Time bandits

Hey, who stole my summer?  I flipped the calendar to June, blinked a couple of times, and suddenly here comes September.  I think there are little thieves scurrying around, stealing hours, days, and weeks.

Part of the problem might be that time seems to accelerate as we get older.  There’s a theory that the apparent duration of an interval of time varies inversely with the square root of age.  What feels like 3 months to a 4 year old, might feel like 1 month to a 36 year old.  I doubt the accuracy of that—just because my summer feels like it’s a week long, doesn’t mean that I’m 676 years old.  Another theory is that each new interval in our lives becomes a smaller and smaller percentage of the total.

But I think there are also other things snatching time away.  Perhaps life has become more complicated—more responsibilities, more regulations, more paperwork, more people with demands on our time, leaving less time for the fun stuff.

Fortunately, there are things we can do to fight back against time bandits.  Here are some examples.  Think about consequences before saying “yes”.  Use checklists to reduce time lost to errors and duplication of effort.  Finish what we start, without interruptions—imagine a multitasking doctor trying to do several surgeries at the same time, and then going back to close them up in his spare time.

And what about time that we steal from ourselves?  One defense is avoiding electronicution.  No, not electrocution.  Electronicution—time killed with electronic devices.

Well, I gotta go.  I’m going to spend some time in the sunshine before the shadow of autumn swoops in.  Why don’t you join me?

 

George M. Pomonik
Pomonik Consulting, Inc.
“Chaos Removal Services”SM
www.pomonik.com

Copyright © George M. Pomonik, 2014. All rights reserved.

Five generations

Family_for_blogOur great-granddaughter was born a month ago.  My mother got together with the baby a week later and we took some snapshots of the five generations of our family, spanning 100 years.

When my mother was born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, World War I was convulsing Europe.  When her family came to this country a couple of years after the war, they traveled by horse-drawn wagon, coal-fired steam locomotive and steamship.  The journey took over three weeks.  Today, we can make that trip in less than a day.

Each generation over the past 100 years has seen extraordinary advances in many areas of our lives.  Man on the moon?  Done.  Small pox epidemic?  What’s that.  Face time with a buddy on the other side of the world?  Wait a sec while I connect.  Climb Mount Everest?  When do you want to book your trip.

Can you imagine what miracles we might see five generations from now?  Perhaps conflicts will be settled without lawsuits or bloodshed, and—who knows—people might even get customer service without being put on hold.

 

George M. Pomonik
Pomonik Consulting, Inc.
“Chaos Removal Services”SM
www.pomonik.com

Copyright © George M. Pomonik, 2014. All rights reserved.

Appreciate

Well, here we are, sandwiched between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day—occasions to show appreciation to a couple of the important people in our lives.  But what about the rest of our relationships?

Maybe we should also have special days for spouses, siblings, kids, friends, teachers, business associates, and bosses.  Business associates and bosses?  Well sure—maybe it’s hard to believe sometimes, but they’re people too.  And like everyone else, they enjoy knowing that they’re appreciated.  And that goes for just about everybody who helps us or who we help.

Do we really need a special day for all those people?  Nah, we’d just clutter the year up with special day cards, gifts, dinners, testimonials, award ceremonies, TV specials, colossal monuments, and then possible recriminations for not doing enough.

No, all we really need to do is look around, notice what people are doing, appreciate it—and then say something about it to them!

Appreciate.  Do it often, see the good that it does to the world around you, and how good it makes you feel.

 

George M. Pomonik
Pomonik Consulting, Inc.
“Chaos Removal Services”SM
www.pomonik.com

Copyright © George M. Pomonik, 2014. All rights reserved.

Prince Five-Weapons and Sticky-Hair

The tale of “Prince Five-Weapons and Sticky-Hair” is about one of the previous lives of the Buddha.  The prince, the future Buddha, was known for his five weapons: arrows, sword, spear, club, and martial arts.  All of his weapons failed when he battled Sticky-Hair, a man-eating monster covered with sticky thick fur.

