Monday, April 23, 2007

My New York marathon

I'm not a runner, and definitely not athletic, so my version of a New York marathon is this:

"Thirty hours in New York without crossing a street"

As those who know me can attest, I'm always thinking about the perils of multi-tasking and how to be efficient, focus and get things done.

The American Society of Journalists and Authors ( had their annual writing conference this past weekend and I wanted to attend scads of sessions and workshops. Limited time didn't stop me. Although I have pressing deadlines and commitments, I though about how I could make it work - take the time to escape to New York and focus on writing.

So I took American Airlines first flight Saturday morning, and took a taxi from LaGuardia upon landing. Twenty minutes later, I was immediately immersed in the conference at the Grand Hyatt. I attended lectures, targeted my goals to match the time available, and did some networking. Walked 50 feet from the hotel into Grand Central Station to give credence to the metaphor of life being "like Grand Central Station." Sure, it's a busy place, but the architecture, eclectic mix of people, and the exotic food court won me over.

Sunday as the conference wrapped up, it was back to the airport and home. It was 30 hours round trip, mission accomplished, a weekend getaway, a productive conference, and an opportunity to focus.

The very successful "Getting Things Done" by David Allen has lots of good advice on productivity and focus, if you have time to read it... while you're jogging. Allen actually admits its okay to have nothing on your mind now and then.

Helen Gallagher
author: Computer Ease