What really grinds my gears close

David Hart
David Hart
In Musings, Grinds My Gears
17th March 2011
What really grinds my gears

Three months into the light-hearted rant that really grinds the gears of the people here at Codegent. This month: time.

The reason time really grinds my gears is that there is never enough of it when you need it. Take this article, I thought someone else was writing it and it turns out they didn’t so I’ve had to do it at the last minute. I wouldn’t mind, but I also have to finish a presentation that I’m giving to a client in a few hours time, sort out this month’s payroll, go through a site review, write a case study, have a think about a new idea that someone has asked me to consider, renew my car insurance…

Last year I did an analysis of my previous year’s Tweets using some tool I don’t have time to go back and find. But I remember that the word “time” was my most-used one. Ironic that I wasted time on Twitter moaning about not having enough time.

Trouble is, I think we all feel like we’re constantly chasing our tails and worry that we do some things well and ignore the rest, or do lots of things badly. It seems odd to me that somehow the requisite amount of time for doing work is 5 days per week of 9am – 5pm and anything less means you haven’t got enough to do and any more means you are over-worked. But who decided that? What would happen if we all only worked 2 days a week? 

Here in Codegent Towers, a few people have been using the Pomodoro Technique: sticking on headphones and setting the timer for 25 minutes of uninterrupted concentration. It works. You do a day of Pomodoro and you get into bed at night and feel like you’ve achieved masses. But you’ve also not answered your emails, not taken phone calls and ignored your colleagues. To quote John Donne “no man is an island” and human interaction is a kind of key requirement of being part of a busy agency. Yet being a continent (or whatever the opposite of an island is) takes longer. A lot longer than the sum of your list of 'To Dos" for the day.

Anyway, I’ve spent too much time on this already. Sorry it’s so brief and not particularly well thought-through, but I just didn’t have enough time. 

And that, folks, is what really grinds my gears.