Tag Archives: work

Being Busy Does Not Mean That You Are Working

Busyness as Proxy for productivity: In the absence of clear indicators of what it means to be productive and valuable in their jobs, many knowledge workers turn back toward an industrial indicator of productivity: doing lots of stuff in a visible manner.
-Cal Newport (Deep Work)

Being in a meeting is not our job.
Having a conf-call is not our job.
Sending e-mail is not our job.
Being in front of computer late to suck up your bosses is not our job.

“Being busy” should never be an indicator of how well you are doing our job.

Our job is to think or sell: sometimes both and sometimes in reverse order.

If you are busy because you are thinking really hard and selling even harder, that is great.
If you are busy because you want to look like you are busy, I just feel sorry for you.

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No Sympathy For Stress

“Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty.” 

– Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile)

I don´t believe in stress and you should not either.

When you have lots of things on your plate, it is always interesting to see what is on the menu. If you have time to worry, you have enough time for your task. If you would be truly busy, you wouldn´t have time to worry about how busy you are. If you need to get something done, give the task to the busiest person on the office.

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”
Sydney J. Harris

Some people are always stressed out. I don´t have sympathy for them, because that stress is never reflective to their reality. Those people get stressed out of small and big things. They stress about strategy and the execution. They stress about the past and the future. They also let you know that they are stressed out and try to elevate themselves as martyrs of the workplace. They are also not effective people, because they loiter all their time at work. Truly effective people have life outside their jobs and are doing multiple things. Those people are working but not stressing out.

“My characterization of a loser is someone who, after making a mistake, doesn’t introspect, doesn’t exploit it, feels embarrassed and defensive rather than enriched with a new piece of information, and tries to explain why he made the mistake rather than moving on. These types often consider themselves the “victims” of some large plot, a bad boss, or bad weather.” 

– Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile)

Stress is a symptom of helplessness. It is giving up to the idea that you are not responsible for your own decisions and your own life. If you have too much work, you should be able to delegate. If you cannot delegate, prioritize. If nothing else helps, resign from your job. Not all the solutions are always easy, but there are always solutions to your life. Stress is about blaming others and utter fear of failure. If you approach things following Murphy´s Law, you will not get stressed out. Because usually things neither go as planned nor they go as bad as they could have gone.

“How do you innovate? First, try to get in trouble. I mean serious, but not terminal, trouble. I hold—it is beyond speculation, rather a conviction—that innovation and sophistication spark from initial situations of necessity, in ways that go far beyond the satisfaction of such necessity (from the unintended side effects of, say, an initial invention or attempt at invention).” 

– Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile)

One of my friend argued that children should be subjected to stress at young age, so they can cope with the future stress. Not only this stupid argument is not supported by research, but also the whole thinking is wrong. We should raise our children so that they don´t even know the concept of stress. They should embrace the chaos, hustle and bustle of the modern world and take responsibility of their own actions.

So don´t complain about stress, hit it in the face.

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Behind Every Brilliant Brand, There is A Brilliant Person

“When you have found a good client, do not let her go even if she switches a company”

This advice struck me early in my advertising career. Every time I meet a person who impresses me, I make a mental note to follow her career and to keep in touch (at least add as a LinkedIn contact). Mainly it is to test my judgment of people and you never know when your paths cross again. Generally it is also more pleasant to work with brilliant people than mediocre ones.

Great people tend to do great things whenever they are. They make strong brands stronger and can uplift the more tepid ones. If you have a strong brand, the occasional assholes cannot generally ruin the legacy. The rotten apples can permanently damage the weaker brands.

Advertising business is a people business. Being happy and successful in your work is relatively easy if you follow the following five steps:

  1. Maximize the amount of time spend with brilliant people.
  2. Minimize the time spent with idiots, bullies and psychopaths (unless latter ones are really brilliant).
  3. Stay in touch with the great people you have met during your career.
  4. Avoid the horrible people you have met during your career.
  5. Constantly meet new people. It is like shooting in basketball: The more you meet new people, the more opportunities you have to meet great people as well.

Your success seldom is about what you know but whom you know and with whom you have the opportunity to work with.

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