About this Blog

The Curmudgeon's Office blog is a spin off from my personal blog, Too Young To Be A Curmudgeon, which is full of random rants and thoughts I have on a whole host of topics. In an effort to be more organized, and also to attract a specific niche of followers, I decided to start a separate blog for my professional postings. At this blog, I'll post my tips, rants, and random thoughts on a host of professional topics from setting up a home office & office gadgets to 5S practices & time management.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Don't Make Resolutions; Make Realistic, Measurable Goals.

Don't make resolutions; make realistic, measurable goals. I can't stress that enough. Resolutions are just dreams or wishes. Realistic, measurable goals are an actual plan with trackable milestones. Don't just figure out what you want from 2014, figure out and stick to a real plan to make it happen.

Both in your personal life and professional, merely setting goals alone won't get you anywhere. They need to be realistic. They need to be measurable. And most importantly, you need to keep vigilant with it and see it through.

Write your goals down and keep them posted where you will always see them. Set deadlines and milestones to keep and track. Stay focus on the end result. Keep things realistic and achievable.

One book I can not recommend enough is EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the TrenchesThis book is a must read for anyone in business from an Entry Level Cubical Jockey to Senior Management. I almost wore out a highlighter on my copy of this book.

Happy New Years, everyone! I wish you all a safe, healthy, and productive 2014. Good Luck with your realistic, measurable goals!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

“Super” Sam. Our Company’s “When I was” Specialist.

My day job is with a small company that has two other sister companies. We now share a new corporate level salesman. I think his title is Vice President of Business Development. I stress I think. The reason why I’m not 100% sure is that, in the conversations I’ve had with him, I’ve lost track of his accomplishments. Hence the nickname we’ve given him Super Sam.

Sam is not his real first name. I changed it to protect his identity. But nonetheless we coined him “Super”. He is super because with every conversion you have with him, you’d think you were interviewing him for a job. He is almost a talking resume.

“When I was Sales Director at... When I was working at… When I ran this…. When I owned my company I…” are constantly being said by him. This constant boasting of himself I feel is doing the opposite of his intention. Instead of driving home he has a lot of experience, he has given the impression to us co-workers that 1) he really likes to brag himself up and 2) either he doesn’t last too long as a place or he’s 150 years old.

There is no denying the fact that one has to “sell themselves” in today’s business world. But I strongly feel its best be done in a more subtle manner. There has to be a balance between letting people know you’re experienced and qualified, and being a 24/7 infomercial about yourself.

Super Sam recently showed up at a project kick off meeting with the Design Engineering Team. During is constant talking over the Team Leader who called the meeting with his “When I was” statements; he kept bringing up the time he owned a company. “When I owned my company, I always made sure the Engineers….” He mentioned the fact that he owned a company at least five times during the meeting and it had a noticeable effect on the Design Engineering Team.

When Super Sam left the conference room one Design Engineer turned to the rest of us in the meeting and said something pretty profound. He said “why should we listen to him when he says ‘this is how I did things when I ran my company? If he was successful at it, why is he now working for us, and not still running his own company?”

Sunday, December 22, 2013

I Only Have Two and a Half Hours

"2-1/2 hours, I only have 2-1/2 hours" is what I just told myself as I looked at my "to do" list and my clock. I have a ton of stuff to get done and in 2-1/2 hours, I have my next family Christmas gathering to attend.

I looked at my list and started crossing off things that need to be done without doing them, as I added the time it will take me to get dressed up, things put away, drive time, and any other excuse I could find to not be productive in the time between now and  my next appointment. I do this a lot.

We all do this. Around the house, around the office. "Well the department status meeting is in 20 minutes, no point in starting my next task." Sound familiar?

Next time you find yourself doing that, which if you're like me it will be very soon; try something different. Instead of looking over your task list looking for items to put off doing, look for small items that you can do to get them out of the way of the larger ones.

You may find that besides being over booked for time, you are looking for excuses not to do what needs to be done. You might even be putting up your own roadblocks in a subconscious effort to avoid items you fear you will fail at. Yes. I said that.

Look at this example. I could have spent the last fifteen minutes going over my list and adding items like driving to town to reduce the amount of time I have until I decided to just set on the couch and Facebook or watch YouTube videos until I had to go. Instead, I wrote this post that I will be able to post on at least two blogs. I was productive. I added content to my blogs, allowing you to be able to read this.

Granted it wasn't a life changing event for either of us. I had some fun writing and hopefully you were entertained or maybe inspired to quit stalling on one of your projects. I didn't move mountains, but it was better than "liking" status updates and watching videos of funny pets.

Now I have about two hours. I just might have enough time to take care of a load of laundry and mop the kitchen floor. Look out world: I'm not stopping myself with excuses today!