Prince Five-Weapons found himself helplessly stuck to the monster.  However, he showed no fear.  Sticky-Hair was puzzled by the prince’s calmness and asked him why he wasn’t afraid to be eaten.  Prince Five-Weapons disclosed that he had a very powerful internal sixth weapon that would destroy the monster from the inside.  Impressed by the prince’s bravery, and afraid of being killed, Sticky-Hair released the prince.  After he was safe, the prince revealed that the sixth weapon was Wisdom.

Dealing with your own sticky situation?  Well, if it’s something you stepped in, be sure to clean it up before you go in the house.  However, you might be faced with a really difficult situation—as soon as you get involved, the problems stick to you and entangle you, and struggling to resolve them only makes things worse.  In that case perhaps, like the prince, you can find a way to safely extricate yourself.

Maybe you can turn the situation around by staying calm, stepping back, and finding a new perspective.  Or maybe take a long look at the landscape right from the start and avoid the mess altogether.

 
George M. Pomonik
Pomonik Consulting, Inc.
“Chaos Removal Services”SM
www.pomonik.com

Copyright © George M. Pomonik, 2014. All rights reserved.

Huff and puff

There he goes—busy, busy—a master of the huff and puff.  “Gotta go—got another meeting.  What a day, what a day.”

Rushing around, reacting to anything that comes up, dabbing a light veneer of work on some items, and then trumpeting about how much stuff he covered.  Some of the tasks are just fluff and a waste of time, but others are driven by chronic issues that just keep getting rolled forward.  If pressed about repeated delays, he will take the time to explain why it’s not his fault.  Don’t press him further—he’ll just give you guff about how “you just don’t understand how things work around here!”

Well, how do things work around here?  Why isn’t he held responsible for better results?  Let’s see, his boss is busy with management meetings—preparing and reviewing lots of charts, and rejecting occasional suggestions.  The organization has become so complex that accountability is unfocused.  The business is large enough and revenues are high enough that serious systemic problems are glossed over.  But can this be sustained?

Huff, puff, stuff, fluff, guff—enough!

 

George M. Pomonik
Pomonik Consulting, Inc.
“Chaos Removal Services”SM
www.pomonik.com

Copyright © George M. Pomonik, 2014. All rights reserved.

The greatest line

In my blog post about “Noise”, I referred to “the greatest pick up line in the history of the world”.  Of course, that raised the question, “well, what is it?”

I’ll tell you, but first let me give you some related information.  In the “Noise” piece, “the greatest line” is just symbolic of something extraordinary that doesn’t succeed because of the noise and interference that gets in its way.  And although the story refers to a man speaking to a woman, the line is actually gender neutral.

That being said, here’s the greatest line: “Hi, my name is _____; what’s yours?”

Use your most uncomplicated name, one that’s easy to remember and doesn’t sound threatening.  “Vlad the Impaler” would not be a good choice.  Of course you can use a complicated name if, for example, your name is “Crown Prince William”.

Well there it is, the greatest pick up line in the history of the world.  Some people might be concerned about it falling into the wrong hands.  But don’t worry—the line wouldn’t give much of an advantage to the insincere user.

 

George M. Pomonik
Pomonik Consulting, Inc.
“Chaos Removal Services”SM
www.pomonik.com

Copyright © George M. Pomonik, 2014. All rights reserved.

This post is plagiarized

I just discovered that this post is plagiarized!  I didn’t intend to steal it, but it was unavoidable.

Using statistics—a very powerful tool—I checked to see if it’s possible to write a short piece that’s completely new and original.  Well, I can’t.

Consider that this piece is 160 words long and I think that I use around 165 different words in my writing.  The equation for combinations, C = n!/(r!(n – r)!), shows that 958,683,033 variations are possible.  Since there are already more than 75,000,000,000 posts on the internet, this piece must have been written already!

