Thursday, May 24, 2007

Finding Time and Place

Many of us do not work on assembly lines but we act as if we do.

We rigidly stick to set office hours regardless of whether or not we are most productive during that period. We hold weekly staff meetings even if there is nothing to discuss. We judge people based on their "face time" on the job as opposed to their accomplishments. We glue ourselves to our office chairs when we'd do better work at the Starbucks across the street.

Our work days signal that a more flexible approach is wiser but we frequently brush that message aside and act as if we are punching a time clock. Although some jobs obviously require that we be in a certain place at a certain time, in many cases our restrictions are self-imposed.

This is a habit that dies hard. You can find executives who stick to brain-dead schedules out of fear that the boss might be watching and unfortunately, in many cases, their fear is justified. Being willing to work "to a different drummer" can carry a risk. It is a daily reminder, however, of what is truly important and why we are alive.

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