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? rbrenqpdvLbaRNNPHSdtwner@ChacXTvKVWiaPfstaGAVoCanyon.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:
- Enjoy Your Commute
- You probably commute to work. On a good day, you spend anywhere from ten minutes to an hour or two —
each way — commuting. What kind of experience are you having? Taking control of this part of your
life can make a real difference.
- Email Antics: III
- Nearly everyone complains that email is a time waster. Yet much of the problem results from our own
actions. Here's Part III of a little catalog of things we do that help waste our time.
- Virtual Communications: I
- Participating in or managing a virtual team presents special communications challenges. Here are some
guidelines for communicating with members of virtual teams.
- Some Limits of Root Cause Analysis
- Root Cause Analysis uses powerful tools for finding the sources of process problems. The approach has
been so successful that it has become a way of thinking about organizational patterns. Yet, resolving
organizational problems this way sometimes works — and sometimes fails. Why?
- Holding Back: I
- When members of teams or groups hold back their efforts toward achieving group goals, schedule and budget
problems can arise, along with frustration and destructive intra-group conflict. What causes this behavior?
Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout
- Coming August 22: Dealing with Credit Appropriation
- Very little is more frustrating than having someone else claim credit for the work you do. Worse, sometimes they blame you if they get into trouble after misusing your results. Here are three tips for dealing with credit appropriation. Available here and by RSS on August 22.
- And on August 29: Please Reassure Them
- When things go wildly wrong, someone is usually designated to investigate and assess the probability of further trouble. That role can be risky. Here are three guidelines for protecting yourself if that role falls to you. Available here and by RSS on August 29.
I offer email and telephone coaching at both corporate and individual rates. Contact Rick for details at rbrenvuAztQGaBLpRZDtqner@ChacWgbSKHJxvxNIYxhBoCanyon.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.