Mark Askren, Vice President for IT and CIO, at the University of Nebraska, keynote video at the 2017 MOR Leaders Conference.
We are born problem solvers! From the moment you wake in the morning until you are fast asleep at night, you are at the ready, just waiting for the next problem to arise.
Now, some of the problems are simple and repetitive, like, for example, what do I do when the alarm goes off signaling that it’s time to get up? Or, what route do I take to go to work today? In such simple instances, our brain is ready to serve up a solution: “Let’s do what we did the last time this situation arose.” Sounds a lot like a habit, doesn’t it?
A few years ago, Charles Duhigg, who you likely know through his earlier book The Power of Habit, was interviewing people at exceptionally productive companies for his 2016 book Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business.” As he did this, he often asked for help in solving a family problem: How could he and his wife (who also has a demanding job) and their two sons, now ages five and eight, regularly eat dinner together?
Today’s Tuesday Reading, Slow Down, is an essay by Jason Murray, Network Architect at the Washington University in St. Louis. [He may be reached at email@example.com.]
His essay first appeared as a program reflection earlier this year.
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." — Ferris Bueller
I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t had some difficulty successfully meeting some, or even most, of his or her goals. Perhaps it is a large, long project and although you were enthusiastic about the project at the beginning, by the mid-point, it seems dull and boring. Or, perhaps it is a simple task you need to complete, but it’s boring or time consuming and you keep ignoring it.
Stop it! It simply isn't good for you.
In last week’s Tuesday Reading, Busyness as a Proxy for Productivity, Shane Anderson, talked about his multitasking in meetings in order to meet deadlines and complete his work. He discovered, when he stopped multitasking, that there was a lot of important content in the meetings that he simply was unaware of because at that moment his brain was otherwise engaged.
Today’s Tuesday Reading, Busyness as a Proxy for Productivity, is an essay by Shane Anderson, Director, Solution Architecture in the Business Solutions Group at Yale Information Services. The essay first appeared as a program reflection earlier this year.
Before I began the MOR Leaders Program, I was struggling to get important work done. I was going from meeting to meeting with no transition time. I was chronically late to meetings. I was “multi-tasking” in meetings to meet deadlines and complete my work. I was stressed and people knew it.
Most of us firmly believe that there is a linear relationship between the hours we work and the productive results that we generate, at least to the point of sheer physical exhaustion. Research has begun to show, however, that it’s more complicated than that. That, in fact, the stressors that keep us from focusing and generating results, kick in much earlier.
Practice is a word that is frequently used in leadership development. For example, we can use practice to indicate engagement in a profession – I have a practice in engineering; or to indicate development of a skill – I habitually practice my listening skills; or to signify continual development of a skill – I practice the piano for four hours each day so that I can continue to hone my skills for performing as a concert pianist.