Archives for posts with tag: Teamwork

It is the sense of community, with a small c, that makes and binds a Community with a big C, I think. The idea that the sum of all of us, its constituent elements, is greater than the whole, the place we live or work in.

One of the paradoxes of modern life for me is that at a macro level communities, towns, cities and councils seem to get in their own way, in a one step forward, two steps back fashion, whereas at a micro, person-to-person level, the opposite happens. Sorry, that’s a long sentence, a bit tortuous, but I didn’t want a full stop to break the flow.

I’m frequently reminded of this in provincial Ireland where the community is always helping itself out in tiny ways. I had a an email dialogue with someone the other day, and I needed to get an envelope containing important information to her sooner rather than later. ‘That’s OK, she said, you don’t need to drop it out to me, just leave it at the local shop and I’ll pick it up on my way from work.’ Genius. I left it behind the counter with the chap, and it seemed the most natural thing to do.

One company I work with needs parcels to be collected and sent out on a regular basis. If the local courier can’t get to them before the end of the day on a Friday, we leave them at the local petrol station and he picks them up from there on the Saturday morning.

We may get frustrated and befuddled by the bureaucracy and process of big business and big government, but we make up for it with the small kindnesses of community.

There’s something rewarding about getting something off your desk, and onto someone else’s. There’s a palpable sense of completion, even if it’s a first draft or a small milestone in a large project. It’s an even better feeling if it’s the end of a project. You got it done!

These days, it’s not that it’s off your desk or in your out-tray. It’s usually in your sent items, not weighing down your inbox or your task list. For now it’s someone’s else’s problem. Someone else has to complete the next stage in the process.

And feeling that sense of completion is OK too. It’s often your internal customer or boss who’s requested something from you, and here you are,┬ádelivering it to them, for them to review and kick it back to you for the next stage.

After I’ve prioritised my work for the week and for each day, I allocate a certain number of hours or part-days to each job, depending on how involved it is. This allows me to hit my own deadlines and keep to realistic targets. This also means that if I’m on time with a job I can get it off my desk at the end of a morning, the end of a day, or before a break and the start of the next job.

When it’s off your desk, it’s a demarcation point, a chance to take a breather and re-set for the next piece of work. And when it’s off your desk, it’s on someone else’s :-). Speaking of which, I must click Schedule and get this post off my desk…