Can Excellence happen 40 hours a week?

Can Excellence happen 40 hours a week? That’s a question I’ve been struggling with lately. It’s become very popular lately to talk about work life balance and I agree….to a certain extent so here is what I’ve come up with.

 

  • Stop thinking in terms of hours and think in terms of work that needs done. If you’re looking at work/career with a 40-50 hour cap your ceiling will be much lower. Work is about getting things done and if you are constantly putting in 60 plus hours a week it is time to step back make sure you’re delegating what you can and if you’re being efficient. But if your goals are to have that corner office a 60 hour work week is just of the job. It may not mean 60 hours in your cube but if you add up time spent advancing your education, making social rounds, and the actual work then you’ll fine 60 hours is standard.  If you aren’t willing to work that much – that is fine but just don’t be surprised when you’re passed over.
  •  You need to work when the work is there. It isn’t natural, or smart, to leave vital work left undone because you’ve done your time. A farmer doesn’t look at his watch and say “hey it’s 4:00 let’s put the tractor away and go watch some Netflix”. When you’re in your harvest season you need to ensure you get your work done. The example you’re setting for your kids is that responsibility matters and you’re showing your customers, boss, or organization that you know how to properly prioritize and that you are thankful for the work. You read that right – you are thankful for the work.

 

Now the caveats

  • It isn’t always harvest season.  If you’re working everyday as though it is harvest you’re being used or you’re not organized. Sure there are fires to be put out but are they a tire fire in a field or is it a structure near others. Not all fires are equal so learn to identify and act accordingly.
  • You can’t kick ass if you never have downtime. Working insane hours with a ton of pressure will eventually take its toll on your productivity. You need to build in downtime daily, weekly, monthly, etc. Even if it’s ten minutes in the handicapped stall where you just close your eyes and clear your head you need to do this daily. Look at your calendar and before your boss assigns you a project stake your claim and buy some tickets to the game, or travel, that way you’re more committed to it and are less likely to cancel it.
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2013 – The Year Less is More

I’m not against New Year’s resolutions, and though I can see the attraction of picking a new year to begin something new, I’ve never partook in the resolution declarations. This year though that is changing and I am resolving to get rid of at least one item per day.

Hanging onto items that are only taking up space means weekends cleaning up, rearranging, moving things around as I try to make room. Having five guitars means five guitars taking up space, that need strings, and need playing and while I’d like to think each one serves its own purpose when I’m banging out a few chords a couple times a week for 30-60 minutes at a time it doesn’t really warrant having more than one or two on hand.  I have magazines from 1984 and while these meant a lot to me at one time and they are amusing to look through every couple years or so with the internet and so much information being available online the NEED to keep these just isn’t there anymore. And these are just two examples of the various things I’ve collected, accumulated, thought I desperately needed and purchased but I’m realizing all they’re doing is taking up space and in some cases taking up my time.

So as not to over-do it and in one weekend toss out decade’s worth of  stuff in a rash manner my plan is to start eliminating an item a day. When I go into my music room I look at the table that has become  a catch all area and see old VHS tapes of movies that are online so I grab them and toss them in the trash. When I’m getting something to wear I take an extra couple of seconds and seek out a shirt I know I haven’t worn in a year and grab it for donation. Some items I will post and sell them to make a few bucks here and there but for the most part the plan is to give the items to someone who would appreciate them, donate them, or just plain trash them.

I have taken this approach at work and the cleaner desk has already made me feel better and despite the whole geniuses are slobs thing – the truth is if your work area is a mess it makes people think you don’t have your act together.

I won’t go so far as to call myself a minimalist but what I’m picturing in my head is a very simple, clean house, car, office with the few possessions I have been necessary and excellent. Buy less but buy the best you can afford.  The constant desire to buy something new always fun for only a while and since most of us live moderately the most affordable and easiest items to buy are usually cheap pieces of crap that we don’t really need anyway.


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Adult Boys

Bottom line – a lot of Americans don’t have to directly deal with consequences of their actions until they’re adults and then it is a shock to their system. A plague of many American males is lack of morals and I’m not talking morals in terms of “don’t kill” “don’t steal” but the moral obligation we have to meet our obligations.

When someone is hired to do a job they’re not there to draw a paycheck. They’re being paid less in a dollar amount than what they produce so that the owner, or manager, can be more productive. This is a tough concept to grasp for some people but if you’re not generating more in value than what you’re being paid than you shouldn’t be employed.

Few young men these days don’t know how to stand on their own two feet and cover the ground they stand on. Own your actions, own your reactions, and have some pride in yourself by having pride in your work.

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I added a new, and important to me, ticket stub to my collection. Not long ago I saw Van Halen. People know I’m a big KISS fan and I have some KISS memorabilia around so the automatic assumption is that KISS is my favorite band…and most days they are but Van Halen and KISS change leads and have for 30 years.

The timing of me becoming a fan of Van Halen and their breakup had me miss the classic lineup. That and my stupidity – since every once in a while I would get in a mood of ​well if everyone loves them now I’m not going ​which I think may have partially been the case when the classic Van Halen lineup made their last tour.

Anyway, I have seen David Lee Roth three time solo and out of my weird protest of the new Van Halen I never went to any of their shows with Sammy Hagar, which I now also regret.

Back to the present: the show was excellent and the band musically was amazing. I am a big David Lee Roth fan but sometimes his off-time delivery live gets on my nerve. Regardless the band sounded amazing. I thought the arena would be packed and possible sellout but there were quite a few unsold tickets but still a huge crowd – especially at those prices.

I’m glad I got to see Eddie Van Halen play live at least once because I do believe that after Jimi Hendrix there is no more influential guitar player ever in the history of rock.

Eddie’s kid Wolfgang held his own and proved to me that he’s not just there because his dad is Eddie Van Halen. The kid can play and more importantly to the ‘Van Halen sound’ he can provide some excellent background vocals which is an often overlooked aspect of what made Van Halen such a great band.

I love the new album and thought the concert was great. Hey how could it not be good it was Van F’n Halen!

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Cops Killing Dogs for No Reason

This happened here locally just a few weeks ago. The phrases Probable Cause and reasonable threat are ones that should scare every law abiding citizen. http://www.wnd.com/2012/09/decision-on-cop-who-shot-dog-for-no-reason/?cat_orig=us

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Sakic to be inducted

http://avalanche.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=636176

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Greatest Athlete Of Our Generation

http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2012/08/33/Cincinnati-Sunday-Federer-Faces-Djokovic-In-Historic-Final.aspx

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