There has been no posting from me recently as I took a week away with Fizz, my wife – and without any PC. We spent it discovering a delightful part of Suffolk, full of heath land with the gorse a riot of mustard-coloured bloom, and coastline that is tranquil and graceful. My vacation from blogs is deliberate … because I want to blog better.
My style is to write from reflection, not reaction. I want to look beneath things. So I suppose I would make a terrible journalist, always missing those deadlines.
During our stay in Suffolk I had two experiences that have made me, perhaps, even more determined in this reflective approach. The first was that I finally got around to reading Tom de Marco’s Slack: Getting past burnout, busywork and the myth of total efficiency. For those that have eyes to see, there is much uncommon wisdom in this small book. Again, de Marco had legitimised ‘thinking time’ for the knowledge worker (as he did with Tim Lister in his earlier ‘Peopleware’). As I return to work at Pearce Mayfield I am assessing how I and my colleagues may have become over-busy: more busy than is good for us and the company.
The second experience was watching the first episode on BBC of a reality series called, ‘The Monastery’. This particular format follows five men who enter a Benedictine community for ten weeks. I find that there is so much guff in the usual fare of reality TV, but this is a welcome exception. This first episode explored issues of freedom, commitment, community versus individualism, as well as of faith. I find that in the West we live in trivial, superficial ways. The monks impressed me by their winsome acceptance of these men, whilst being very clear of their own values, and the profound effects these have made in their own lives.
Sometimes I think we are just busying ourselves to avoid the hard work of thinking and the pain of what we might find if we did.