Tony Schwartz and Christine Porath in Why You Hate Work:
The way we’re working isn’t working. Even if you’re lucky enough to have a job, you’re probably not very excited to get to the office in the morning, you don’t feel much appreciated while you’re there, you find it difficult to get your most important work accomplished, amid all the distractions, and you don’t believe that what you’re doing makes much of a difference anyway. By the time you get home, you’re pretty much running on empty, and yet still answering emails until you fall asleep…
…Demand for our time is increasingly exceeding our capacity — draining us of the energy we need to bring our skill and talent fully to life. Increased competitiveness and a leaner, post-recession work force add to the pressures. The rise of digital technology is perhaps the biggest influence, exposing us to an unprecedented flood of information and requests that we feel compelled to read and respond to at all hours of the day and night…
Find the rest of the story (and the solution to the problem) here: Why You Hate Work
- Image Source: Nezartdesign
- Tony Schwartz is the co-author of the Best Selling book: The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal
Start time was 4:00pm. We pulled into the parking lot at 3:40pm. We made it. But it wasn’t pretty. Torrential rain, back-ups on the NJ turnpike, standing water, all treacherous, extended our drive time by 90 minutes. Being late for this event was not a memory I wanted to bank. We walked briskly for a mile to get to The Pavilion, the venue for Rachel’s college graduation ceremony.
Late = no seats. Responsible parents arrived 60-90 minutes early. Susan (a member of the class of responsible parents) arrived earlier in the day, waited for us, and couldn’t hold our seats because we were late. I caught the scud with my chest. This time, I had no counter. Cut it too fine.
Susan found a seat. I stood at the back. Bad Dads in the back.
He had to be in his 80’s. He arrived on the arm of a Graduate, had to be his Grandson. A navy blue suit, oversized but neatly pressed. Black wing-tip shoes that had long since lost their gleam. A powder blue handkerchief peeked out of his suit jacket pocket. A taupe colored shirt with the tail hanging out. He dragged his right leg behind him, his Grandson offering ballast. (WW Veteran?)
He grabbed the chair in front of him and slumped down heavily. They were seated in my line of sight up 1 row.
The distinguished guests and the faculty processional was followed by a thank you to Parents, family members, and significant others. His Grandson softly nudges him.
6:10 am. 70° F. Humidity: 100%. Thick. A mood dampener.
After an unexpected, unexplainable and unacceptable two-pound jump last week, Gadget Man replaced the seven-year old bathroom scale. I don’t need to wait three seconds of interminable flashing to see my test scores. If you aren’t getting results, replace the equipment. Pull the band-aid off and hit me.
The new scale is sweet. I step on the scale and it snaps to attention. No waiting, no flashing, no bad scores. This morning, this incredible technology signalled that I was a mere one pound higher than the challenge target, with another month to go. Now we’re talking.
Yet, what a miserable journey this has been. Rationing ice cream. Mouth salivating for pasta. A 3-cookie daily portion limit. People, this is not living. And the real question is whether this is sustainable.
This morning, I’m determined to drive this weight down. Way down below target to give me cushion. In one run.
My head is saying: 10 miles.
My body: Groaning. [Read more...]
There was no air conditioning, central, window or otherwise. There were no large, five-speed oscillating fans. The one 12-inch fan in the house, hummed like a diesel and was in the kitchen where it kept Mom cool while she was preparing our meal. Dinner included a cool cucumber soup, vareneki and peach pie – – cucumbers individually pulled off the vines in the garden and plump, ripe peaches picked from our fruit trees. The oven, running all afternoon, added to the oppressive heat in the house.
We had one TV, with one channel, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Hockey Night in Canada (Saturday Nights) was one of the few programs worthy of watching. And, in any event, watching TV during the day was taboo. We had one radio station, and it was country. (So no radio.) There was no internet. No Playstation. No iPhones, iTunes, iPods, iPads, iAnthing. No desktops or laptops. No Barnes & Noble, Borders, Waldenbooks or Amazon. No Kindles, Nooks or Readers. The Public Library was miles away and I had never set my foot in it. We had a camera but that was off limits and of little interest. [Read more...]
