Plan for nothing
PIK PAK BOOM - Girlie Garces (The Freeman) - January 26, 2017 - 12:00am

It’s the fourth week of January, and soon the Chinese New Year will spin the year faster.  I have claimed that days seem to move faster lately, and my friends would refute by saying the year does not speed uncompared to before, considering that we still have the same number of hours in a day and days in a week and so on. Does that mean then that we are sooooo occupied?

Every day, I make a list of things to do. A short doable list as I do not want to base my day on wishful thinking. I prioritize only five major items, and if I still have time, I choose the smaller items to do. But I failed to count the number of calls I receive, the emails I get and have to answer, the text messages that make you wonder why  people seem to find things so urgent when, to my mind, they are not life-threatening or bottom line crucial. Still, we strive to do what we can, trained to be customer oriented and, wanting to make our responses as timely and as relevant as possible.

I noticed, in spite my desire to organize work, home, friends and life in general, there always seems to be something that gets in the way. Lately, traffic is a literal “get-in-the-way” malady! So how can we work and live smart?

My friend Vicky would always tell me, “be connected and updated online. That’s the fastest and smartest way to do business these days.”  Yet you get to wonder if the speed of connection helps or has in fact added to the demands on our time. The verse “to whom much is given much is required” comes quickly to mind. It may sound like a compliment to be given much work however if work becomes the core of our lives and we forget about living, that may not really be the intention of life after all. I refuse to think God intended us to be so busy. In fact, when we use our Sabbath to work, that is entirely not in His plans.

I went to Dumaguete City last week, and in spite of how connected people are through smartphones and wifi, I observed how idyllic life still seemed to be in the place. Business was busy, if we base it on the queues in the groceries, malls and Sans Rival. Or the almost full seats at Hayahay and the dine-in Lab-as with families and tourists meeting like it’s their first time to see each other after a long time. It was a pleasant time to mix business with pleasure of being a little more relaxed. 

And it is possible after all. One just needs to focus, prioritize and learn to say “no” to things that push us beyond limits. In New Zealand, people work there within the limits of time.  When it’s beyond office hours, employers shoo their employees out and strive not to call them back to work on a weekend or a rest day.

What makes people work so hard? Surprisingly not all people work for the money alone.  Some perform overtime because they think they have so much work. Truth is there will always be work unless you close down. Another reason is people work late because after work they really have nothing to do so they find it more productive to render overtime. If they enjoy their work and treat it like a hobby then that is fine. But they will miss out on other things happening and could happen in their lives. Still others stay in the office longer and beat themselves with work because they do not have a good home life. Being at work will increase the chances of more broken homes since communication is cut as family members choose to burry themselves in work instead of discuss and solve their problems together.

Most though do overtime because the boss asks them to since they have to meet a production requirement, or a deadline. However, too much overtime will take a toll on the productivity of the person especiallyif he dislikes but is prompted to do so.

In a post on Planning for failure, the writer stated that if a problem at work prompts one to render overtime, this would lead to another problem.

Too much work and less rest will make employees tired, unproductive, attendance delinquent, demotivated, and not produce quality outputs. Turnovers of workers will be frequent  and it will be hard to program workers and workloads because of erratic manning.

Frequent overtimes guarantee nothing but stress. It would be nice if people, especially management, will look into giving their workers more slack this year and hire additional staff to complement the old so a good work succession can also be performed.

There is just so many hours in a day. There has to be time for everything. And time to simply do nothing. Perhaps we have to plan for more nothing moments. Maybe through these unstructured episodes we can earn something more.

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