Stop Hiding. Wisdom from Carl Richards.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I hold Carl Richards in high esteem. His simple messages supported by drawings are always worth a look and a thought. This one is especially good. I seem to attract procrastinators (or perhaps they attract me), Carl’s words on the subject are most appropriate and I am happy to share.

You can find out more about Carl and sign up to his newsletter HERE

“There’s something you want to do. Maybe even something you need to do. And you’re not doing it.

The reason you’re not doing it is because you’re hiding.

The reason you’re hiding is because there is work to be done, and that work is either scary, or hard, or boring, or all of the above.

So instead, you’re reading your eighteenth book of the year on time management, tweeting about the economy, and Instagramming motivational pictures.

(Actually, you’re reading your emails. Don’t ask me how I know.)

Might I make a suggestion?

Just stop.

All of those are places to hide.

I repeat: There’s something you want to do. Maybe even something you need to do. And you’re not doing it.

Stop procrastinating. Stop looking for a new trick, a new #hack.

Take all that time and put it into just getting the work done.

It’s that simple.”

-Carl

 

I have met a few like this…

From the ever excellent Savage Chickens, I’ve been both sides of the table.

2020/8

A Manager’s Manifesto from Bartleby

The ever reliable Bartleby in The Economist has come up with “A Manager’s Manifesto for 2020”.

If you can’t be bothered to read the whole thing or even the headings then dwell on the conclusion:

Will following these eight rules lead to instant business success? Of course not. None of this will work if the company lacks an attractive product or a decent business plan. But these rules might just make your firm a more efficient and pleasant place to work. And that is a reasonable goal for 2020.

Full article HERE, some highlights below.

  1. Give out some praise. People don’t come to work just for the money…
  2. Remember that you set the tone. If a manager is angry and swears a lot, that will be seen as acceptable behaviour…
  3. The buck also stops with you. If a team member makes a mistake, it needs to be fixed. And the manager is responsible for making that happen…
  4. Make your priorities for the next year clear, and communicate them well…
  5. To that end, cut out the jargon…
  6. Listen to your staff. They are the people who are dealing with customers…
  7. Keep meetings short. Ideally, a meeting should be the length of a sitcom episode not a film by Martin Scorsese. Bartleby’s law is that 80% of the time of 80% of the people at meetings is wasted…
  8. Drop the team-building exercises. Paintballing in the woods,…Why not build a team by introducing its members and explaining what you want each of them to do?

2020/7

What to learn from aircraft??

Earl Weiner

Among them:

  • Every device creates its own opportunity for human error.
  • Exotic devices create exotic problems.
  • Digital devices tune out small errors while creating opportunities for large errors.
  • Invention is the mother of necessity.
  • Some problems have no solution.
  • It takes an airplane to bring out the worst in a pilot.
  • Whenever you solve a problem, you usually create one. You can only hope that the one you created is less critical than the one you eliminated.
  • You can never be too rich or too thin (according to the Duchess of Windsor) or too careful about what you put into a digital flight-guidance system (Wiener).

Wiener pointed out that the effect of automation is to reduce the cockpit workload when the workload is low and to increase it when the workload is high. Nadine Sarter, an industrial engineer at the University of Michigan, and one of the pre-eminent researchers in the field, made the same point to me in a different way: “Look, as automation level goes up, the help provided goes up, workload is lowered, and all the expected benefits are achieved. But then if the automation in some way fails, there is a significant price to pay. We need to think about whether there is a level where you get considerable benefits from the automation but if something goes wrong the pilot can still handle it.”

The Monday Morning Quote #571

“Nothing is so useless as doing things efficiently that should never have been done at all.”

Peter Drucker

The Monday Morning Quote #566

“Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its brevity.”

Jean de La Bruyère

Lessons Learned from the RNLI

I was at a meeting at our local RNLI station in Union Hall a few months ago. We were counting the cash from the annual fundraising collection in and around Skibbereen.

Whilst we were waiting to get started I was nosing around, as I do – curiosity being one of my core values, and came across these files on a shelf.

The RNLI exists because things go wrong on the sea or sea-shore. If everything went according to plan, if there were no storms, no tides, no human or mechanical errors, the volunteers who man the rescue boat would not have to routinely put their lives at risk.

Of course not everything goes smoothly during rescues or practicing sessions. So they have a file of what they have taken on board (excuse any pun) during any activities. I’m sure someone in Health Education England, the GDC, the CQC or any combination of “stakeholders” could have spent months with focus groups, working parties and in depth questionnaires to produce a paragraph length title for such a file.

In West Cork (and I’m sure throughout the RNLI) it is pragmatically called: “LESSONS LEARNED”.

