Half Measures

Do you ever get the feeling that what you are doing isn’t really that important and you can just ‘mail it in’?  The funny thing is for me that when I do that, I always end up feeling like I short-changed a process somehow and pangs of guilt will creep in.  This happened to me today, in a very unimportant way, but nonetheless, it got me thinking about times when I don’t give it my all.

One of the biggest offenses for me in the area of not giving it my all is when speaking with certain people on the phone, especially during the work day.  Checking emails while on a conference call is not appropriate.  And when I do it, it always comes back to bite me.  Not because I get called out or anything, but later, when I am leading a call, I know that people aren’t listening and are doing other tasks (just like I do!).  And that frustrates me to no end.  So why is it that I think I can do that to others but not expect it to be done to me?  I should extend the same courtesy that I want to get.

I was struggling with ‘multi-tasking’ like this in another area of my life recently.  I have certain friends that when they are talking I can shut off for a few minutes knowing that nothing earth-shattering is going to come out of their mouth and I won’t miss much.  I would flip through the TV channels (on mute of course) to see what I could be doing instead.  HOW RUDE!!  This person trusts me enough to call me with a concern and the best I can do is tolerate them rather than being present and trying to be helpful?  And I have to be honest, just writing this and admitting it makes me feel like a heel.  So I made a change, when someone calls and I answer, I’ll either shut off the TV, or go into another room for a change of scenery to match my shift in focus.

If I make the decision to give my time to something, then I want to have enough integrity to give it my full attention.  If I am not willing to give it my full attention, then I need to make the decision to not engage in the first place.

Today I will choose wisely that which I give my time to, and give it my full attention.
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One Response to Half Measures

  1. Mike says:

    I can totally relate on the TV comment. I do either pause or mute the TV or go into another room. Not because I'm dedicated to paying attention to the call (consciously) but rather that I find myself too easily distracted by the noise of the TV or even people in the room. I prefer to be in a quiet or private/semi-private place on a phone call. As far as the office conference calls, GUILTY!!! But I suppose I may feel that way because so many of them aren't 'Mike specific' but rather an obligatory 'be aware but there's nothing really for you to input on' call. I do feel those are a waste of my time. If its something that needs my attention I expect someone to simply call me directly or email me or engage me in a conference call in which I am expected and welcome to participate.

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