A Slave to the Grind


I honestly believe that most of you will agree that you’re chained to a list of endless tasks. It’s no secret that I am. As I write this, I’m looking down at my list of Must do today and my list of Will do one day this year when it’s the second Tuesday of the month, the stars align properly and I have some free time. In the time it took me to write that sentence four emails just came in…*sigh.*

I’ve gained some insight recently through reading a few professional development books. Let me stop you before you begin neigh-saying. I thought there would be little to gain from reading self-improvement books. I’m a 30-something bald man in the technology field…how much better does it get?

I’ve gotten over myself and given it a try. There are kernels of good information in each of them. One of those truths is You can get more capital, you can hire more people, but you can’t buy more time. I’ve found this to be very true.

You need to focus on a small handful of tasks and complete them before moving on to the next. Often a good way to do this is to clear your head. Get some distance from where you’re currently sitting and review what you should be doing and what you should NOT be doing. It’s interesting to think about the things we do that are time-wasters, which others could adequately do in our stead. The best way to review is to go someplace neutral.

Something else I’ve learned is that you are not alone. Bounce your ideas off people and you’ll often be surprised by what comes back. They may not have the answer, but can shake something loose in your own head. Remember, we are all on the same team…the A Team. I’m calling dibs on B. A. Baracus, “fool!”

Pick up the phone or open your email and tell me, “I’m coming to the data center on X day, and I’d like to borrow your conference room.” I’ll take you to lunch. You’ll have a quiet place with distance to review. You can bounce a few ideas off of our technical team, and you can write off the whole trip as a business expense (we happen to do this data center thing you can check out while here).

As the venerable Col. John ‘Hannibal’ Smith said, “Give me a minute, I’m good. Give me an hour, I’m great. Give me six months, I’m unbeatable.”