Thursday, June 30, 2016

Sometimes Pizza Hut is the best choice…

A couple years back, I recalled writing, “hooray for boring” in my posting regarding a purchase of 2012 Honda Civic… yup it’s boring and so is Pizza Hut.  My dad is getting old (so am I, but as you may have figured out, he’s older than me) and for this Father’s day, I suggested we just do pizza.  Yes, I know the stereotypical picture of bonding over barbeque, but as a father myself (who is suffering from old fart syndrome) the vision of roasting over a hot grill to cook for the extended family didn’t appeal to me.  Call me Shallow Hal, but we don’t expect mom to whip up a meal on Mother’s day so I want my equal rights.  Nonetheless, I know the limits of my oppression and figured offering to pick up pizza for the gang would have to suffice.  I thought at least this would minimize my stress (yes, family gatherings can be stressful), but as sometimes happens this was not to be the case.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Improving performance by doing less

At first blush, this title may sound contradictory to many while others may speculate that the crux of this post is an emphasis of quality over quantity.  The stress level at my job has elevated as we slowly move through yet another re-org.  Often with re-orgs it is not the amount of work, it is the uncertainty.  I acknowledge that my position is atypical being a full time virtual position (as in “I work from home”).  My responsibilities include much self-driven ongoing housekeeping as well as a heavy stream of email correspondence (100 to 200 messages per day) and occasional online meetings, phone calls and instant messaging.  I have found that to effectively cope with the stress related to another re-org, I have paced myself considerably.  Surprisingly, I have found that doing less has not only reduced my stress level, it has also improved my performance and effectiveness.  Here are some general illustrations.