Sunday, October 26, 2003

Taking Time Out Before Being Taken Out

I wrote that last entry when I was trying to recover from the flu. It about knocked me flat but I probably had it coming. One thing I've learned is that I usually only get sick when I'm not giving myself enough time to rest up. I always have a good reason for running 90-per so my body steps in once in awhile just to say, "Enough already!"

There's even research out now that validates my long-standing theory that I only get sick after I've completed some major sprinting effort... after I finished taking my finals, after some big project has been turned over to the next group, after some important rollout, etc.

Once I figured out that the world was not going to come to an end just because I recognized I needed a rest before my body gave out, things started running a lot more smoothly all the way around. I was going to have to take the time away from work one way or another at some point. Why not make it more a thing of my concious choosing & control rather than waiting just to get sick at the most inconvenient time possible?

This is not to say I like taking time off gratuitously because "I have it coming to me." We all know people who think only of themselves and not at all about the team. I find those folks to be a major pain. Probably because they also tend to be the ones who whine the most. It also costs money for the business - money that, when it's spent on absenteeism, isn't available for other things like equipment, salaries, R&D, etc.

The stoics have a different problem. They tend to think only of the team and hardly ever about themselves, not realizing they're not helping the team any if they totally burn themselves or their bodies out and so therefore aren't even available to the team at all.

It's a whole knowing when to stop as well as knowing when to act that is key to the I Ching "Keeping Still Mountain", one genesis point for the name Soaring Mountain Enterprises, so yeah, you could say it's a general philosophy of mine.

How are you finding the right balance for you... What are you struggling with? Send me an email at and let's talk about how to make it work better.

The greatest benefits are had when there's an overlap between the interests of the individual and of the group.