It seems clear to me that we're more likely to thrive when we're plugged into Reality. And I've noticed that some people who are bored at work are unaware that they are, because they find things to do that disguise the boredom, or at least make it more tolerable. For these people (a little tongue-in-cheek) I offer this list of boredom indicators.
- You can't sleep at night, so you sleep at work.
- You've figured out how to sit at your desk so that nobody can see that you're actually sleeping.
- You wonder if anyone heard that snore when you woke yourself up just now.
- On the way to the coffee machine you look down at your coffee cup and you notice that you already have coffee.
- You look forward to your bathroom break.
- You just arranged lunch with two people you can't stand, just to get out of the office.
- During lunch, you find yourself thinking about what to have for lunch tomorrow.
- You enjoy deleting sp*m.
- You read your sp*m.
- You send sp*m.
- You're usually current on your expense reports.
- You look forward to required training.
- It's all you can do to keep yourself from correcting obvious typos in Wikipedia.
- You correct obvious typos in Wikipedia, but you do it under an assumed name.
- No matter what you're doing, if it's work-related, you feel relief when you're interrupted.
- At work, you surf the Web looking for a new job.
- You do your Web errands (shopping, gifts, etc.) at work. No point wasting time at home on this stuff.
- You've learned the keyboard commands for quickly displaying the next or previous browser tab so you can switch quickly to a tab more suitable for work when someone suddenly enters your office.
- You listen carefully to the phone conversations of the person next door.
- You look at your boss's home in Google street view — again.
- You got pretty good at some of Google's more arcane commands by searching for your ancient love interests.
- You've figured out how to use the Internet All your paper clips are
pointing the same wayto spy on your dog sleeping on your sofa at home.
- All your paper clips are pointing the same way.
- All your paper clips are pointing the same way except the ones that you intentionally turned around so that they wouldn't all be pointing the same way.
- You've discovered that your office is in a time warp, because the clock, while not actually stopped, is moving so slowly that it might as well be stopped.
- You send long email messages to colleagues debating the finer points of stuff that even you don't care about.
- You send email messages that are so long that if you were a recipient, you wouldn't read them.
- Under an assumed name, you hold the daytime North American record in an Internet computer game.
- When a random question comes into your head (like which tree species leafs out first in springtime) you immediately get onto the Web and find the answer.
- And the Number One Indicator That You Might Be Bored at Work: You've read all the way through this list to get to the number 1 indicator that you might be bored at work.
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More articles on Personal, Team, and Organizational Effectiveness:
- Games for Meetings: I
- We spend a lot of time and emotional energy in meetings, much of it engaged in any of dozens of ritualized
games. Here's Part I of a little catalog of some of our favorites, and what we can do about them.
- The Good, the Bad, and the Complicated
- In fiction and movies, the world is often simple. There's a protagonist, a goal, and a series of obstacles.
The protagonists and goals are good, and the obstacles are bad. Real life is more complicated.
- Pet Peeves About Work
- Everybody has pet peeves about work. Here's a collection drawn from my own life, the lives of others,
and my vivid imagination.
- Problem-Solving Preferences
- When people solve problems together, differences in preferred approaches can surface. Some prefer to
emphasize the goal or objective, while others focus on the obstacles. This difference is at once an
asset and annoyance.
- The Risks of Too Many Projects: II
- Although taking on too many projects risks defocusing the organization, the problems just begin there.
Here are three more ways over-commitment causes organizations to waste resources or lose opportunities.
Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout
- Coming April 15: Incompetence: Traps and Snares
- Sometimes people judge as incompetent colleagues who are unprepared to carry out their responsibilities. Some of these "incompetents" are trapped or ensnared in incompetence, unable to acquire the ability to do their jobs. Available here and by RSS on April 15.
- And on April 22: Intentionally Misreporting Status: I
- When we report the status of the work we do, we sometimes confront the temptation to embellish the good news or soften the bad news. How can we best deal with these obstacles to reporting status with integrity? Available here and by RSS on April 22.
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- Bullet Points: Mastery or Madness?
Decision-makers in modern organizations commonly demand briefings in the form of bullet points or a series of series of bullet points. But this form of presentation has limited value for complex decisions. We need something more. We actually need to think. Briefers who combine the bullet-point format with a variety of persuasion techniques can mislead decision-makers, guiding them into making poor decisions. Read more about this program.
Here are some dates for this program:
- 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.