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Time Bankrupt?
December 14, 2010 - 8:15pm

Do you feel like declaring time bankruptcy? Do you have more things to do each day than hours to do them in?

Three possible reasons why you and I might be time bankrupt:

1. Truly Bankrupt: You are being asked to do more work without as many people. Your job demands have grown exponentially, but the resources to do your job have stagnated (or declined). Technology means that you are always connected, which means you are always working. Work is exciting and exhilarating, and you are working on an incredible new project with an amazing team. You love your job, it energizes you, and the distinction between work and leisure has disappeared. Laptops and Blackberry's, iPhones and broadband equal 24/7/365 availability. Budgets have never been tighter, and the need to produce to bring in revenues (and keep you and your team employed) is greater than ever.

2. Shouldn't Be Bankrupt: The reality is that we have no reason to claim time bankruptcy. How many hours of TV, Hulu, Netflix and YouTube did you watch last week? How much time on Facebook? Working longer does not equal working smarter. Are we getting enough exercise and enough sleep to be truly productive? Do all of our meetings have agendas? Do we only meet when we need to actually do something, and do we keep information meetings to 30 minutes and decision meetings to 1 hour? Are we confusing spending lots of time working with working effectively?

3. Acting Like Bankrupt: Perhaps we are not really time bankrupt, but being "too busy" is the newest status symbol. We no longer practice conspicuous consumption (who can afford to do that when we need to pay our mortgages and save for college), but we can project an image of importance by our level of busyness. Important people are over-scheduled. Important people have lots of meetings and absolutely no time. Crazy busy is the new corner office.

Where do you fall? I'm probably guilty of all 3.


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