Friday, November 6, 2009

Vicarious learning of organizational genius

or, if you had it all, where would you put it?

In my lazy days as a mostly-knitting Bachelor of Arts student, I had the benefit of watching friends who were rushing back from Pharmacy labs to find a desk to study at till midnight. How did they manage under such pressure? Especially when, at the end of the year, it was clear that the bottom percentage of each class would be asked to study something else?

Same way other friends got through their MBAs - selective submission. It seemed like what they were really learning in that degree was

a/ you can't do it all
b/ top performers learn to identify what's going to yield the biggest results and have the most impact in setting their work apart, and leave the rest

Now, obviously - the b/ approach is going to leave some infrastructure issues if you follow it too slavishly. For example, in my everyday life, if I sacrifice the time it takes to unwrap and eat chocolate because it's more urgent to get the laundry in so it's washing while I'm writing, then I will be cranky later in the day and therefore less productive.

Still. It's good information to have when looking at a day full of about 25 little things and 20 little slots to put them into. Like I am right now.

It's too early for chocolate, right?


Kathleen Taylor said...

it's never too early for chocolate

Karen said...

Kathi, you beat me to it.

But Mary, I like your approach to the perennial issue of prioritization.