October 23, 2017

When you’ve got going, should you keep going?

Balancing a baseball batOne thing writing teaches you is, when you get going, keep going. When you’ve overcome your own inertia, keep that boulder moving. Lots of other things are like that too.

But what about planning and prioritising? Don’t we need to stop and assess our direction or switch to another, now more pressing task? Well, maybe. On the whole, I think we’re better to stay productive until we’ve covered some ground and really have run out of steam on that particular task.

Yes, we need to guard against applying lots of effort to the wrong objective.

But the thing is…

Provided we made a reasonably sensible selection of our tasks in the first place, we do need to do them all in the end anyway.

We’re inclined to think that a low urgency, low importance task can always be put to the bottom of the list, over and over again. Not so. It’ll have to be done in the end.

So prioritising might be over-rated.

Having effective flow might be more important. Prioritising isn’t that helpful if you have to get everything done anyway.

Fear

Three people in a meetingFear is an inhibitor, for the most part—an inhibitor of evolution and innovation. Sure, sometimes a bit of a fright helps us get moving, but if we’re too scared to take risks, we can’t develop.

So…

If fear is part of the climate you create, you might get higher productivity but you won’t get innovation. You’ll need to make those calls about direction and strategy yourself—quite a responsibility really.

Might be better to create a climate of trust, and, yes, high expectations, but not pervasive insecurity, not unless you want to shoulder the whole leadership burden yourself.

The more fear you create, the more you’re in sole charge (for a time), and the more you’re alone.