a functioning multi-tasking acumen, burning out in the first quarter would be detrimental. Proficient or not, you’re human; you have time to remember that.

*Know what you want. Figure out how to get it. What are your goals? Are they attainable? Who/what are your obstacles? Are they time-bound? Do they require accessing company budget? Who are your contacts?

Consider your audience though, are they traditionalists? Do they like control? Would they respond better if it appeared to be their idea (most women will remember this tactic; very popular during vague parent relations)?

Make the situation work for you by answering these questions first. Write them down in your notebook, formulate and analyse, settle on an approach and fire it off. Run your position by some friends first (heartbreakingly honest friends are best, also those with developed impersonation skills) if you’re uncertain. Above all, be confident in your own communication and ideas – if you don’t believe in yourself, why should they?

Mastercard ready? Good. Happy climbing, girls. My fingers are dragging me out to a wine-bar. Something about living, different textures…demanding little thumbs.

Photo credit: Wonderlane on Flickr

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