Signs of the Times - August 2017 - 8
LOSING THE PLOT
O you get many spam
emails? We do because,
despite the advances
Google has offered the
world for free, we're sticking with
Outlook in the office and our spam
filter, suspiciously named "Barracuda,"
seems mostly to gobble up messages
we really need, while allowing through
all manner of garbled missives from
They've gotten good, these spammers. "Re: Our last conversation" has
gotten me. So has "Re: re: billing issue."
So help me, these hackers know where
my precise anxieties lie.
Every once in a while, I get something bizarre enough from a source
just legitimate-seeming enough that I
start to craft a response. Sometimes
snarky, sometimes serious but, thankfully, never something that gets sent.
It's certainly a time-waster, though.
My friend Laura has a favorite
phrase for this: losing the plot. She
uses it to remind me that I'm wasting
a whole bunch of time on things that
don't accomplish my goals. Like, say,
reporting scam callers or chasing
down rebates, or all the other things
that end up taking ten times longer
than they're worth.
Business owners can lose the plot,
too. I watch it every month as part
of an executive coaching group I participate in. You can see it begin to
build. It usually starts with, "Well,
this is more about the principle of
the thing..." escalating into, "At some
point, I just can't..." and finally leading
SIGNS OF THE TIMES
to, "You know what? I don't care! I'm
sick of..." Tell me you haven't been
there, particularly if you're reading
this on a Friday.
I think the only solution, hard as
it is for small business owners to
execute, is more time away from the
office. It's not working harder, it's not
working smarter; it's you spending
time in an unfamiliar environment
or simply spending a day in an unfamiliar way.
Here are some other symptoms
of this so-called "office poisoning":
reviewing emails the moment they
arrive (see this like being distracted
by shiny objects), taking a long time
to warm up to or wind down from
each project when you shift gears
during the day and dreading the ring
of a phone.
It's not you; it's human. But it likely
means it's time for a break. Grab a
nap, take a staycation or show up at
the airport and buy the next ticket
to Fiji. We'll be here when you get
Signs of the
Signs of the