Monday, 11 March 2013

Back to the grindstone

Having spent the whole of last week gallivanting around in Florida, returning to work today was somewhat of a shock to the system.

But it wasn't the Arctic chill that got to me it was the relentless slog of back to back meetings all day. From the minute I walked in the door I was running from one thing to the next. Barely enough time to go to the loo let alone grab lunch.

It struck me how self defeating this can be.

Every conversation is rushed, every point made not nearly as well informed as it could've been. Nuances of meaning lost in the interests of ending the meeting 'on time'.

Which begs the question would it be better to deliberately do less in order to get more done?

I accept working like this on occasion is inevitable and ultimately it pays the wages and beggars can't be choosers. But I worry it is ultimately a false economy that can wear you down. Hence back to the grindstone took on new meaning.

As did another phrase I hadn't come across before.

A colleague in America asked me if she should run the traps. It was lost in translation. I didn't know if it was a dig at me, a joke or an offer to help. Here's her explanation:

"Running the traps" is a phrase from hunting. First you set or fix the traps, then you go back later and run or check the traps to see if you have caught anything in your traps.

Politically you are running the traps when you are testing the waters to see if a program you want or a law you need passed is popular enough to start the process of garnering enough votes and support to push forward with your program.

In everyday life, we use it to make sure something is okay before you do it – identify any problems ahead of time.

So I'd like to the run the traps on this idea. No more than three meetings in any one day. Clear one hour breaks between meetings to give myself time to think. And at irregular start and end times.

What do you think?

Or should I just get my nose to the grindstone and stop my pathetic whinging?

1 comment:

  1. Agree with all three points. You're right the problem with trying to cram in too many meetings is that you end up not really making any of them work as well as they could. I'm also a fan of stand-up meetings to help keep people focused and faster.