Posts Tagged priorities

The intrinsic fallacy of “I don’t have time for that”

Posted by on Wednesday, 19 June, 2013

IMG_0646There is no such thing as a lack of time. Anyone who tells you they don’t have time for something is outright lying to your face. What they are really saying is that your request or idea just isn’t a priority for them. And yes, I am just as guilty as anyone for saying I don’t have the time….

Unlike finances (which have a more relative scale), everyone on this planet has 24 hours in their day: no more, and with few exceptions, no less. So as it stands, we are all on an equal playing field with the same boundaries and limitations. The differences are seen by how we prioritize that time.

Sometimes when looking at new requests, we may need to rethink our current prioritizations, or more deeply, what the actual time impact of the request is. Take, for example, the idea that you want to start blogging… if you’ve read my prior post on the hidden costs of social engagement you may be less than inclined to take on such an endeavor… but what if I told you that you really do have time for blogging and that you’re likely already 9/10ths of the way there? Don’t believe me? Well, you have time to send email, right?

If you are sending email to more than one person on cc:, then you have time to blog. As my friend and social business colleague Ryan Boyles recently pointed out via his tumblr post: Doc Searls explained back in 2004 that “Blogging is Email cc: World.”   I’ve previously called this concept “scalable communication”, but I think that misses the simplicity and understandable nature of “cc: world”. The simplicity of one-to-many passive communication is the brilliance of social media. And, of course, as Ryan notes: tweeting is just like texting cc:world.

No, I am not saying stop emailing and make everything you write a blog post. But what I am saying is that just one wider audience email message could be easily converted into a blog post allowing for blogging to step up in priority without sacrificing something else in that time slot. With just a quick shift in perspective, you now have time to blog without a heavy toll on your time.

As we progress towards more open and transparent communication, with sharing our own expertise online becoming more important to our future careers, why not re-prioritize and start blogging once a week or so as your own email cc:ing the world? So, where is social involvement ranked in your priority list now that you have the time?

Take an afternoon shower

Posted by on Friday, 10 August, 2012

This morning I posted a short bog article on Notes from Rational Support outlining the “Think Friday” and hackday concepts in IBM as different ways of implementing Google’s 20% time policy. I’d encourage you to take a few moments and check it out…. In that short post, however I didn’t touch on the logistics of how to make the shift from focused work to a more creative or non-work related project.

For many of us, it is difficult if not impossible to simply flip a switch and go from your daily tasks to allowing the muse to take hold. Sometimes you just need to stop and refocus when inspiration hits, other times you need to set aside a specific period of time to devote and hope that the creativity flows when you want it to.

So, what do you do when you need to be innovative or creative in a set period of time?
What works for me: mid-afternoon showers.

I doubt I’ll find any disagreement that some (if not most) of our best ideas come to us in the shower. So, use that to your advantage! Now I know many of you may not have the luxury afforded to me by working from home, and for that I’m sorry. I have, however, found that an afternoon shower both invigorates me as well as gives me the time to detach from technology and think over problems rather than acting upon them. That combination often coalesces in small epiphanies or germination of ideas to follow-up on later, typically within 20 minutes time, if only to write it down so I don’t forget.

What to do if you don’t have opportunity to take a mi-afternoon shower? Well, make whatever time you have work for you. If you are like me and get great ideas in the shower, perhaps waking 30 minutes earlier to give you time to write ideas down immediately after your morning shower, or showering in the evening/night and taking the time to log down ideas to build out later will work for you. Or, maybe showers aren’t the trigger for your muse… find what is and give some attention, some time to flourish; after all, your muse will do nothing if it doesn’t have some level of priority in your life.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some ideas to go think about…


image credit: (cc) Some rights reserved by stevendepolo