I wanted to share with you a to the point article about how to be more productive. The author, Sally McGhee teaches an amazing productivity class centered on Microsoft Outlook, just like David Allen’s “Getting Things Done”, the content can revolutionize your life, even if you only adopt part of the system. I took her course many years ago when I was an employee at Microsoft and I still use many of the tips and tricks to keep my life flowing.
I was reading a book the other night in which two characters were quoting lines back and forth from The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. I wondered if the ability to recall a poem or quote literature is becoming a lost art, disappearing with payphones and pellet ice. So last week when I saw a headline about the “slow reading” movement, I was sad and grateful at the same time. It seems that students are being taught to read more for speed opposed to content and retention and there is a movement afoot to try to change the tide to teach students “the experience of words”. The executive humanities editor at Harvard University Press describes it as a worldwide reading crisis. I tend to agree when you consider full length books are competing with instant message, text, and e-mails for the attention of tomorrow’s leaders.
I came across a great video with Daniel Pink that talks about how autonomy, mastery and purpose are what make a great workplace and increase personal satisfaction. I love the part about how when the profit motive becomes dethatched from the purpose motive, bad things happen. I think that can translate to the home environment in ways when the life you are living has gotten away from your purpose. Can you relate?
I’ve posted before about the Myth of Multitasking (how it’s not very efficient and can make you stupid) and there is more information out in the New York Times today around the myth and the mental price we pay by being consumed with so much technology. In short, we are becoming a nation unable to focus and block out extraneous information which causes us to experience more stress and have less ability to think deeply and strategically. The article mentions a new study in which, “Computer users at work change windows or check e-mail or other programs nearly 37 times an hour.” Holy cow, no wonder so many people are struggling with balance. I’m exhausted just thinking about the mental process needed to alter my thoughts 37 times in one hour, something to the extent of every 100 seconds. I highly encourage you to read the article, especially the doubters out there who still think multitasking is productive.