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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What's Your Combination?


The Wall Street Journal recently published an article called Employees, Measure Yourselves (April 2nd, 2012 section R1). The article talked about devices that companies could make available to employees. These devices allow workers to monitor their performance, from their heart rate after a stressful meeting to how long they spend chatting on Facebook. 

The article mentioned that this is not an opportunity for employers to play big brother. Already, many organizations monitor employee productivity by keeping track of what sites they visit and how much time is spent on each one.  


The latest devices empower employees to monitor themselves. They can use it to understand when they get distracted at work or when they are most productive. One software programmer thought chatting on line was distracting him. However, after he looked at his patterns, he discovered he was most productive and wrote the most code after he chatted. Others used the technology to learn they were more productive when they could jump from one task to another in 20-minute intervals. 

The devices are set up to send alerts to inform the employee that it is time to move to another task. Furthermore, over time, it could let the employee know which combination of tasks made them more productive.

If you look at the productivity devices, they begin to provide people with access to their own personal combination for fulfillment at work. This technology begins to provide insight into what sequence of events distract you. It lets you know the sequence that you enjoy most and become most productive. 

While this process may sound methodical, I say this technology is onto something big. Think about it. You and I spend about 80% of our waking hours dedicated to our professional lives. That includes commutes, lunch breaks and conversations after work. We spend the other 20% of our lives with family, friends, hobbies, personal development, vacations, etc., trying to get 80% of the satisfaction we crave for our daily existence. 

Because people expend so much effort trying to get 80% of their fulfillment in life from the 20% time that they have, they leave most of their satisfaction on the shelf to collect dust as they work day to day from the same chair. However, your job is an excellent place to be fulfilled and grow and develop yourself as long as you don’t let yourself get caught up in an unproductive routine. 

Most work places offer training. Use that training to become a more effective communicator, for example. Making yourself more effective at work will also make you more successful in the other 20% of your life. Your job is a great place to practice getting people on your side to support your vision and collaborate with you to help you and your endeavors grow. As you invite people to support you, you will evolve. In addition, you will come to better understand your own strengths and weaknesses as well as those of others.

Without question, these are all the skills and competencies required to have successful relationships with your spouse, friends and family, and most certainly raise a child.

To assure this kind of human development, you have to be willing to let go of microwave solutions. In other words, personal development of self and those around you require patience. Let work become your access to your personal development and ultimately your personal satisfaction in life.

What do you think? I would love to hear what you think.

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