Do you remember what life was like when workloads were more human-scale? When two one-hour meetings in one day was an unusual load? When one department worked on one project until it was complete, and only then would they start another? We all have too much to do these days. Some of us have no other experience of work. Others have forgotten what "enough to do" was like. Here are some reminders, expressed as what life would be like if we all one day had enough to do — and not more.
- When you get a great idea about something that isn't extremely urgent, you have time to make a note of it before you forget it.
- When you get a great idea, you sometimes set aside whatever you're doing to think about the great idea. Is it really a great idea? What are its implications?
- At quitting time, you actually go home for the day.
- When you go home for the day, you don't feel guilty.
- When you arrive at home, you don't have the urge to snap at the first person you meet there (especially important for those who live alone).
- Weekends last two entire days.
- Vacation days don't accumulate because you actually use them.
- You never lose vacation days due to expiration.
- You no longer worry about burnout for yourself or the people you supervise.
- When something unexpected happens in one project, it's much easier to reschedule others to accommodate it.
- You spend so much time at home that your kids seem to grow up more gradually.
- You eat a lot less take-out.
- It's been a long time since you had to reschedule a medical or dental appointment, or jury duty.
- Sometimes entire days go by without your having forgotten to do anything important.
- Once in a while, you actually complete an item on your to-do list without interruption.
- Some days — not many, but enough — your to-do list actually gets shorter.
- You rarely fail to return the phone calls you want to return.
- Most of the time you get through one day's incoming messages, mail, and email before the next day starts.
- You Sometimes entire days go by
without your having forgotten
to do anything importantrecently read a book. For fun.
- You have much less need to multitask, which is good, because multitasking never really worked as well as you thought it did.
- You've re-learned how to monotask almost as well as you could when you were four years old.
- For some time now, you haven't felt that nagging urge to get better at time management.
- You have space for serendipity — when a rare opportunity comes along, you have time to take advantage of it.
Are your projects always (or almost always) late and over budget? Are your project teams plagued by turnover, burnout, and high defect rates? Turn your culture around. Read 52 Tips for Leaders of Project-Oriented Organizations, filled with tips and techniques for organizational leaders. Order Now!
Your comments are welcomeWould you like to see your comments posted here? rbrenjwGaiVHyULFzskAUner@ChacVaIejFwjHyAjZAfQoCanyon.comSend me your comments by email, or by Web form.
About Point Lookout
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you enjoyed it and found it useful, and that you'll consider recommending it to a friend.
Support Point Lookout by joining the Friends of Point Lookout, as an individual or as an organization.
Do you face a complex interpersonal situation? Send it in, anonymously if you like, and I'll give you my two cents.
More articles on Personal, Team, and Organizational Effectiveness:
- What Haven't I Told You?
- When a project team hits a speed bump, it often learns that it had all the information it needed to
avoid the problem, sometimes months in advance of uncovering it. Here's a technique for discovering
this kind of knowledge more systematically.
- The prevalence of overwork has increased with the depth of the global recession, in part because employers
are demanding more, and in part because many must now work longer hours to make ends a little closer
to meeting. Overwork is dangerous. Here are some suggestions for dealing with it.
- The Focusing Illusion in Organizations
- The judgments we make at work, like the judgments we make elsewhere in life, are subject to human fallibility
in the form of cognitive biases. One of these is the Focusing Illusion. Here are some examples to watch for.
- Deciding to Change: Trusting
- When organizations change by choice, people who are included in the decision process understand the
issues. Whether they agree with the decision or not, they participate in the decision in some way. But
not everyone is included in the process. What about those who are excluded?
- Wacky Words of Wisdom: V
- Adages, aphorisms, and "words of wisdom" are true often enough that we accept them as universal.
They aren't. Here's Part V of some widely held beliefs that mislead us at work.
Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout
- Coming May 1: Full Disclosure
- The term "full disclosure" is now a fairly common phrase, especially in news interviews and in film and fiction thrillers involving government employees or attorneys. It also has relevance in the knowledge workplace, and nuances associated with it can affect your credibility. Available here and by RSS on May 1.
- And on May 8: Brain Clutter
- The capacity of the human mind is astonishing. Our ability to accomplish great things while simultaneously fretting about mountains of trivia is perhaps among the best evidence of that capacity. Just magine what we could accomplish if we could control the fretting… Available here and by RSS on May 8.
I offer email and telephone coaching at both corporate and individual rates. Contact Rick for details at rbrenaanYsGIsPcdtEYjHner@ChacubvccdnYjqCefQuRoCanyon.com or (650) 787-6475, or toll-free in the continental US at (866) 378-5470.
Get the ebook!
Past issues of Point Lookout are available in six ebooks:
- Get 2001-2 in Geese Don't Land on Twigs (PDF, USD 11.95)
- Get 2003-4 in Why Dogs Wag (PDF, USD 11.95)
- Get 2005-6 in Loopy Things We Do (PDF, USD 11.95)
- Get 2007-8 in Things We Believe That Maybe Aren't So True (PDF, USD 11.95)
- Get 2009-10 in The Questions Not Asked (PDF, USD 11.95)
- Get all of the first twelve years (2001-2012) in The Collected Issues of Point Lookout (PDF, USD 28.99)
Are you a writer, editor or publisher on deadline? Are you looking for an article that will get people talking and get compliments flying your way? You can have 500 words in your inbox in one hour. License any article from this Web site. More info
- The Power Affect: How We Express Our Personal Power
- Many people who possess real organizational power have a characteristic demeanor. It's the way they project their presence. I call this the power affect. Some people — call them power pretenders — adopt the power affect well before they attain significant organizational power. Unfortunately for their colleagues, and for their organizations, power pretenders can attain organizational power out of proportion to their merit or abilities. Understanding the power affect is therefore important for anyone who aims to attain power, or anyone who works with power pretenders. Read more about this program.