“Best practices” is a term that we love to bandy about. Even I will find myself relying on it at times, although I try very hard to avoid uttering its syllables. Best practices are frequently espoused as the essential and optimal means of attaining results. Generally, they are absolutely nothing of the sort. Nonetheless, many use the term as a proactive defense to justify their preferred way of working, or an after-the-fact rationalization the actions they have taken. This is my attempt to explain as clearly as I can why this is a dangerous and inappropriate idea.
We (and I) write and think a lot about work. We embrace dedication and commitment and “giving 110%” like that’s something easy to do. In reality, it’s not easy, and sometimes it’s downright unpleasant. And the risk is that—faced with a mountain of work—we run screaming in the direction of our Netflix queue and oblivion. Some thoughts on how to persevere instead.
Last week, I shared what I learned from our newsletter survey. This week, I share where the newsletter (and my contributions to various other outlets) will go in the new year. Be sure to stay tuned for more fun in the future!
Why do we obsess about—and in fact embrace—notions of eternal busy-ness? That was the question that was raised in the first article in this series. One aspect that I outlined was the role that technology has played in providing constant access to near-ubiquitous information. This article continues those themes, exploring our eternal obsession with improvement.
In the first column of this series, I identify a number of key reasons underlying our current state of overwhelmed busy-ness. First among these is the incredible tidal wave of technological transformation that has occurred in just a few short years.
Words are powerful. They shape how we function, they influence what we think and they change how we perceive the world around us. The astonishing thing is that they have the power to do so without many of us even realizing it.