We all know people who spend half their time telling others how overwhelmed they are, funny thing though, you sometimes need a microscope to find what they actually accomplished. But they seem so busy, so committed, that management sometimes finds it hard to say anything. But they keep on being busy, busy, busy.
Then there are those who are quietly and happily productive—and end up with the lion’s share of the outcome riding on their shoulders.
The perception of hard work should never be a cover up for ineffective work. No matter where you are in the company, it isn’t kind to the whole team to let someone ride along on that perception without making a real contribution.
A feeling of being overwhelmed isn’t something to be proud of—it’s a problem in need of a solution. Be that solution. Next time someone whines to you about how busy they are, make suggestions for using their time more efficiently. If you are that person, realize that you could shave hours off your work, and do the same work, and be happier at the end of the process.
Most of us live “reasonable” lives, looking at what we CAN do and using that as a guide to what we WILL do. Shoot for mediocrity and you’re guaranteed a bull’s-eye, every time. But aiming low and being “reasonable” doesn’t bring out the best of who you are. If you want to enliven your teammates, your kids, your friends, here’s a surefire way to do it: Make unreasonable requests of them.
When a person meets an unreasonable request, sometimes they shut down and refuse. But sometimes they react with a fire in their belly. They pick up the Kryptonite, the one thing they’ve been told to fear, and eat it for breakfast—and their life is altered forever. Sometimes they take the power and know that life can be all about facing a series of impossibilities that they will work to make possible. They develop a “bring it on” attitude to almost everything. And once they leap over tall buildings with a single bound, they know they can do it again. And again.
The best part of an unreasonable request is that people can’t give you reasons why they can’t do it. They already know that your request is unreasonable because you told them so!
Decide to make the unreasonable request possible, and amazing things WILL happen!
There’s no getting around it. The millennial generation is going to be a big part of the workforce for years to come.
By 2025, those born between 1980 and 2000 will make up 75 percent of the workforce. For every one of us, there will be three of them!
Learning how to keep Millennials engaged and productive should be a top priority not only for managers but for the colleagues of these younger employees. It won’t always be easy. No generation has ever been as willing to jump ship for better wages or working conditions. When that happens, it’s hard on EVERYONE.
It’s true that some millennials want to be paid for doing nothing, but every generation has some of those, especially when they are young. But far from being lazy, the best of the Millennials are actually MORE likely to stay if they have CHALLENGING and MEANINGFUL work assignments that hold their interest.
So when you’re on a project with younger coworkers, don’t assume they can only handle the more routine tasks, and be sure to ask their opinions when you can. You might be surprised at what you get.
And don’t forget the importance of a little positive feedback once in a while. It can mean even more coming from you than from the boss.