The Herman Trend Alert|
October 5, 1999
The Demand for Time
87 days until January 1, 2000
The velocity of life has increased to the point that people realize they're out of balance. Their stress levels are high. They want some a solution to all the pressure. Now!
Recent surveys report that people want more flexibility in their lives. They want more time for themselves. "All work and no play" is taking its toll. Workers want to spend more time with their families and have time for personal pursuits like hobbies, exercise, reading, or just watching the clouds float by.
One survey by "Fast Company" Magazine showed that 63 percent of college educated adults would work fewer or more flexible hours if money were not an issue. In the same study, 18 percent would work the same number of hours and 14 percent would quit working. The message here is that people want to work, they want to be productive, but they want to do it with less stress, less push.
Problem: There is still a lot of work to be done. And not enough people to get it all done.
Result: under current conditions, there's no light at the end of the tunnel. The pressure will continue.
Solution: Change the way work is done. Change the relationship between workers, their work, and their employers. Dramatic change. As Michael Hammer says, we need to stop paving cow paths. Even with all the tradition-"we've always done it this way"-the change will come. And it may come as revolutionary change, rather than evolutionary.
Prepare now by examining carefully all the things you're doing in your life. What's really important? What consumes your time because "we've always done that?" Define what RESULTS are really important for you and search for tasks you can eliminate from your life. Challenge, don't just accept that everything must be done the way it's been done in the past.
Clean up your life. Simplify, simplify. Get some more space in your life.
(Good resource: "Breathing Space: Living & Working at a Comfortable Pace in a Sped-Up Society" by Jeff Davidson.
BONUS: with thanks to Sng Tong Hai, Singapore subscriber
A person asked Confucius, "What surprises you most about mankind?"
Confucius answered, "They lose their health to make money and then lose their money to restore their health. By thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present, such that they live neither for the present nor the future and they live as if they will never die, and they die as if they had never lived....."
© Copyright 1998- by The Herman Group, Inc. -- reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: From "The Herman Trend Alert," by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 336-210-3547 or http://www.hermangroup.com. The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc."
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