Despite the joys of today’s knowledge economy, we still have our off days don’t we, the days when we aren’t firing on all cylinders.
Back in the industrial age, we might slow down a bit at doing mechanical tasks, fetch a little more slowly and carry a little less, and that would be OK, we’d still be contributing valuable labour to the business.
But today when our work isn’t physical, and doesn’t involve creating widgets, what can we do on an off day? A day when we’re feeling under the weather and not able to concentrate can be a real problem – in can wipe out any value that we might achieve – unless…
David Allen’s GTD (Getting things done) says that in the information economy, you need to be able to switch tasks fast and respond to change, if you find yourself having to think about what to do next, given a certain amount of time in a certain place then you will waste way too much time, you need to have “already thought” and move straight to the next thing that suits the circumstance.
It’s easy to focus on high value, big ticket items, but on days like today (yes, I am suffering with a summer cold and feeling a bit miserable) once again, if we’ve “already thought” about something that needs to be done that’s not too mentally taxing but requires care and a fair chunk of time, and the day can still be a useful one.
My wife calls these “photocopying days”, and whilst even the photocopier mechanical whirr is somewhat a thing of the past in my office, the scanner has been getting a workout today as I catch up on admin and filing. It means today wasn’t a write-off, and I can begin tomorrow with a little more clear space in my brain.
Now to find that seventh box of tissues…