Where is yours?

Carl Richards’ Newsletter – Forget working hard. Try resting hard.

I read and enjoy several dozen (or more) Blogs / newsletters which I should share more often. Carl Richards is a Certified Financial Planner and creator of “The Sketch Guy” column which has appeared in the New York Times since 2010. His website is “The Behavior Gap” (sic) and here’s the Link

He wrote an excellent book “The One Page Financial Plan” which is well worth a read if you wrestle with money.

Here’s his most recent newsletter which may well strike a chord or two.

I couldn’t agree more.

Hi Alun, Carl here. 

I’m tired.

Like, really tired.

And I’m tired of being tired. 

Up at 5 in the morning? Tried it! Daily workouts? Yep. Paleo, bulletproof, gluten-free, cold showers? Check. 

Build a business, start a side hustle, dominate Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook? Yeah, I’ve done all that too.

You know what I don’t understand? How come nobody ever talks about rest? 

You know, rest. As in, relaxing. Doing nothing. Getting a good night’s sleep. That stuff’s kind of important, too… 
… 
I know I’m not alone here. 

The last 10 years have felt like the #CrushIt decade. Every time you turn around somebody is on social media talking about how they’re crushing something. Gary Vaynerchuk wrote the book on it, and according to him, people “need to work harder. And faster. There’s really nothing else to it. I’m exhausted every day, but I’m making all sorts of things happen in my 18 hours.”

Sorry, Gary. But I disagree. I don’t need to work harder and faster. And neither do most of the people reading this. I have a feeling most of us are already working hard enough. 

And you know what else, Gary? Being exhausted every day sounds like a stupid way to live.

… 
Look, if this doesn’t speak to you, just toss this email in the trash and forget you ever saw it. Crush on.

But if it does speak to you, if you’re nodding your exhausted head along knowingly, then consider this message my permission to make this the year of resting hard.

I don’t care if the year’s half over. Start now and keep going for 12 months. This year we’re going to be as good at resting as we are at crushing things. We’re going to become pros at turning off social media, getting great sleep, working less, and living more.

Seriously. Give it a shot. Start today. What do you have to lose? A handful of Twitter followers? A contract? A bit of income?

What you have to gain is a) peace, b) clarity, c) more time for your friends and family, d) not dying of a heart attack or an aneurysm at the age of 50.

Chances are, you don’t need a cup of coffee and a slap in the face. More like some decaf herbal tea and a hug.

Sound good?

Great. 

Enjoy your rest,

-Carl

Your Job Shouldn’t Kill You…

Excellent Blog Post from the Kolbe Connect Blog. Knowing and understanding your Kolbe A can help to cope with and understand what you do and what you should do. My clients who embrace Kolbe Wisdom get so much more from themselves and from their teams.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially recognized burnout as a medical condition…

…In addition to concerns about burnout among employees, there has been a rise in awareness about the stress of being an entrepreneur. Inc. magazine released an article, “The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship”, which states, “it’s time to be honest about how brutal [building a company] is—and the price some founders secretly pay.”…

Most of the advice about dealing with workplace stress, like “take a vacation,” “play harder,” or “bring a pet to work” only offers temporary relief.…

…working with our clients, we’ve consistently seen that when people are required to work against their instinctive strengths they report higher levels of stress, miss more work, and ultimately are more likely to quit or be fired.…

…The long-term solution is creating alignment between a person’s conative strengths and the demands of the job.…

Take a look at my website to take your Kolbe A and find out more about building your perfect team.

What makes some people more productive?

Time management in Dentistry continues to be a massive stumbling block to success especially when “speed” and “effectiveness” are confused, one leaves you knackered at the end of the day and not earning properly, the other brings rewards that you can appreciate.

We all have the same amount of minutes in an hour, hours in a day, days in a week etc. But some people clearly get more done than others. Often there is resentment from the “doing less” camp who say that the achievers cut more corners, don’t do things properly and so on but I find this is mostly sour grapes.

My experience of being in dental practices, operating theatres and offices is that the people who get most done are the ones who plan their days, roll their sleeves up and get on with it, start their day on time, who “eat the frog” as early in the day as possible and build in flexibility for when “stuff” happens.

Pozen and Downey found that the most productive people were good at:

  • overcoming procrastination
  • getting to the final product 
  • focussing on daily accomplishments &
  • delegating clearly and effectively

On the other hand those who scored lower:

  • did not plan their days in advance
  • were easily distracted by the avoidable 
  • did not have great routines &
  • (frequently) blamed others for their lack of productivity

If you want to have a good day you have to decide what a good day is and work backwards. Sadly too many people still let the tail wag the dog.

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