Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy new year and a resolution or two worth keeping

Happy new year to everyone. Hope 2012 is richly rewarding time for you personally, professionally and, most importantly, healthwise. I'm not a big fan of new year resolutions but I have to say this McKinsey Quarterly piece is rather excellent, it has surfaced again as one of the most read of the last quarter. It discusses the perils of multitasking, the dangers of "overeating at an interesting intellectual buffet", the importance of a good filtering strategy, protecting personal time and the benefits of being able to reset. As the piece says: "multitasking is not heroic". I think I need to learn this piece off by heart. Here's a sample and a link to the full PDF. Happy new year!
organization practice
Recovering from information overload 
Derek Dean and Caroline Webb
Always-on, multitasking work environments are killing productivity, dampening creativity, and making us unhappy.
For all the benefits of the information technology and communications revolution, it has a well-known dark side: information overload and its close cousin, attention fragmentation. These scourges hit CEOs and their colleagues in the C-suite particularly hard because senior executives so badly need uninterrupted time to synthesize information from many different sources, reflect on its implications for the organization, apply judgment, make trade-offs, and arrive at good decisions.
The importance of reserving chunks of time for reflection, and the difficulty of doing so, have been themes in management writing for decades. Look no further than Peter Drucker’s 1967 classic, The Effective Executive, which emphasized that “most of the tasks of the executive require, for minimum effectiveness, a fairly large quantum of time.” Drucker’s solutions for fragmented executives—reserve large blocks of time on your calendar, don’t answer the phone, and return calls in short bursts once or twice a day—sound remarkably like the ones offered up by today’s time- and information-management experts.

Read the whole piece here.

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