This website covers knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

Clarity over Coffee, what?

Graham drinking

The people at Personal Kanban posted an article that referenced "coffee" that has been sitting in my queue, waiting for an opportune moment to comment.

However, being a personal effectiveness aficionado, it isn't about how much fun one gets from coffee.  It's the reason that many people claim to drink coffee -- to get that boost from the caffeine.  But, really, in most work these days, are people dragging mid-day because they don't have enough caffeine?  Or are they dragging because it isn't clear what they are supposed to be doing?  

If you find yourself dragging, and the coffee is merely a delicious distraction, maybe the problem is a little more interesting: lack of clarity!

Clarity > Coffee

Studies show anxiety diminishes and success rates soar when abstract goals - the very nature of knowledge work - are clarified, when they are transformed into concrete and attainable steps. Such is the case when we visualize work on a Personal Kanban. Especially for knowledge workers, getting all those amorphous tasks out of your head and easily visualized on a board demystifies your priorities, your tradeoffs, and makes work manageable. 

What is more motivating, being told "go do this", or understanding that "this" will bring some new value to the organization?  Or simply that "this" has a clear connection to the bigger needs of the organization?

So, sit back (with your coffee), and try to figure out why you are doing what you are doing, not just what/how.  I find this is a much better motivation, than my mother's old chestnut, "because I said so."

[Photo credit: That's my boy!]

Never say "I know"

Swimming in a lake, or rowing down the river