Challenge: focus on value

I’m so tired of things that waste or unnecessarily demand so much of people’s time. You’ve got that meeting where people don’t bother to come in on time. You sit through meetings seeing people kill time on their mobile phones (either that or they’re also people-watching just like you). You have all these goals and expectations thrust upon you, and you can only shake your head over how un-SMART a lot of them are. You’ve got young, impressionable team mates working overtime to prepare for game shows, plotting surprises for people they hardly know, making fancy props for who knows what, etc.

Maybe that’s aligned with what they like. Maybe noontime show antics is what floats their boats. Maybe I’m the boring, cultural misfit who values people’s time (mostly, my own), how it should be the individual’s choice on how they would rather spend it, and how they should have a say if other people are wasting it for them.

Maybe we should challenge ourselves to find focus, and focus on just one simple thing: providing value.

What if our focus is on producing quality interactions with whoever we deal with. We set up meetings that people don’t dread going to and they actually find value in attending. We hold general assemblies where people will get key take-aways other than free food, and they leave feeling inspired or motivated. We hold activities where participants would feel they are better or they’ve grown — even just a little teeny bit — for having been there; rather than have the feeling that they’ve just killed off 30 minutes or more of their lives.

I don’t think it’s possible to get it right off the bat and all the time. But wouldn’t this be a better direction worth going for?

Wishing for more time

I came to work last Saturday feeling sick… I was breaking into a cold sweat and I had this annoying headache probably because I was out quite late the previous night. My body also felt sore due due to the tennis session with workmates from the day before.  I could have gone to work feeling better if (a) I didn’t want to indulge myself with an imax movie with friends, and (b) I didn’t want to try out something new and engage in some physical activities.

Last night, before I went to bed, I did a breakdown of my workday:

  • At least 9hrs at work – mandatory 8 hours + 1 hour lunch
  • At least 2hrs to prep and go to work – includes buying breakfast to eat at my seat in the office
  • At least 1 hr for dinner
  • At least .5 hr to commute home
  • At least .5 hr to clean up
  • At least 7 hrs for sleep
  • Leaving only at most (but definitely always less) 4 hours for any other stuff including errands and household chores

I wish I had more time for learning, my geekish fixes and exercise.