Saturday, August 10, 2013

Extreme Productivity 2

I now realize that I have been offered a unique opportunity. Previously, I cursed the situation I find myself in, much more busy than in the past, but proud to conserve one’s free time for reading books and watching movies. In my new job, I see that this predilection for recreation or escape is no longer possible; therefore I can either slide by, winging it, or hunkering down and doing a swell job. This means working more than 8 hours, striving to be the best and doing whatever it takes, maybe even working on weekends. This seems to be the case as the normal hours no longer suite me and the work that needs to be done. A change occurred at midnight, where the rules of the game suddenly changed and no longer fits whatever education or tricks one has learned in the past. I saw that when I watched that TED video where the speaker emphasized on the changed world.

It is like that character in Murakami’s book ‘1Q84’, who wakes up one day and sees a familiar world, but with slight changes that make her realize that there has been a subtle shift, like having two moons in the evening sky. I guess that has happened to me when this new job was offered to me, thinking that I can just do what I do but with more efficiency, then realizing very quickly that the old ways no longer suffice. My reaction was perhaps trivial; going to the gym in the morning, requesting for a stand-up desk, using the white board for a to do list but quickly realizing that these improvements are cosmetic. In the book ‘Extreme Productivity’, the author said that one must sleep a full eight hours every day to be refreshed, so that would mean that I should be in bed by 10 pm so I can wake and be at the gym by 6:30 am. Often times I persist on my schedule, watching movies or reading books up until 11pm or 12 midnight; coming to work slightly dazed which the standing position at work does not help.

But working standing up has its benefits, it keeps me alert and focused, but more effort is expended, which makes me tired when I get home. Therefore, the change should be deeper and serious, go to bed early, and work more than eight hours including weekends if needed. I guess I have also grown tired of watching too many movies, it only causes the mind to keep moving; one should no longer strive for the ‘super mind’ as one would say ala Sherlock Holmes. The time for silly things is now over as Obama would say to the ideologues in congress and I guess that means me, too. But I have been handed this opportunity and there is no other option but to excel. Clearly, working in the office is not enough with the allotted time, especially with all the incoming work; the volume has increased and requires superhuman effort to be on top of it all or at least until one gets used to it. There are just too many things to do like one has crossed over into a new world where the rules have changed one midnight.

Will there ever be time for me to write? I guess the solution must be systemic; to apply all those tricks in the book ‘Extreme Productivity’ and being aware of the time, there is really no more occasion for childish things, perhaps to allot just an hour each day at home after dinner to do some work and perhaps another 2 – 3 hours during the weekend. There should be clear tasks to do like updating the enterprise PM program, replying to emails and doing whatever still needs to be done like updating the incident ticketing system. The easiest thing to do is to stop watching movies, lessen the borrowing of DVDs and just reserve that for the weekend. I still have not used my electronic gadgets like my tablet for my to do list, but it should be something that I can do easily. The maid obstacle is still the mind which keeps jumping up and down, distracted by whatever it see around. But one still needs to be bold, to throw caution to the wind and initiate the work to get things done; therefore discipline, courage and hard work; that age old triumvirate still rings true.

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