Getting things done... effectively
Earlier this year I began changing the way I think about work and career and the idea of an office. Am I destined to living in a cube-land existence due to my profession as a graphic designer (or, rather, manager)? Almost two years ago I was benevolently bestowed the title of manager. This means I manage all phases of development, production, promotion and distribution of front- and backlist of book titles. Further I direct/assist editorial contributions, assign and design book covers and page layouts, select cover and text paper based on budget and write, design, and place ads.
I've come to learn that titles don't seem to mean anything anymore nor do they represent the illusion of a pay increase. At least, not for me.
Enter friend, stage right, with book in hand.
Like I said, I'm reading this book, The 4-Hour Workweek, and realizing things I've observed but didn't have words to attach to them and I am re-framing how I think about work and career. Here's an example:
Effectiveness is doing the things that get you closer to your goals. Efficiency is performing a given task... in the most economical manner possible.Intuitively, I know this. I efficiently file sales reports and place ads. But is that reaching a career goal? More importantly, what is the definition of that goal? Here's another great office observation that differentiates office lemmings from entrepreneurs.
Doing something unimportant well does not make it important.This is more a philosophical observation than a business or lifestyle strategy. For example, this could apply to religion. An individual may have efficient faith (meaning they do something well) or an effective faith (meaning they are attaining goals). What defines importance? What drives the doing or the ritual? Currently, I am extremely busy. So I ask myself, am I achieving goals or spinning my tires? Here's another kick-in-the-gut quote:
Being busy is a form of laziness--lazy thinking and indiscriminate action... lack of time is actually lack of priorities.Aw, Scheiße! So, now I have to determine and set priorities of activities in how they relate to determined and set goals. This is hard; like a work out. I can chest press 110 pounds in repetitions of 12 to 15. A single power chest press is closer to my weight. My goal is not body building, it is physical training toward optimum health. I need to determine if 12 to 15 reps is too efficient and more resistance would provide a more effective workout.
I'll share more later. I'm about finished with Harvey Pekar's Ego & Hubris: The Michael Malice Story and somehow these two books seemed to taste great together. One more quote from Tim Ferriss's book The 4-Hour Workweek. before I go:
Stop asking opinions and start proposing solutions.