Boundaries at Work: New Rules for Thriving in the Digital Age

MultitaskingLast week I wrote about the challenges of living in a “boundaryless” world – one in which we can (and do) bounce back and forth between work and non-work activities.

It is now common to communicate with colleagues and friends all over the world, to take care of personal needs in the middle of our work days, and to engage in work-related activities at all hours of the day and night.

(see “In a Boundaryless World, Peak Performance is More Difficult Than Ever”)

How many times have you been part of a global conference call at 4 or 5 AM local time, or completed a work memo and emailed it off at 10 PM? Read more

Choosing to Commit

Every September I find it hard to believe that summer is over. I know, I know; it’s not technically over until September 22, but in North America it’s already back-to-school time, Labor Day is behind us, and most of us are back from summer vacation. Psychologically we’re all ramping up for Fall. And the on-ramp is always shorter and moves faster than I expect it to.

Anyway, the general rush back to work this week has gotten me thinking about my personal calendar and wondering why I always seem so overcommitted and so unable to spend time on what I consider meaningful work. I suspect many of you feel the same way.

In reflecting on that perpetual overcommitment, I was reminded recently of a powerful story I heard some years ago about being overwhelmed at work.

Picture this:  The year is 1967, and the United States is mired in the middle of that horrible war in Vietnam. Imagine (if you can) that you are the United States Secretary of State. It’s your responsibility to develop and oversee U.S. Foreign Policy – you are right at the center of the most intense public debate about foreign policy and the Far East that this country has ever known. Every day you read reports about U.S. successes and failures – and about how many young people died the day before.

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Taking charge of the future – one day at a time

How often have you been heard someone claim to have “the magic answer” about how to break a bad habit? You know, how to stop drinking all those sugary sodas, or eating all that other junk food? Or sleeping late, or chewing your fingernails, or smoking, or, or, or…

At the same time we’re also admonished daily to “start exercising regularly,” or to write a blog post every day, no matter what, or to “work on that next book for an hour every morning, before you look at your email.” [continue reading...]

All Work and No Play. . .

James Ware, PhD

Brace yourself; this is a more personal essay than my usual feature article. I’m using this space to do some serious reflecting about the nature of work in 2012, and to look ahead at the same time. I don’t think it is being overly self-centered to consider myself a “living laboratory” or a harbinger of the future of work that’s facing us all. [continue reading...]

Compass: Can We Survive the Internet?

This is a reprint of our Feature article from the November issue of Future of Work Agenda, our free monthly newsletter. You can also read the article within the newsletter, at this link, or download a .pdf version, at this link.

Jim Ware and Charlie Grantham

“The Hurrier I go, the Behinder I get. . . “(old Pennsylvania Dutch saying)

We’re not worried about whether the Internet will survive. [continue reading...]

Future of Work Agenda: November Issue

This is the November issue of our free monthly newsletter, Future of Work Agenda. We welcome comments on any of these articles. You can also access the newsletter directly on our website, at this link.

It’s hard to believe the extended “holiday season” is just about upon us. It’s been a tough year for just about everyone. However, we’re seeing some encouraging signs of a genuine recovery. [continue reading...]