I’m panting. Or at least I think I should be. Just finished a marathon project that demanded headache-inducing focus, snappy wordsmithing, and extra swiftness with the computer mouse! In the haste, I fear I was a bit rude and cranky to workmates, shutting them off and not making eye contact because of this “rushian” task. Finished it just in time, but, boy, do I feel rusty! I don’t feel particularly proud about the outcome, but I think it’s decent given the constraints. Guess I need to workout those creative and mental muscles some more…
A realization: When the going gets tough at the work, it really helps to be able to draw from an inner reserve of purpose and reason for doing what I’m doing. Because when I really think about it, it’s not about impressing the boss or feeling exhilarated about a job well done. It’s about giving God glory–even in the mind-stretching and energy-sapping “rushian” tasks that spring up during the work day.
Thankfully, grace abounds–yes, even for control freaks 🙂
(Was supposed to rant about being stressed. Maybe next time.)
I had written the following article, a book review, for Business Mirror‘s “Executive Readings” column. It appeared in the November 10, 2006 issue.
A quick glance at my computer screen tells me that six items on my To-Do list are inherited from last week. Hand on mouse, my start-of-the-week instinct is to swoosh the cursor onto the To-Do field and key-in six more “urgent” items for the day. But even that won’t make it an exhaustive list. There’s a big white board to my right that details the progress (or non-progress?) of marketing projects, most of them needing to take off in time for the Christmas buying season. So much to do, so little time. Or so I think. The Bangles’ song rings in my ears, It’s just another manic Monday….
Or is it? Will Tuesday—or the countless work days thereafter—be any different? Any better?
Todd Duncan, author of New York Times bestseller Time Traps (Thomas Nelson Publishers), doesn’t think so. Not unless I “fight” to secure the most productive use of my time. Thankfully, I—whom Duncan would classify as a “swamped professional”—am not alone. “Nearly every professional has a challenge with time,” writes Duncan. “It is the most pervasive and repetitive problem I’ve come across in fifteen years of speaking and training, and it doesn’t just go away. To-Do Lists never get done on the day for which they were intended. Post-It Notes lose their stickiness, and the dream of productivity fades into a state of harried and hurried multitasking.”
Touché! So what does Duncan propose to us, swamped professionals, whom surveys reveal are productive only—gasp!—25% of the time despite the longer hours and the generally industrious attitude? Will more overtime hours (and more colored Post-Its) effectively redeem the 75% “wasted time”? The answer, Duncan proffers, does not lie in the oft-praised time management paradigm; instead, the solution begins with task management. “The majority of disorganization is not the result of character flaws, too much work, or too little time,” the author clarifies. ”It is primarily the result of investing time in meaningless tasks.”
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Today was a flurry of activities at the office. I didn’t even have time to open the organizer application on my office PC to look at my to-do list. Somehow I just got caught up in the day’s demands, succumbing to the mad current of urgency.
There were ’emergency’ meetings to attend, urgent marketing artwork for evaluation and signing off, projects to be coordinated via email and phone… Before I knew it, the day has ended and I have a slight ache on my left shoulder blade and lower back.
The coolest part of the day was lunch with the best friend. Roovin came by the office to buy some books. Since he was on leave from work for the day, we had time to grab lunch at the nearby mall. Over pizza and ‘pasta negra’ (which stained our lips and teeth black!), we caught up on each other’s lives.
Having been a married guy for a year, Roovin felt it was his duty as best friend to dissect my (non-existent) love life and its little disasters (hoping perhaps to hasten my transfer over to the other side of the civil status fence?) Of course I let him probe, seriously considering what he had to say. Close friends have a way of letting you see different sides to your life story. And it helps that they are not easily derailed by your witty (read: evasive) retorts or lame justifications.
Great. Now I have ‘more pressing’ things to think about and sort out other than work.
P.S. I promised Besp I’d post this pic on my blog 🙂
Wala lang. Taken during one of the dinner meetings with friends from college. The “teleserye” look was my idea; the movie poster was Roovin’s doing. (He must have a lot of free time.) It’s “Ang Pelikulang Walang Bida” because, according to Roovin, none of us looks like a protagonist. Haha! You think so too?