So you might as well stop reading and writing short pieces because everything has already been covered.

Or maybe you just shouldn’t pay attention to “statistics” that are baloney—like the ones in this post, where the equation is correct but it doesn’t apply to the situation, and the assumptions are all wrong.  Whew, I guess I didn’t steal this after all!

 

George M. Pomonik
Pomonik Consulting, Inc.
“Chaos Removal Services”SM
www.pomonik.com

Copyright © George M. Pomonik, 2014. All rights reserved.

Noise

When I was young and single, I found out about the greatest pick up line in the history of the world.  Recently, I passed the information on to a young man who was desperately trying to meet this gorgeous young woman.  He was going to try the line out that night, at a club where he knew she would be.  The next day I asked him if it worked.  “No” he replied, “the music was so loud and the crowd was so noisy that she couldn’t hear a word I said.”

Noise can certainly get in the way, but not all noise makes a sound.  For example, I get the same email invitation to an event again and again, in an attempt to get noticed over the clamor of hundreds of other emails.  Have we reached the point where it’s OK to skip the courtesy of a reply, unless a message is hammered at us?

Excuse me a minute—I have to go answer the phone.  I’m back—it was just another telemarketer, calling because his client can’t find any other way to get my attention.  Now where was I?  Oh yeah, noise.

Well, the young man finally got a date with gorgeous.  What a date—they were both so busy with text messages that they didn’t get busy with each other.  There you go—100% effective birth control.

Noise takes many forms, interferes with our ability to concentrate, and decreases our enjoyment of the people around us.  But I’m not talking about forces of nature here—we’re the ones creating and amplifying this noise.  And we’re the ones who can quiet things down.

 

George M. Pomonik
Pomonik Consulting, Inc.
“Chaos Removal Services”SM
www.pomonik.com

Copyright © George M. Pomonik, 2013. All rights reserved.

How to slay a dragon

The king called his three bravest knights together and announced that he needed one of them to slay a very dangerous dragon.  The task was so perilous that he promised to grant them whatever they wished.

The first knight, Sir Bart the Bold, asked for 500 pieces of gold, to provide for his family in case he failed to return from this dreadful venture.

Sir Rodney the Ready requested 1000 pieces of gold—of course 500 for his family, but 500 more for charity.

Sir Wyler the Wise asked for 1500 pieces of gold; he wanted 500 for his family and 500 for charity, plus 500 more.

“What are you going to do with the additional 500?” asked the king.  Sir Wyler replied, “Sire, that 500 is to give to Sir Bart, to go instead of me.”

 

George M. Pomonik
Pomonik Consulting, Inc.
“Chaos Removal Services”SM
www.pomonik.com

Copyright © George M. Pomonik, 2013. All rights reserved.

Stomp the suppliers

This month, let’s peek in on Scrooge Enterprises and see how they’re doing.

OK, our company has standardized our systems, we’re swimming in sensitivity, and we’re moving toward perpetually profitable performance.  Now what about those damned suppliers—let’s go get ‘em!

Let’s see—which campaign should we use?  Beat them ‘til they’re better?  Club them with their contract?  Lowest price or no dice?

And while we’re at it, why do they need a profit?  They should just be happy to have us as a customer.  We don’t want to hear any of that nonsense about partnering with them, or helping them succeed—bah!

So what if some of them go out of business.  If they would rather die than comply, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.

Starting immediately, let’s put those shackles on them, and have our departments take turns yanking the chains.  We already did that?  Good.

Now, where’s that high quality, just-in-time, economical stuff that we must have this afternoon.  What?!  What do you mean they couldn’t deliver?!  Now what the hell are we supposed to do?!

 

George M. Pomonik
Pomonik Consulting, Inc.
“Chaos Removal Services”SM
www.pomonik.com

Copyright © George M. Pomonik, 2013. All rights reserved.