LinkedIn is great for many things but amongst its varied advantages also it also increasingly appears to be a platform for people to share ’inspiring quotes’ written over badly distorted stock images. As far as I’m concerned this is a deeply annoying practice whether it is being carried out by your professional contacts or by that one deeply annoying relative on Facebook who seems to do nothing but share quotes and play Candy Crush Saga. However in much the same way as the annoying constant refreshing of Ticketmaster will eventually yield tickets for Leeds Festival this particular annoying practice can occasionally provide an actual chunk of wisdom genuinely useful to whatever issue you are currently working on. Or in this case the two issues of why is the way these calendars work so infuriating and what should I write this week’s blog about.
“The seven most expensive words in business are: we’ve always done it that way.”
It’s very easy to keep a system going once you have set it up. This applies to pretty much everything – from putting off switching to a more efficient energy provider, to manually stapling together a month’s supply of board papers because you have never learned how to use the staple and collate function on your office printer. In the exact moment that you are in a rush doing something the way you have always done it is much quicker than learning how to do something more efficiently – but this excuse is only valid for a finite number of uses. Running your business may sometimes involve a series of rushed events but it is also a long game filled with careful scheduling, yearly projections, and five year plans. If you stay on the slow road for those five years then you could end up behind the person that took the time out in the first year to overhaul the way their website was managed or even simply spent an afternoon surrounded by old invoices streamlining their filing system.
It’s because ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it’ is not a reasonable excuse that I spent a good chunk of time earlier this week researching the various calendar options available on Outlook 2013. Discovering and dealing with a problem of inefficiency can seem tedious but when you arrive at the desired result, and everything is working a little more fluidly, you can earn a real sense of achievement from a relatively simple task which can power you up to tackle your current larger projects. There is probably something about the way your business operates that you find frustrating but you have come to accept it – just like you have come to accept the fact that your ageing father will always find the longest route possible from the train station back to your childhood home but when it comes to your business, unlike your father, you have the power to change things.