Productivity vs Relaxation

I often feel that the time I spend not in the office at work is a battle in itself. I have a long list of activities I would like to do or should do.

But…

Most days I get home too tired/drained to be productive and revert to watching a tv show. I don’t have a problem with this as such because it’s relaxing and we all need to unwind to rest both the body and mind. Being an introvert I find social interaction very tiring and need a lot of quiet time in the evenings.

However…

I can’t help but feel that my life is passing by without having achieved all the things I want/need to do. As time goes on surely this list is only going to grow? I’m at war with myself – needing rest but equally desperate to be more active than I am currently. Today I am exhausted, I had trouble even driving home. However, I could put together this blog post. Yesterday I forced myself to go running (and I enjoyed it).

So next week I am scheduling my ‘free time’… It’s an experiment.

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Links [04/08/2012]

Above: the Olympic rings reinterpreted as a series of infographics each ring representing a continent. By artist Gustavo Sousa

Apologies for the Olympic overload in the links this week. I have a lot to say about the games but I’m saving it for another post!

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Links [21/07/12]

Above: Coloured washi tapes. I’m loving washi tape at the moment (I love my kawaii patterned sellotapes but washi is just so much more useful)

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Style file: tropicana

I’ve been itching to wear some new summer clothes but alas it has rained most days for the past two months. This outfit is a ‘dreaming of the tropics’ kind of affair.

This is the only kind of wavy hair I can achieve.

Finishing touches: coral glitter gradient nails

What I wore:

  • Skirt: Zara
  • Top and shoes: New Look
  • Hair clips: Accessorize
  • Nails: Avon ‘apricot mystery’/ Avon ‘star’/ Avon ‘coral reef’ / Barry M ‘318: peach melba’ / Accessorize ‘shade 43’ (glitter)
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Spelling and Grammar

I’m not a Grammar Nazi and I’m aware everyone makes mistakes now and then. It is also understandable for those who speak English as their second or third language to have difficulty writing.

However, it is beginning to disturb me the number of basic grammatical mistakes I see within the workplace and also on the internet. For example:

  • APOSTROPHE USAGE: e.g. “your” and “you’re”
  • TENSE: “I use to” is not correct
  • INCORRECT WORD: e.g. using “then” instead of “than”
  • SENTENCE STRUCTURE: i.e. I don’t want to read a ridiculously long winded sentence that goes on for days especially without commas because you know I’ve lost the plot by then and so have you.

Also, I recently heard about this ridiculous news. If not corrected how will anybody learn where they have gone wrong? I see a number of spelling mistakes daily and there really is no excuse in the age of spell check.

In terms of business, these errors don’t matter so much for internal communication, but can greatly influence a client. Not only does it appear unprofessional, it questions the competence of the company and shows a lack of attention to detail.

Additionally, there are some people with writing degrees who make these mistakes on a regular basis. I don’t care how good your ideas are because I can’t ignore your (note: not “you’re” because “you are” would not make sense here would it?) grammatical errors or fundamental lack of good sentence structure.

I am not brilliant at writing but I enjoy it. The English language is complex with many subtleties, there is a certain satisfaction in composing the perfect sentence. I wish more people felt the same.

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Links [08/07/2012]

Above: Giambattista Valli couture

Other loves: Painting, pearly nails, running, art, theatre and cinema : this week I went to see Flight and the Artistic Imagination, Julius Caesar, 5 Year Engagement.

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Building Trust

I have been frustrated at work this week. This has been mainly due to other people having a lack of trust in what my team has communicated , ultimately questioning our ability to do our jobs. Most of my time has been spent regurgitating the same points over and over until others have accepted that they are valid.

The regurgitating part is probably the most frustrating because it takes up so much time which could be spent in a more productive way. So much of ‘work’ these days in reactive – responding to emails and phonecalls, which limits the amount of time we can be proactive.

There is nothing more annoying that repeating the same points in different ways until the recipient accepts them. I started thinking about how to engage others to value my team and our ability to do a good job:

Overall Competence : having a history of job competence and trustworthy responses – this gives others confidence in your abilities and knowledge.

Providing Evidence : providing a complete picture from the start gives others more facts to work with. Looking back some responses could have been elaborated on, which would have avoided further ‘toing and froing’. Evidence and facts back up and strengthen an argument/viewpoint.

Questioning : questioning others sources of information shows a willingness to listen but also can lead to a solution as usually one source of information will be more valid than another.

Compromising : on occasion, high risk tasks can cause others to panic or act more irrationally. Sometimes compromises must be made to help the other person or party feel comfortable.

Acknowledge Mistakes : while confidence in your opinion is important, arrogance is not a quality others will respond well to. Acknowledge when you have been wrong!

On a positive note – one good thing about such situations is that, having a common problem will strengthen communication and team work.

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