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Archive for February, 2017

Tactics in Life: Make Things Happen By Limiting or Giving No Choices

February 26, 2017 Leave a comment

In principle, it seems like a very good thing to have plenty of choices.  More is better; if you don’t like the first option, then it’s simply wonderful to be free to choose from a myriad of other options.  It thus feels counter-intuitive to put limitations in one’s choices.

However, having one too many choices can also be problematic.  With so many options to choose from, there’s a risk of suffering from “analysis paralysis.”  It can be a challenge to choose between many similar and just-as-good options.  Rather than being helpful, sometimes having too many choices delays if not outright prevents one from executing an action or making a decision.  This result in things happening later rather than sooner, or worse, not happening at all, if one gets stuck with the choices.

It’s ironic that there seems to be less freedom when you have too many choices, for such can lead to appropriate action getting delayed, if at all pushing through, because a decision couldn’t be made from all the options available.

xkcd-1801-decision-paralysis

If you give someone the option to decline a request then don’t feel bad if they actually do just that.  If it’s that important for you to have someone do something, then state it plainly and make him do it.  Tell him directly what you need him to do without giving him the choice to say “no” since such matters that much to you.

However there’s no point in offering someone the option to decline doing something if the option literally doesn’t even exist.  It’s also a waste of time bothering someone by asking him if he wants to do something or not, if he doesn’t have a choice but to do it.  You simply state that he needs to do it, and he’ll have to do it whether he likes it or not.

If you need something done then it has to be done.  Don’t give people the option to say “no.”  If you absolutely must give options, then limit and tailor whatever options you have to offer so that it leads to the outcome you want.  Make things happen by limiting the choices or not giving any choice at all.

Caveat: This tactic is only right, though, if what you want done isn’t something morally and / or legally reprehensible.  If such isn’t the case, then it’s only proper to expect strong dissent in what you want to happen.

There’s something to be said about exploring other options; it’s a good thing, in fact even necessary, at times.  But there’s also truth in that actions and command decisions happen and sometimes happen faster when there aren’t many choices, or if there isn’t any choice at all.  The key is to discern when it makes sense to entertain as many options as possible, or when to limit or remove such.  But if you know something needs to get done, there’s nothing immoral about it, and there’s only few ways or only one way of making such happen, then there aren’t many options in the matter.

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Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

Series of Letting Go and Moving On

February 12, 2017 Leave a comment

Life is a series of letting go and moving on.

Let go of the need to be perfect in all aspects of your life; such is unrealistic anyway.  Move on by accepting that imperfection is a part of who you are, which, ironically, is sometimes the very reason why you are a better person.  Acknowledging and embracing that imperfection reminds you to be humble, less judgmental of others, and more open to allow God to use such as an opportunity for Him to show you how much He loves you.

Let go of pride and the need to be right all the time.  Move on by accepting that you could also be wrong, that you don’t have a monopoly of the truth, and that there will be many people out there who are better than you that are worthy of recognition and respect as much as you, if not more.

Let go of the desire to have someone special in your life – most especially when this want for someone is already consuming you.  Move on by making yourself that special person you deserve to have in your life.  And perhaps someday, someone who is truly right for you will see that, too – and that person will be the one to endeavor to be a part of your life.

Let go of holding on to a cause that’s already lost.  Time is limited, and you can only do so much with what little time you think you have in this world.  Move on by re-focusing your energy to those endeavors that are a better investment of your time because you can still do something about it.

Let go of whatever obsession you might harbor with youth and beauty.  There’s a time for everything.  Youth and beauty never really lasts forever; it will be taken away from you whether you like it or not.  By all means when you have it, enjoy it for as long as it lasts.  But move on by striving to age not just gracefully but also grace-fully.

Let go of the people you love when their time comes.  It’s not right to keep them in this valley of tears when they have finally earned their turn to go home to God.  Cherish them while they’re still with you.  And when it’s time, move on by living your life to the fullest even if they’re no longer present in your life, because that’s what they would want for you, and that’s how best you can honor their memory.

Finally, let go of your life and everyone and everything in this world when your own time comes.  Nothing and nobody lasts forever, and that, for better or worse, includes you.  You don’t own your life and you can’t take anything with you when you go; your life and everyone and everything in it came from God and belongs to God, and when the time comes to return it, such will happen.  Move on with the peace of mind that in place of what you’ll lose in this world, you’re getting something so much better, because God wants to give you a reward beyond all understanding that will truly satisfy the very depths of your soul; you’ll finally have the happiness you’ve long desired for all of eternity.

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

The Changing Face of Work

February 12, 2017 1 comment

When it comes to budget planning, I’ve come to realize that the source of all the stress I’ve experienced over the years is the need to always defend my headcount.  I have been defending my team’s headcount for the longest time.  And the reality of the situation is that I can no longer continue to do so.  It’s not because my team doesn’t have more than enough work to do; it’s more because the approach to doing said work “the way it’s always been done” no longer makes practical sense.

There will never, ever be a time when I won’t be asked to reduce my operating costs.  I need to accept the reality that I will always be asked for headcount reductions – this is not for its own sake, but essentially it’s for the need to get better at reducing our costs and increasing our quality of work at the same time.  Adding more people is no longer the answer to solve capacity issues.  The correct approach is to understand what’s causing the constraints, and find a digital solution to solve it.

Times are changing, everyone’s work is changing, and the needs of the business continue to evolve at lightning speed.  Headcount reductions are dependent on anticipated work efficiencies that come with transforming exactly how we do the work that we do now (the work requirement is still there, but how we do it should change).

People like me need to break out of the mindset of solving workload issues by adding people.  Instead, I have to turn to further automation to handle such issues so that it can at least be brought to a manageable level if not completely eliminated.  The time will come when I can’t add any more people, and as far as I’m concerned, that time has finally arrived.  For all of us in the industry, if we don’t find digital solutions to our problems, then we’ll all terribly suffer for it.

The time will also come when we can no longer reduce the headcount due to these instituted work efficiencies.  When that time comes, and it’s coming sooner rather than later, the next step is to evolve the work that we’re doing.  This needs to happen, because cost reductions and work efficiencies will always be a business objective.  The goal is to adapt to the changing needs of the times – and to continue to remain relevant by meeting said needs.

Disruption is the name of the game.  The face of work is changing, not just for my team, but for everyone in the industry.  We either adapt and thrive to it, or fade away.  It sounds harsh, but that’s the truth of these times.

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

No Guarantees with More Time

February 12, 2017 Leave a comment

These days everything always seems required to happen in a rush.  There’s a part of me that wishes for more time, however I’ve also come to realize that more time doesn’t necessarily guarantee success or better outcomes.

The best example I can think of to illustrate this is the trimester system in place in some universities.  For these universities, a term is good for three months.  It seems hectic to cram a lot of material in three months when the same material is discussed over the course of six months in other universities.  But here’s the thing: You either get it, or you don’t.  If you don’t understand something when given three months, you still won’t understand it when given six months.  It’s better to just waste three months of your time and start over with that setback versus wasting six months of your time.

There’s something to be said about having more time to produce better outcomes.  If you’re sure that getting more time will produce better quality, then it’s worth asking for it.  However recognize that getting more time won’t always be possible.

At the end of the day, what’s more important is your ability to make the most of the time you have, however long or short that might turn out, to do what needs to be done, for having more time guarantees nothing.

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy