Last week a colleague sent a link to this article on Task-Based Thinking (TBT) vs Outcome-Based Thinking (OBT). Briefly, its point was that TBT makes you less productive than OBT because the former leaves you thinking, "What do I need to do today?" instead of, "What outcomes do I want to achieve today?"
I read it, as I have hundreds of similar "be-more-productive" blogs, and found myself getting really pissed off. Why the hell do I need to be more productive? What's wrong with doing what needs to be done and feeling like that's enough?
Last week, three people I know within one or two degrees of separation, were affected by cancer — one was diagnosed, one came out of remission and one died. Call me sensitive, but I was a bit shell-shocked.
We've almost come to take cancer for granted — even accept it as fate. We see it as this mysterious medical problem that's suddenly become pandemic, at least in the western world. Meanwhile, friends tell me other life-threatening conditions like heart failure are decreasing.
So what's going on here? I'm not buying it.
It's been so long since I last posted. I have almost forgotten how to do it. I just read a post I wrote five months ago, almost to the day. I can't quite remember the person who wrote it.
The last five months have been incredibly difficult. I took a part-time job, realised I was probably drinking a bit much and changed my muscle relaxants to a different sort, having read a book that said they were also good for addiction.
Nothing worked out particularly well.
Did you know that NZ has a Productivity Commission? I didn't, until I Googled 'productivity' in order to write this post. According to the website, "The Government has asked the Commission to investigate how to make overall improvements in the design and operation of regulatory regimes in New Zealand."
Productivity is defined by Statistics New Zealand as "a measure of how efficiently production inputs are being used within the economy to produce output." It goes on to say that a key determinant of a nation's standard of living is an improvement in productivity.
But have we gone too far with productivity? Has it become an obsession? Do we conflate the meaning of productivity with stress, busyness and over-achievement?
Today I said no to two commitments. One was a focus group, scheduled today, at 1.00-3.30pm. I had errands to run before and a meeting at 11am which ran late. I had at least half an hour travel each way and another meeting at 4pm.
I also cancelled a meeting at 11am tomorrow as I have meetings in the city at 1 and then 3pm.
This just came through in an email from my dear friend Victoria Maxwell. As a coffee lover I thought it profound enough to be worth sharing:
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.
He then asked the students, if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
I loathe the term mental illness. It’s unhelpful, it’s incorrect and it’s terribly stigmatising. And worst of all: no one actually has one. Now, before you think I really have lost the plot – everyone knows the statistics for mental illness, right? The numbers are increasing every year. – let me tell you why I think this is so.
Mental illness is not an illness; it’s a normal reaction to stressful life events. It’s a coping mechanism for situations in which you have no other cognitive mechanism to cope and it’s a normal experience, not an abnormal one. You get depressed when depressing things happen to you. If you have extremely horrible or continuing stressful events happening in your life, such as poverty or abuse, then you may even develop psychosis or a “personality disorder”. Sometimes, to alter your mental state is the only escape or defence mechanism that you have available in a given situation. This isn’t a theory; this is what current research indicates. If you’re interested, feel free to email me and I’ll send you a few dozen articles from academic journals where the link between stressful life events and mental illness is made clear.
Hi everyone. My name is Barbara and, officially, I’m Philip’s new Personal Assistant. What that translates to, is that I work part time at Diversity NZ supporting projects like DPSN. I am also studying towards a Graduate Diploma in Psychology at the University of Auckland with the intent to gain entry to the training programme to become a Clinical Psychologist (therapist). I have a vested interest in mental health issues, legislation, terminology, issues of discrimination, therapies, medication and anything else you can think of related to staying sane.
Why do I care about these issues? Why should anyone listen to what I have to say? What makes my commentary valid?