Thursday, 1 July 2010


“Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.” - Thomas Alva Edison

I was in Brisbane today for a second series of meetings and once again, although a very tiring day, it achieved much. There was a great deal of team building, as well as resolution of a number of issues that we identified as important and causing quite a few stresses within the organisation. The weather here was not as good as I expected it. Usually, a Brisbane winter is relatively warm and dry compared to Melbourne, but when I arrived yesterday it was pouring and quite cold. I had taken the airtrain from the airport to the City (much more sensible than taking a cab as the traffic is terrible especially during peak hour), so in order to walk the 500 m or so from the station to work I steeled myself to get soaked. Fortunately just out of the station my eye caught a second-hand shop and thankfully I was able to buy an umbrella for the magnificent sum of one dollar! It got me to work nice and dry…

One of the peculiarities of working in Brisbane is that I have to lodge myself on a “hot desk”, which is always a little disconcerting as I like having my “things” around me. At least I was at a nice quiet spot today in between the meetings. I wanted to meet many more staff members than I finally got to meet, but unfortunately, that is the way things usually pan out. One plans much on the agenda but some things take twice as long to wrap up than one plans for…

There is a lot to be said about multitasking. I have always been able to do this quite successfully, but I have some colleagues who are very focussed and can only do one thing at a time. I must say that unless I multitasked, I would never be able to get through the amount of work that I do. I sometimes wish I had another pair or two of hands, which would increase my productivity even further!

Another type of colleague is the one who always seems to be busy, is rushing hither and thither, but on analysis doesn’t seem to accomplish much. I have some of my staff on performance management as they seem to be poor planners, have no time management skills and fumble away but don’t get much done.

Tomorrow, back in Melbourne I have a series of implementation meetings and a whole clutch of emails that I did not manage to answer today. No doubt there will be some correspondence for me on my desk. At least the weekend is only two days away…

team spirit (noun)
Feelings of camaraderie among the members of a group, enabling them to cooperate and work well together.
ORIGIN: Old English tēam [team of draft animals,] of Germanic origin; related to German Zaumducere ‘bridle,’ also to ‘teem’ and ‘tow’, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin ‘to lead.’ + Middle English : from Anglo-Norman French, from Latin spiritus ‘breath, spirit,’ from spirare ‘breathe.


  1. Just last night I saw on The Colbert report, Nicholas Carr saying multitaskers get worse at it ... and I thought of my favorite multitaskers: Mothers Of Young Children (it is well documented their brain atrophies and their husbands dump them for childless chicks) anyhow, Your focussed-guy will quote Carr at you so here it is:
    "Carr, author of "The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to our Brains," talked to Stephen Colbert last night about how the Internet is making us more superficial. He said that we have begun to multitask more and more, and have a harder time focusing and thinking deeply because of it. In fact, Carr said, the more we multitask, the worse we get at multitasking itself, in addition to other cognitive tasks. Colbert offered up the website Reddit as an example, admitting his love for the site: "I could burn my entire life on that site," he said.

    Carr said that what we need is a return to attentive thinking, that introspection and reflection have been the sources of most of the advances and knowledge that we have today, and that they should not be lost"

    Reading blogs is acknowledged by several of my blogpals, as a postponing activity - what we do when we know we have to be doing something we would rather not do.
    *mooches off to find vacuum-cleaner*

  2. Some of these activities can get really boring and not achieve much. I'm glad yours was enjoyable and got lots done, Nicholas.

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