I talked to a client recently about his workload. He was telling me his typical day on the job would start around 6.00am most mornings. With back-to-back meetings to look forward to, this was the only time he could deal with the 400-500 emails he received every day.
While I hear versions of this story on a regular basis, his final comment made me a little sad:
‘The truth is I love my work, but I hate my job’.
He was a great manager, and passionate about the field he worked in, but his job was grinding him down. The endless meetings, the huge volumes of emails, and the constant interruptions were overloading him and stopping him from doing what he was good at.
For many people in this situation, I reckon part of the problem is becoming a victim in this. We know it’s not where we want to be, but we don’t take steps to change it. We often assume everyone is in the same boat, and that there is nothing we can do about it.
I wrote Smart Teams (to be published by Wiley in early May 2018) with exactly this issue in mind. While we cannot completely control our environment, or the people around us, we can take control over our own time and priorities. We can also work with those around us to reduce the collective noise and distraction which cause both individual and team productivity to suffer.
If you become a victim to your organisation’s poor productivity culture, you will just end up hating your job, and that would be a shame, especially if you love your work.