Thursday, March 20, 2008

How DO you focus today and tomorrow? 5 Options for coping

Well today kicks off the largest productivity drain in American business. More eyeballs will be off of work today than all the collective Solitaire games played combined in a year. The NCAA tourney. I'm in a pool (of my creation) but that's it as I do have a lot of things to get done. However, I know that a large majority of people in my company and others will be tuned in elsewhere.

How do you get your teams to focus today?

What else can be done to keep people away from ESPN every 10 minutes?

I propose a few solutions for nervous business owners:

1) An offsite in the Yukon territory. Not only will your people be disconnected from the games, they'll also be far enough away from civilization that the need to watch college basketball will be far outweighed by the desire for indoor plumbing.

2) All day Firedrills. While not effective to keep people productive, it does reduce the drain on network resources for the executives who want to keep an eye on the streaming video of the games.

3) Unplug the power. Invite your team to "Work like we used to!" and force them to huddle around windows and the emergency lighting to review mimeograph copies of ledger entries.

4) Draconian Network Shutdown. Only allow your employees to send outgoing email, access the internet site, and shut off all telephony. This will enhance productivity and only slightly enrage the resources you hold dear.

5) Lastly, just give in. Face it. Your people are going to find a way to watch the games, manage their brackets, go on extended liquid lunches and completely ignore work for the next two days. As Agent Smith in the Matrix said, "That, is the sound of inevitability."

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