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.
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More articles on Personal, Team, and Organizational Effectiveness:
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- If you lead an organization, and people are mired in meeting madness, you can end it. Here are a few
tips that can free everyone to finally get some work done.
- Names and Faces
- Most of us feel recognized, respected, and acknowledged when others use our names. And many of us have
difficulty remembering the names of others, especially those we don't know well. How can we get better
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- Pet Peeves About Work
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and my vivid imagination.
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- Meetings are less productive than they might be, if we could learn to recognize and prevent the most
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- Why We Don't Care Anymore
- As a consultant and coach I hear about what people hate about their jobs. Here's some of it. It might
help you appreciate your job.
Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout
- Coming June 28: Tackling Hard Problems: I
- Hard problems need not be big problems. Even when they're small, they can halt progress on any project. Here's Part I of an approach to working on hard problems by breaking them down into smaller steps. Available here and by RSS on June 28.
- And on July 5: Tackling Hard Problems: II
- In this Part II of our look at solving hard problems, we continue developing properties of the solution, and look at how we get from the beginning to the end. Available here and by RSS on July 5.
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- 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. Here are some upcoming dates for this program:
- Creating High Performance Virtual Teams
- Many people experience virtual teams as awkward, slow, and sometimes
frustrating. Even when most team members hail from the same nation or culture, and even when they all
speak the same language, geographic dispersion or the presence of employees from multiple enterprises
is often enough to exclude all possibility of high performance. The problem is that we lead, manage,
and support virtual teams in ways that are too much like the way we lead, manage, and support co-located
teams. In this program, Rick Brenner shows you how to change your approach to leading, managing, and
supporting virtual teams to achieve high performance using Simons' Four Spans model of high performance.
Read more about this program. Here's an upcoming date
for this program:
- Baci Grill, 134 Berlin
Road, Berlin, CT 06416: September 19,
Monthly Meeting, Southern New England Chapter of the Project Management Institute. Register now.
- Baci Grill, 134 Berlin Road, Berlin, CT 06416: September 19, Monthly Meeting, Southern New England Chapter of the Project Management Institute. Register now.
- The Race to the South Pole: Ten Lessons for Project Managers
- On 14 December 1911, four men led by Roald
Amundsen reached the South Pole. Thirty-five days later, Robert F. Scott and four others followed. Amundsen
had won the race to the pole. Amundsen's party returned to base on 26 January 1912. Scott's party perished.
As historical drama, why this happened is interesting enough, but to organizational leaders, business
analysts, project sponsors, and project managers, the story is fascinating. Lessons abound. Read
more about this program. Here's an upcoming date for this program:
- CTCPA, 716 Brook Street,
Rocky Hill, CT 06067: September 20,
Full-day Workshop, Southern New England Chapter of the Project Management Institute. Register now.
- CTCPA, 716 Brook Street, Rocky Hill, CT 06067: September 20, Full-day Workshop, Southern New England Chapter of the Project Management Institute. Register now.