Welcome to Insights and Implications!
Do you find yourself constantly checked-in to work? Read on for some reflections on where this need for constant connectivity may be coming from.
All the best,
All of us at Insight Principles
How Long Is Your Work Day?
What happened to the eight-hour work day? With an increasingly global workforce and devices that allow you to connect anywhere, anytime, the workday seems to be expanding. Do you find yourself sending or responding to emails and texts after 5:00pm? Do you notice parents “watching” their kid’s soccer games with heads buried in smartphones? Is your smartphone the first thing you reach for when you wake up?
A large consulting and strategy firm, Luminary Labs, recently made a radical change. The CEO asked her team to stop emailing after 6:00pm and on weekends.
“The staff was somewhat skeptical that everything could be done in a 40-hour work week. But these are clearly smart people, and so in short order we prioritized tasks, right-sized meetings, and modeled the behavior from the top down. Nothing broke.”
Nice work if you can get it. Most workplaces have very different norms. It can feel like you are at the mercy of an expectation to be online all the time. It doesn’t look like something you decide or a schedule that you choose. But who is really choosing? Are you a victim of your work schedule? Does the pressure to fill your day with work come from your boss, your co-workers, your customers? Let’s look closer at what’s really going on.
Behind the scenes of every decision you make about your work is your thinking. Like most of your thinking, it’s invisible. Nevertheless, your thinking is coloring your life and creating the outline of how work looks to you. Although it appears you are responding to assigned tasks or imposed deadlines and that the pressure to get it all done is coming from culture or job requirements,, it doesn’t actually work that way.
Recently, a leader in charge of a large, critically important project attended one of our programs. She was also married and the mother of 2 young children. The tasks on her to-do list were endless. Her strategy was to multitask. While she was proud of all she got done in a day, her mind was constantly busy, and she was rarely present, often exhausted yet unfulfilled.
As she listened to our description of the nature of thought as the source of her experience, she had a moment of insight: she thought getting everything done was the reason for her self worth. This previously invisible thinking was running her life. Once the thinking became visible via her insight, it no longer looked so smart. The old thinking dissipated and she found a new sense of balance and a new strategy for her life.
She decided to stop multitasking and to do one thing at a time. She stopped reading emails while helping her kids with their homework. She stopped taking calls as she drove the kids to school. She started closing her office door twice a day for 20 minutes to reflect and plan her day or to focus on problems.
Much to her surprise, she still got a lot done. More importantly, she felt better. She had energy at the end of the day for her family. While she worked occasionally after hours, her life felt more in her control.
The power to think is a powerful gift. What looks like a good way of working now might not look the same after an insight.
©Insight Principles, Inc.