Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Few Words on Productivity

I woke around 4:30 this morning and by 6:00AM I was sitting at my desk. It was the most productive morning I have had in months. It came with its rewards, too. Around 7AM, I looked up and, well, read on to see what I saw.

Today I walked across the hall to visit one of my favorite co-workers. He has cancer and is currently undergoing intense chemical treatment. It's been a couple of weeks since we last spoke. His brother-in-law greeted me and informed me that he was gone. I thought of our last conversation and I understood. He'd moved on to something else that was important and inspirational, but we lost a great team player. Photobucket

Our CEO recently called me in to his office to give me some feedback. He said some very nice things and commented on my great contributions and potential in the organization. I looked him in the eye and said, "This organization focuses on deliverables. If you want to develop people, they need to be on the list of top priorities for the organization." He mentioned that he'd heard that I was considering leaving the organization. I explained that I was stuck in an endless cycle; that home-grown talent was not valued within the organization, and that in order to move forward, I needed experience, but without that experience, I could not move forward. Even the lowest men with the organizational positions I am working toward were formerly Senior managers or higher in organizations like Microsoft, Novell, or Apple. How can I compete with that kind of experience without leaving the organization? Yadayadayada.

But here's something really great. Really. Did you know? I have a habit. It's a good habit. It wasn't always mine. In fact, I know it has previously belonged to at least two people. I don't remember exactly where I heard about it, but it's so SIMPLE. The second person with this habit asked the first person with this habit how she always got so much done, seeing that she was such a busy woman. Her response went something like this,
"When I move from one place to another, I look around to see if there's something out of place that needs to come with me."

Easy. So, when I get out of the car to go into the store, I look for garbage that I can throw out. When I go downstairs, I look for a pile of papers or something that came from my office and take it with me. Sometimes it only makes it half-way there, like when I put a food storage item next to the basement door. It's no problem because the next time I go into the basement, I will pick up that item and carry it down with me. 

Isn't that a splendid little trick? I have been doing this for several years now, and although I am not perfect, this little habit has helped me from getting overwhelmed with too many things to do. If a pile has formed on the counter, I take one or two items each time I pass by, and soon it's gone. It is endlessly helpful in reducing stress.

Today I ran. I was sick over the weekend, but bounced back quite nicely. I only ran for about 20 minutes because I am still finishing my antibiotic regimen. I have a tendency to get a little optimistic and attempt to pull off more mileage than I should.

Last week I got up to six miles. I love to run since my foot has healed! It's still tender, but this is the first time in over a year that I have been able to run pain-free. That little growth that I had removed wasn't just making it hard to walk, it was causing my plantar fasciitis to flare up each time I got up around three miles. I am sure that the foot strengthening exercises have helped significantly as well. I try to do them before I run, or while I watch TV at night. So far so good. Who knows, I just might try a marathon in the next couple of years.

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