“If you feel sucked into a bottomless guilt vortex every time you look at your email inbox, this post is not for you. If you struggle to keep up with a deluge of 50, 100, 400 emails every day, go away. If you’ve clicked on this looking for tips in curtailing this incursion of correspondence, leave now. This post isn’t for you. It’s for the other guy. The one who responds immediately to every message. The one who sleeps with his smartphone. The one who checks email on vacation. You know who you are. And while this may be hard for you to hear, it needs to be said: you’re ruining everything for the rest of us. Every time you check your email while on vacation you make it just a little bit harder for me not to. Every time you fire off an email at 11pm, you make a capillary explode in one of my eyeballs. Every time you send me an email asking, "Did you get my email?" — especially if you sent said email within the last 24 hours — I drown a kitten in a bag. Okay, that’s not true. No animals were harmed in the writing of this post. Except for this particular human animal, who has gotten to a point with her email where she just. Can’t. Take it. Any. More. Sisyphus had a better chance of keeping that boulder on top of that hill than I do of keeping on top of my email…I will never, never, never have more time for email, next week or any other week, no matter how much false hope I harbor. Also, I think there are better ways for me to spend 3 hours out of a (purportedly) 40-hour work week.”
Read more of this great post @ HBR Blog Network: The Responsiveness Trap
- Don’t Send that Email. Pick Up the Phone.
- Sunday Morning: “Learning to Slow Down”
- Our fantasies of substitution (with tech) have cost us…
- You are not as busy as you think…
- Should I check E-Mail?
- Secrets to time management…
- How well do you manage distraction? Take this three minute quiz…
The Great Convergence is upon us, and our friend, the Internet is accelerating the process…
The good news is, if you have a talent, the world wants it, and it has never been so easy to show your talent to the world…
The bad news is, especially for us fat & lazy Americans, is that the great, century-long era of Prosperity-on-Autopilot is over…
The world still wants serious talent. And it still wants people doing the grunt work: pushing mops, digging ditches, waiting tables, answering phones, flipping burgers etc…
Learn how to work hard, work long hours. Find something you love, and then excel at it. Above all else, learn how to create, learn how to invent. That’s your only hope, really.
Sherry Turkle is a professor at MIT and “studies how technology is shaping our modern relationships: with others, with ourselves, with it.” I found her talk to be (very) important, timely and a bit frightening (as I internalize her thoughts as to my personal behavior.) Lori @ Donna & Diablo describes this talk as “chilling” – I’m with Lori.
I would encourage you to watch the entire video. Prof. Turkle is terrific. I pulled some key excerpts below.
“Our fantasies of substitution have cost us. Now we all need to focus on the many, many ways that technology can lead us back to our real lives, our own bodies, our own communities, our own politics, our own planet. They need us. Let’s talk about how we can use digital technology, the technology of our dreams, to make this life the life we can love.”
“…I’ve studied technologies of mobile communications and I’ve interviewed hundreds and hundreds of people, young and old, about their plugged in lives. And what I’ve found is that our little devices are so psychologically powerful that they don’t only change what we do, they change who we are…”
“…People text or do email during corporate board meetings. They text and shop and go on Facebook during classes…Parents text and do email at breakfast and dinner while their children complain about not having their parents’ full attention…And we even text at funerals…We remove ourselves from our grief or from our revery and we go into our phones.”
“…I think we’re setting ourselves up for trouble – trouble in how we related to each other, but also trouble in how we relate to ourselves and our capacity for self-reflection. We’re getting used to a new way of being alone together. People want to be with each other, but also elsewhere – connected to all the different place they want to be. People what to customize their lives…Some people think that’s a good thing. But you can end up hiding from each other, even as we’re all constantly connected to each other.”
Your wallet is no longer the only item worth protecting with all sorts of personal and financial data on your smartphone readily available to thieves. Guess what I did with my personal phone after reading this article…
“…Symantec organized a multi-city clandestine project to see what happens when digital devices go missing…A total of 50 smartphones were distributed (purposefully lost) in 5 cities in restaurants, elevators, convenience stores and student unions. The devices were loaded with a buffet of juicy, fake data…Symantec tracked where the devices were taken once found, and what type of information was accessed by the “finders.”
“Many smartphone owners don’t take even simple steps, like requiring a PIN to unlock a phone…
“About 90% of all finders rifled through the phone’s apps and files, including ones that seemed to contain highly sensitive information.”
“80% looked at corporate data on the phone. About half took the bait to peek at the salary information and peruse the corporate email account. 40% couldn’t resist looking at the banking information. 57% looked at a password file…”
Source: BusinessWeek – Data Security: Most Finders of Smartphones Are Snoops
- What Happens If You Lose Your Smartphone? [VIDEO] (mashable.com)