Relative time

On a recent trip to South Korea (have to qualify these days since Rodman travels to North Korea so frequently….) I thought about relative time.

Whenever I am traveling across timezones, keeping track of what exact time a phone meeting is becomes challenging. Of course our calendars will say: 3pm or 11am and if you are lucky your device has adjusted to where you are and so you know roughly when the meeting is taking place in that time zone. It is not a technical issue (you could set timezones) but a mental issue.

I have found that my brain engages what I consider relative time. Rather than a little voice reminding me that I have a 3pm call it says: remember you have a call in 2 hours and 15 minutes (confirmed by the redline on the iPhone calendar). And so on short trips my routine becomes a relative routine:

  • I have x hours to get to this physical place, because then I have to be on a call or meet a someone in-person
  • Going to sleep now will allow me to feel refresh when I’m in x hours due to do xyz
  • And so on…

Does that happen to you or do you run a dual scheme of saying to yourself time here is X, so time at home is Y and thus my call/meeting is at Z pm?

Different

The word different is used to describe, well, different things and with different meaning.

About people different used to be used to describe something negative. She’s different!

Now thankfully I hear it most often used as a positive. She’s different (and thus has something else (and good/better to offer). 

But by saying someone or something is different we have also expressed a need to point out something that is obvious. Think about it – everything is different – not two people are the same, not even identical twins are the same.

So do we need to say ‘different’? Couldn’t we just say – she is great at xyz or not fantastic at abc? Why do we have to make a comparative statement?

I for one will try and use absolute terms rather than relative when describing someone or something going forward.

Taking a break

Breaks don’t have to be long or on a beach. Breaks have to be complete.

Before the weekend after 10 days of traveling internationally (and close to 10 weeks of weekly travel) and at probably the most ‘stressful’ time of the year I said to my wife: “Help me not to talk about work, check email or sit down in the office this weekend.”

Not surprisingly she concurred.

As a result I had a ‘complete’ break. We were busy with our son and house projects. We made great lunches and dinners and caught some Breaking Bad and Homeland.

For the first time in long time I came to the office yesterday with a clear head, clear outlook on what needed doing and a surplus of energy.

The world was still standing, my email inbox was still there, my colleagues had not abandoned our projects. Everything was fine…

The demands of global jobs and large clients require us to occasionally work and/or travel on the weekend. We want that since we want those jobs and that career.

I’m willing to bet that if we remind ourselves to have a ‘complete’ break on occasion we will be better at those jobs and have better careers.

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