How annoying is it when you try doing something and you can’t figure it out? When you keep attempting but it’s not happening? When you spend excruciating amounts of time on something that should be simple?
I believe we all recall the frustrating seconds, minutes, days or years of feeling we’re wasting time – that there is a better way. It could be a system or process at work that’s driving you bananas – or it could be a new task or challenge that you can’t find a good way of solving.
Now recall the bliss when you nail it. When you find a way. Suddenly it flows, it’s working, it’s easy. Aaaaah…
Screwing eight screws into a fickle bolt with limited and obstructed access got me to a level of frustration this weekend that I haven’t experienced in years! The fact that I was so slow and even worse than that: that I couldn’t get a system or process going to pick up the speed, or to create a learning curve.
It made me realise that we all have a different definition of “wasting time”. And that it sometimes is wonderful to “waste time”, “shoot the breeze”, “take your time”. And sometimes it’s not.
The solution here was teamwork, getting someone else’s eyes and ideas added. “Just keep screwing” would not have been good for my mental state. But as a method was finally mapped out, progress was made and “just keep screwing” now seemed wise and good use of time.
- Wasting time is annoying when we’re in fixing mode, DOING things, both people and things need to move and improve.
- When in BEING mode, it is lovely to be “wasting time” with people we like being around. Being present, having no plan or outcome, smelling the roses.
- Wasting time with tasks can be soothing, too. Just letting the washing up or the fixing of the fence take its time.
So, what I realised is that when we’re in fixing mode, fixing things need to be efficient. Finding a better, faster, smarter way of doing it, creating an efficient method – a process optimising the fixing (or what needs to get done).
Where in your business, team or life is there a process that needs to be revised for efficiency? And where is smelling the roses what’s needed? Just keep screwing.