Category: Finding productivity

Finding Focus in a World of Multiple Projects and Distractions

As managers, much of our daily work is problem-solving – going from one issue to the next and resolving each one. We need to approve transactions or discuss with others how to proceed with a question. This type of work requires being able to solve one task at a time and think on our feet. It may also require building consensus and teamwork. It is dynamic work and is full of activity.

There are other times, though, when we need to do a more intense kind of work. Sometimes we must do a deep-dive and research a new topic. We may have to think through an entrenched problem or start and engage with a challenging project that requires concentrated attention. Here, a different type of performance is necessary: one in which we take the time to immerse ourselves in an issue and think through it.

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What to Do When Everything Has Been Disrupted

These unprecedented times can be paralyzing. Everything that we have worked hard for and have dreamt about seems to, in many cases, have evaporated. This feeling may not be true, but at least in the short term, nothing is working the way it was in the past, and we need to grieve what we believe to be lost. I say we pause and acknowledge this massive sense of loss we are all feeling, for ourselves, our families, our communities, and our countries.

In an interview with the Harvard Business Review, David Kessler, author of Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief (public library), describes what we are feeling as collective grief. It is helpful to understand the stages of grief, which, according to Kessler, do not necessarily happen in this order. They are denial, anger, bargaining (trying to negotiate with the situation by saying if we do this, then maybe it will all be better), sadness, and acceptance.

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