Now the title may sound like a pessimistic advice but there is a case for doing less and not more.
The below is cover page of one of the favorite books that I enjoy reading to my kids. They love it. The idea of two kids – Frankie and Sal, trying not to do anything and ending up spending time thinking and pretending is hilarious to kids and something for all to think about.
In our work life, we are slowly and surely getting slaved by the following 4 M’s
1. Mindless web surfing – This is increasingly taking away lot more time than most people realize. Aimlesslely surfing internet or social web sites and reading articles of no value and not aligned to what you are trying to do in short or long term wastes time.
2. Meetings – A lot has been written about it. Jeff Weiner, CEO of Linkedin wrote a great article on how to eliminate useless meetings.
3. Mail – Checking e- Mails at the dinner table is no longer cool. Many folks can’t go to bed without checking their inbox. Work is routinely carried back home. The problem and solution is widely known – lack of discipline and commitment to generate lesser mail traffic is required.
4. Managing operations – This is the most important one that hurts organizations. Many top minds and executives time is better spend thinking about strategy. Operations help execution of plans but does not prepare company for future. Strategic thinking requires some uncluttered time. When Jack Welch was at GE, he used to spend an hour a day “doing nothing”!
How can we be like Frankie and Sal and do nothing, even for few minutes?