Life Isn’t All Work

This is a little reminder that we all need from time to time.  I’m not going to get too depressing here, but I attended a close family members funeral last week.  As I talked with family and friends at the service I was reminded of what’s truly important in life.

We all know this, but rarely stop and do anything about it.  We get caught up in the daily grind and focus on the latest hurdle at work.  Well I’m here to say that last year I said forget it, and took my family on a 10 day vacation!  We spent time at the beach and doing a whole lot of nothing.  During this vacation I got to spend time with my aunt whose funeral I attended last week.  I remember chasing and catching fireflies with my children in her backyard, priceless.  Jeez, I’m a city boy raised in So-Cal.  And during that time I got to ride on my grandpa’s tractor around the old family farm.  I am so glad we took that vacation!  These are just a few memories that no one can pull from my mind.  It was relaxing and it was more fun than I ever thought it could be. 

Life will always bring excuses as to why we can’t slow down to enjoy time with family and friends.  We Americans work harder than any people on earth.  Yet we ought to recharge and relax once in a while.  What are one or two weeks out of the year?  For me its a lifetime of memories and more fun than I ever dreamed.

Project Tracking is an Albatross?

I just got off a conference call where the customer lamented that project tracking (in his organization) is an albatross.  E.g. too much work!

His company had been using an Excel spreadsheet, and wanted to switch to Standard Time® for project tracking.  Their spreadsheets had grown so large that grooming them consumed too much time.  His statements really got me thinking.

Every project has two components: doing the work, and managing the work.  That’s no big secret.  This person was lamenting about the management part, and wanted to know how Standard Time® would improve that.

Unfortunately, the answer is not in the tool, but in his organization.  Questions arose regarding the size of his teams, their self-sufficiency, and how granular his tasks needed to be.  We agreed that his tasks were too granular – too small.  He had been trying to micro-manage everything, and that was driving him crazy.

Let’s face it, project tasks change frequently.  It’s nice to document every task you’ll work on, but in practicallity, some well-defined buckets could catch all the task work.  Each time log could describe the work performed, and you’d still have some basic tasks to report on.  Simplicity is best.