I Am Surrounded By People Who Don’t Know What To Do With Their Time

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I am not talking about people who don’t know how to manage their time, make to do lists, get things done at home, or who don’t know how to set goals for the future and achieve them. I am not talking about procrastinators who put everything off and never get anything done. I am talking about people who are blown from one thing to another in life by outside forces. They do what everyone else is doing, and not as a conscious choice, but because its just there.

They were never made aware, or missed the opportunity, to discover what life is truly about for them. We are taught at a young age that we are to get in line and follow the leader. It sticks. Our upbringing and schooling as a child teaches us how to make others happy, fit in, get approval, and master the basics. We are told we are ready for the world and sent out into it completely unaware that we haven’t been introduced to learning how to know ourselves and spend time with that person. …


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A pastor quietly spoke to his congregation so he could get their attention. He slowed down his speech and gently told everyone that he felt most people knew deep down what to do. They really don’t need him to tell them anything. Quite a thing to admit in a realm of the world that is used to making people reliant upon them. He finished his sermon, providing encouragement, and instruction. That pronouncement didn’t keep him from doing his job, it just made people aware of reality.

The words have lingered in my mind for over 20 years. We know deep down what we should do. You don’t need me to tell you. I think the idea is worth thinking about for all aspects of life. Because if it’s true than we could be causing ourselves unwarranted distress and be our own obstacle. …


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Not given the opportunity to conduct full scale data gathering or initiate a formal improvement project I unconsciously decide to abandon what I know about process improvement and just wing it. Mistake #1. I understand that some people aren’t getting the information they need and decide if we update some of the forms and invent a tracking tool this could solve the problem. I could be right and my suggestion seems harmless, except the recommendation to bring about change is a big deal to some people. Especially when it is an outside coming in scenario.

I decided this could help….

We can decide things will help when we alone are involved. I can decide all day how to make improvements that affect me, but when we add on people it becomes more complicated. I decided this can help immediately tells people that we understand their problem well enough to give them the solution. If we aren’t involved in their life or business process they know we probably don’t know enough to make any suggestions. We have to get an accurate picture of the problem before we can decide what is best and so that others will trust us enough to listen to our recommendations. …


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Why does it take most of our lives to see the obvious? To understand what has always been there. Maybe it’s because we accept the status quo unquestioned or because we got used to dysfunction along the way. It’s the way they have always acted so we get used to it and it continues for a long time. Maybe we didn’t notice. Whatever the reason people adopt roles in our lives and they keep them until something disrupts the pattern.

I saw this recently during a family group chat. An idea was presented and we all chimed in. It was harmless, but then we all started to joke. Make random comments. It was fun and games and as it ended you could tell one person didn’t like the comments. They waited and as it all ended they made a snide remark to be sure we understood they weren’t happy. It suddenly hit me, you always do this. You always leave the conversation making us feel bad when you aren’t happy and that is the role you have played in my life since we were children. …


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If we think we are immune or impervious to outside forces we may want to reconsider that for a few moments. I am of the belief that it is the smallest off handed comments that impact our lives the greatest. Who am I to say such a thing? No one, but I have spent years overthinking, studying people, myself, and at my day job I get to go to work and ask questions. All of which helps drive change. …


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I always wondered how a highly intelligent man with the undeniable ability to see what is possible was not able to consistently accomplish a lot of things. His intellectual ability far exceeded what he accomplished. If you looked at the results of his life you would judge him as a man of poor intelligence. So what was the problem?

Thinkers spend all their time thinking. In Todd Henry’s recent Accidental Creative podcast he interviews career coach Ashley Stahl and she gives listeners ten skill set categories to consider and asks them to determine which they fall under. Ashley believes that if people can understand the skill sets they have they will understand what career might fit best for them. Thinker isn’t identified as a specific skill set, but could fall under her analysis category, yet I think many of us spend an exorbitant amount of time in thought. …


Our life might stop, but the world keeps moving us and others forward.

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We took him off the machines when my brother got there from the airport. I wanted him to be there for the finale. He said we didn’t have to wait, but I thought as time went by he might regret not being there and being a part of dad’s last moments. Once we took him off the machines it would be about 15 minutes before he breathed his last. It was the most precious minutes of both our lives. He had been there when I breathed my first and I was with him when he breathed his last. Afterwards we all sat in silence. We weren’t sure what to do. …


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The predictions are already coming in as to how the workplace is going to change in 2021. The Washington Post predicts what will happen to the location-based salary model. Will employers follow Facebook’s lead and cut salaries if employees move to less costly locations or will they just give smaller raises? Are we going to come back to work? Will telework be a permanent thing and for how long? Jane Kelly from Forbes believes the work-from-home trend will continue in 2021 and beyond with some employers adopting hybrid scenario’s as they will want employees back part of the time. Me on the other hand, I never left the office. …


Let’s Stop Scrolling Aimlessly Looking For The Answers

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Back in the early 80’s my semi-religious, in the process of changing from a Catholic to a Baptist, mother used to turn on The Man Who Saw Tomorrow for us kiddos to watch. This was the show about 16th century French astrologer, physician, and self-proclaimed prophet Nostradamus. Nostradamus was said to predict such events as the fall of King Louis XVI, the French Revolution, the rise of Napoleon and Hitler as well as the assassination of JFK. I watched in awe and with a lot of questions. The whole thing was narrated by Orson Welles which sent chills down my spine. Along with the fact that this was during the Cold War and we were already scared Russia was going to start the next war to end all wars. …


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A quick Newsbreak check this morning reveals what? Mitch McConnell’s home was vandalized, tensions are escalating with Iran, there was a Walmart shooting allegedly wounding 3, GOP Pennsylvania House members Mike Reese is dead, a 16-year old has been charged with the shooting of a Fort Drum corporal, and the state I live in has increased COVID cases this week.

Tomorrow I head back to work and start the trek back into everyday life after the holidays. Those things which gave me a glimmer of hope there is good in the world and everything is going to be alright. Now it’s back to work where we mostly deal with COVID and trying to accomplish somethings despite slowing demand for our product. …

About

Marcy Pedersen, MBA

Writer, analyst, life-long learner, and obsessed about improving life and work processes. Connect at marcypedersen@icloud.com

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