Nonsense At Work

#106: April 2016 MindShift

Nonsense just is,
but sense must be uncovered, grasped and held tight.The NonsenseAtWork Monthly MindShift

April 2016

Demands Periodically Cut Nonsense Intentionally

Focus on the demands of the job, not on the demands for the job

time-agesOnce upon a time your job was not about you. You just happened to be the one doing it at the time. The focus was on the output required.

Along came the Me Generation demanding that there be some meaning to the job. Unless I found me in the meaning, I would underperform because I would be under motivated. And so the focus shifted from the output required to what it would take to get me to put in the input needed to get the output required.

Unsurprising, the Me Generation spawned the Selfie Generation. Selfie is visual shorthand for selfish. Will the flash, I mean focus, now fall on the job, on the meaning, or on the person taking the selfie doing the job?

To make fill-in-the-blank great again, we must focus on the demands of the job and not give in to the demands for the job.

Periodically pull the plug to wipe your life

silenceDemands of the job can be overpowering. Here’s how not to burn out.

What happens when your electrical circuit is overloaded? It cuts out. What happens when your computer overheats? It shuts down. And when your hard drive is full? It stops saving.

That’s how we should cope with information overload. Periodically pull the plug, reboot and start with a clean sheet, a clean disk and a clean inbox.

What do you do when you have too many emails, too many text messages, too many articles saved to read later? You don’t cut out, shut down or stop saving, do you?

Unlike your gadgets, you would feel guilty. And you would worry that you missed something important.

Trust me, if it was important, the universe or your boss will make sure that you find out.

And if you want to blame me if that happens, please note that I have already wiped my emails, my voice mail, my text messages, and probably my life.

Spring back from knocked into shape and cut down to size

Spring-backBut I will spring back to life. I hope.

Last autumn I watched my wife and two helpers at work in our garden. I watched from a safe distance, from an upstairs window. It looked far too brutal for my liking.

They were grabbing at branches and whacking at beds, knocking Mother Nature into shape and cutting her down to size. When they were done we were left with a rather subdued looking garden. The shrubs and other plants appeared shrunken, as if they wished for a blanket of snow.

But now, with spring here, what a difference. The cut-down-to-size plants are all stretching and reaching for the sky. The knocked-into-shape flower beds are beginning to push their boundaries and borders again.

Oh! To be able to recover like that every time I get knocked into shape and cut down to size.

Wait a minute. Maybe I can. Who said I couldn’t? Not Mother Nature.

When stubbornness makes nonsense of persistence

going-gets-toughSome cynics might accuse Mother Nature of being stubborn. But is she?

If at first you don’t succeed, trying again and again might be mere stubbornness. Society loves the underdog and cheers the ones who doggedly never quit. But how would you know when you risk crossing over from persistence to pigheadedness?

First, you should heed Einstein’s warning that insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. Next, check to see if your situation has changed. Trying the same thing in a different situation might well be a sane response.

Then check yourself. Maybe you have changed. Often everything is still the same, except you. Maybe you no longer have what it takes to make work what has always worked.

However, the real risk is that we keep trying for so long that we forget why we are trying in the first place.

When habit replaces logic, stubbornness makes nonsense of persistence.

Be intentionally deliberate to deliver promised success

intentionally-deliberateOr you could simply drop persistence in favor of deliberate.

Some time ago a friend told me that she is now deliberately without intentions. Confused, I asked her to clarify. She explained that she is deliberate in what she does, and no longer has intentions to do.

After many months of subconscious mulling, it finally makes sense to me.

Intentions are always a commitment, a promise to do something in the future. It involves thinking and planning now to create, hopefully, an outcome later.

On the other hand, if you do something deliberately, you are doing so fully conscious of your doing. You are not doing so by chance, but with full realization and awareness in the moment. (Because you have already done your “careful consideration.”)

Intention is future focused whereas deliberate is in the moment. Intention is promise, deliberate is delivery.

In other words, success comes from being intentionally deliberate instead of being deliberately intentional.

I think.

Want to pull the plug on my nonsense?

Welcome to our side of the nonsense divide


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