“Is there anyone else who could do it better? Because we don’t have a lot of time,” says Michael Scott to Angela Martin.
Yes, she’s right here, you think, referring to yourself.
If you had this reaction as you watched Angela melt under the enormity of Michael’s demands for the launch party celebrating the new Dunder Mifflin website, then this blog post is for you.
I’m outlining all the special skills you would need to thrive on the Party Planning Committee from The Office. If you’re as efficient as Angela, as imaginative as Phyllis Vance, and more detail-oriented than Pam Beesly, you just might make the cut.
4 Qualifications for the Party Planning Committee from The Office
1. Attention to Detail (don’t sabotage things by bringing brownies)
For the first Halloween party of the series, Angela was, of course, in charge. She was very explicit when assigning who should bring what category of food.
Unfortunately, Pam missed the memo. She brought brownies, which were in the wrong category. The dessert category had been Angela’s responsibility.
If you excel at paying attention to details and sticking to the plan without spontaneity, then you’re well-qualified to help plan a sabotage-free party.
2. Adaptability (be ready to start from scratch at the last minute)
Angela had almost finished the final touches of the website launch party when Michael pulled the rug out from under her. She had to undo everything she already did and plan a whole new party based on Michael’s extravagant requests.
Considering Michael’s spontaneity, members of the Party Planning Committee must be highly adaptable and able to execute many difficult tasks in a short period of time.
Does finding one thing made of ice in less than 24 hours seem daunting to you? Then forget being part of the Party Planning Committee. Join Kevin’s band, instead.
3. Extreme Focus (buy all types of plasticware)
Before helping plan the launch party, Phyllis researched “how to deal with difficult people.”
She was so focused on squashing Angela’s unpleasantness that the only plasticware she purchased was spoons. This enraged Angela even further.
If you’re task-oriented and focused enough to ignore drama, you’ll thrive on the Party Planning Committee because you’ll avoid careless mistakes and prevent additional interpersonal conflict, like this Angela sass. . .
“What we need are forks, which have prongs or tiny spears on top. And we need knives, which have blades.”
4. An Imagination (believe in anti-gravity potion)
“Goodbye, Toby, it’s been nice. Hope you find your paradise.”
When Toby Flenderson’s departure from Dunder Mifflin was imminent, Michael assembled the Party Planning Committee to bestow his vision.
“I want to feel like I’m floating,” Michael stated matter of factly.
Then, he started talking about anti-gravity potion, which was quickly mocked by Pam: “So how much anti-gravity potion do you want?”
Eventually, Angela backed out (even the best party planners have their limits).
However, Phyllis was all in. In fact, she proceeded to single-handedly plan the entire party. She even made an honest effort searching the phone book for vendors selling anti-gravity machines.
Even though she almost had a mental breakdown, Phyllis ended up enjoying the experience overall.
And why shouldn’t she? Her open mind enabled her to bring (most of) Michael’s fun and whimsical ideas to life, and Michael absolutely loved it.
Do You Meet These Qualifications?
Then, you are quite gifted. If the Party Planning Committee in The Office were real, you’d be an indispensable member.
However, it’s important to make sure your talent doesn’t become an obsession. Here are a few tips for dialing it back, specifically when it comes to attention to detail and the oft-related “to-do list syndrome.”
Advice for Recovering Perfectionists
Every post has to have a little bit of personal oversharing, so here’s my confession for this post: I have a to-do list obsession.
As soon as I finish my day job, I check my personal to-do list for the day, put everything in the proper order, and then get right down to it.
If this sounds bad, I used to be much worse. Here’s what I did to force myself to slow down a bit:
1. I Stopped Using a To-Do List App
While to-do lists aren’t poison to everyone, they were for me.
Actually, I’m not alone. I recently ran across this Wired article: “Hundreds of Ways to Get S#!+ Done—and We Still Don’t.”
One of the main topics of discussion is the “failure” of to-do list apps and how developers are brainstorming ways to create more effective apps.
The part I found most interesting was the author’s speculation into why to-do list apps have failed to make us more productive. Here is my paraphrasing of some of the points he made:
- The apps make it too easy to add more and more things.
- Whenever you look at your to-do list, you see everything at once, so you’re constantly thinking about all the undone tasks.
While you could always break things into subtasks and have sub-lists, many users aren’t doing this. Why make the extra effort when you’re already busy?
2. I Started Using a Calendar App
This solved the problem of “seeing everything at once,” which was driving me absolutely mental. I constantly felt like a failure and frequently fretted about the tasks I was “procrastinating” on.
Using a calendar app allowed me to contemplate the deadline of each task and put a reminder on my calendar on the appropriate date. If a task technically didn’t have a deadline, then I would just put it on the calendar for a few months out.
Suddenly, I wasn’t seeing 50 undone tasks every day but a manageable five to ten, only a few of which were time-consuming.
Now, You’re Ready for the Party Planning Committee
You’ve met the qualifications and you’ve learned how to manage multiple tasks without having a mental breakdown. You’re now ready to throw a party that rivals Kelly Kapoor’s partially-inflated balloon birthday and the infamous teenager-kidnapping launch party.
Actually, you’re ready to throw a party that rivals even the Moroccan Christmas party (prior to Meredith catching fire).