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From Murphy to Triviality: Five Adages for Balance, Productivity, and Laughter

From Murphy to Triviality: Five Adages for Balance, Productivity, and Laughter

In the ever-evolving world of work, with technology racing forward like a caffeinated cheetah, each day unfolds as an exhilarating adventure. Just picture it: you, in your pajamas, navigating the virtual wilds of the digital frontier. While remote work and its digital companions may appear to be the latest entries in the technological carnival, the trials and triumphs they usher in have been etched into the human experience for centuries. It’s in these moments of transition and adaptation that we often unearth hidden pearls of wisdom. These nuggets of insight have the uncanny power to not only elevate our work-life balancing act but also supercharge our productivity.

As someone who relishes the charm of wisdom-bytes, I couldn’t resist sharing these five timeless adages that have played an integral role in my own work journey.

1. Murphy’s Law (“Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”):

In the world of work, Murphy’s Law is the ultimate curveball. Just when you think everything is running smoothly, it decides to remind us that life is unpredictable. Picture this: you’re about to make a crucial presentation to a big client. You’ve rehearsed, you’ve got the perfect slides, and then, right as you click to start, your computer freezes. It’s Murphy’s Law making an uninvited appearance, reminding us to always have a backup plan in the world of work and that unpredictability is part and parcel of the terrain.

2. Pareto Principle (“80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts”):

In the hustle and bustle of the modern workplace, the Pareto Principle stands tall, offering a beacon of efficiency. It tells us that not all tasks are created equal. Imagine this: you have a mile-long to-do list, but you know deep down that only a handful of those tasks will make a real impact. It’s the Pareto Principle in action, nudging us to focus our efforts where they matter most and achieve more with less.

3. Parkinson’s Law (“Work expands to fill the time available for its completion”):

Parkinson’s Law loves to make a cameo in our work lives. Ever noticed how when a project deadline is distant, tasks seem to take their sweet time? But when that same deadline looms, everything suddenly accelerates. Picture this: you have a report due in a week, but you start working on it the night before. That’s Parkinson’s Law playing its time-bending tricks, urging us to set deadlines, avoid procrastination and set boundaries in our remote work to avoid time slipping through our fingers.

4. The Law of Diminishing Returns (“The more you do, the less you accomplish”):

In the relentless pursuit of productivity, the Law of Diminishing Returns often steps in. It teaches us that there’s a limit to how much we can achieve by pushing ourselves harder and emphasizes the importance of striking a balance between productivity and self-care in the remote work environment. Imagine this: you’re working late into the night, trying to finish a project. But as exhaustion sets in, your output becomes less effective. It’s the Law of Diminishing Returns reminding us to find a balance between work and rest for optimal productivity.

5. The Law of Triviality (“Members of an organization give disproportionate weight to trivial issues”):

In a virtual world, even the tiniest details can sometimes take center stage, impacting productivity and focus. Picture this: your team is scheduling a crucial Teams video meeting involving members from Asia, Africa, and North America. While the agenda is vital, the bulk of the discussion turns to deciding the best time for the meeting. Hours are spent meticulously comparing time zones, and everyone weighs in with their preferences. It’s a Time Zone Tango and the Law of Triviality at work!

As you explore these adages and their application in the realm of remote work, I invite you to reflect on your own experiences. Have you had eureka moments while reading these timeless principles? What simple principle or law did I miss that has come in handy for you in your work-life ? Share your insights in the comments below. Your anecdotes might just be the inspiration someone else needs to navigate the remote work landscape with a dash of humor and a hint of wisdom.

6 Free Courses that will Add Value to your CV

6 Free Courses that will Add Value to your CV

2017 has just begun, and you still have a lot of time to accomplish everything and more you imagine ticking off that checklist. We are taking for granted that one of them is learning new skills, and doing what you do better. To help you pursue this goal here is a list of free courses that would probably help you, regardless of what your job is. Well, if not all of them, one of them for sure. And even completing one of these courses would not only help you become a better version of you, it will add actual value to your CV.

1. Introduction to Graphic Design, Udemy

This introductory course on graphic designing speaks about elementary things such as what sets apart appealing visual material from not so appealing visual material. And thus, what are some basic principles and elements of design that will help you be more knowledgeable about how design works.

2. Adobe Photoshop CS6 Essential Tools, ALISON

Photoshopping seems to have become an almost “must have” skill, especially if you are in the media/ management sector. Even if your profile may not require you to engage extensively with how photoshopping works, this is a great starter kit for you to pick up the basics for editing and enhancing photographs. Have a look at the free course here.

3. Diploma in Social Media Marketing, ALISON

How do you enhance customer interaction through your social media pages? Why aren’t you get enough hits, likes and shares when you’re doing everything and more? This basic course will help you decode the fundamentals on how “traffic” in social media works. Having this on your CV will make you a favored candidate for more opportunities than you can imagine.
The course has a total of lessons, and each lesson is for hours. Have a look at more details on the free course here.

4. Introduction to Public Speaking, edX

Whoever said public speaking is only for politicians and leaders? In the World of Work, acquiring the art of public speaking is just as important a skill. Be it a farewell speech, an award acceptance speech or speaking at a board meeting or an international conference. In all these areas, your public speaking skills will be put to test. If that scares you to death, well you are not alone. Fear of public speaking is a widespread phenomenon – the average person ranks it even above fear of death. There is even a word for it – Glossophobia or speech anxiety is the fear of public speaking or of speaking in general. [Read more – here].

This course is your quick fix (just 10 weeks!) to overcoming glossophobia! Designed by the University of Washington the course grooms you into becoming the public speaker you wish you were!

5. Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills, Coursera

The name of the course in itself is a skill you need to have to survive the highly competitive world of work. Well, this courses teaches you not just how to survive, but also how to thrive! With expertise from University of Michigan and the easy interface of Coursera, in 6 lessons you will have learnt the essentials of effective negotiation!

6. Secret Sauce of Great Writing, Udemy

Hang on before you jump to conclusions. This isn’t a creative writing course, far from it. This immensely popular course teaches you how to write business emails, cover letters, press notes, and also how to write effective business blogs. By the end of it, you’ll know all that there is to know about how to draft a perfect professional email, what mistakes you should be careful about, cover letter basics – and so much more!

Excited to get started? That’s great! But do remember to take on these courses when you can devote the required time. It may seem like very little effort, and compared to university it surely is. However, you still need to be in a space where you can dedicate the required discipline and attention to the course. That’s the only way you’ll finish it feeling like you’ve actually accomplished something. And that sure is a great feeling!