Singapore, 22nd April 2010
Yes, I made it back from Amsterdam, on the first flight out together with many other people, each with a different story to tell! I ended up sitting next to a 30 weeks pregnant mother travelling with 2 young children. She told me she was two days shy of being refused by the airline from flying back, hence she had received priority to get back on this first flight. While I had just myself to take care of, she had to multi task with her two young children, the youngest only 18 months old, during the whole flight. I have been there, done that, but it just reminded me how intensive and demanding this is!
Making the jump to lighting I want to highlight the need of “multi-tasking” as a lighting designer. Lighting consultancies are generally small offices with on average not much more than 10 staff, with 30-40 people staff considered a big lighting design firm already. The smaller the firm, the more we multi-task. In a bigger firm individual staff maybe consigned to a single type of work or even a single project, but in smaller companies we all multi task most of the time over multiple projects. It is my experience that in smaller firms the better you and your staff can multi task, the more successful you are.
How many projects should one handle or can one handle effectively? How many tasks should or can one handle within one project. Attending to design issues, documentation, meetings? It very much depends also on the individual skills of the staff. Some work well in a team, some are really good if give responsibility to handle things by themselves. Use the individual strengths of your staff…As we often have to make do with the staff we have or can find, the issue of multi tasking in the end really depends on the skills, character and personality of the staff in question.