“Life is long, if you know how to use it.”
– Seneca, On the Shortness of Life
Zoom. Teams. Webex. Blue Jeans. Our business, our projects, our teams, and our school systems couldn’t have survived the last year without these powerful technology platforms. I love being able to get our team together “face-to-face” on a daily basis despite many still working from home. Client in California, no problem! Interviewing a candidate in Texas, too easy! Siblings in Alaska, remote happy hour it is!
BUT…for all of the convenience these platforms have created, are we increasing our productivity or just our busy-ness?
Have we become too available? Has it become too easy to sneak in another meeting but not leaving ourselves time to take some action items, prep for the next meeting, or even eat lunch? Have we told ourselves, “Well, I’m not commuting (or showering?!),” so I can jump on an early or a later call? Have we become too accessible to our clients, bosses, co-workers? Have we convinced ourselves that efficiency is the same as effectiveness?
As we reviewed the past quarter and looked forward to the next, we realized we are BUSY! “Busy is good,” you say? But is it? I’m not complaining about our growth or having many clients to serve and projects to manage. That’s in our blood. I’m talking about the calendar creep that has infiltrated our outlook and google thanks to Covid-19.
So…how do we turn the COVID Calendar off? As we turn the page on one year of reacting and adapting to the impacts of Covid-19 on our lives, MCFA is using this next week to reset our quarterly rocks and take back over our calendars in the name of results, not just activity. In the consulting world, we often bounce back and forth between seller & doer or maker & manager, as Paul Graham put it. We need to ensure we make space for the value-creating tasks we all have, the Deep Work as Cal Newport calls it. “Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that pushes your cognitive new value improves your skill, and are hard to replicate.”
And if you are a manager, remember that the “makers” need time to digest and put pen to paper or design to CAD or hammer to nails. See if your team has any feedback on this. As Peter Drucker said, “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”
And effectiveness isn’t just at work…get off of the Facebook Infinity scroll and be present with your friends, family, or flowers. Happy Spring, Everyone.
BJ Kraemer, President