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Polly LaBerre

CNN business correspondent and co-author of Mavericks at Work...

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The latest news on this change — carefully culled from the world wide web by our change agents. They do the surfing, so you don't have to!

Permission Granted to Slack Off

Permission Granted to Slack Off

We’re totally not advocating grabbing the nearest couch cushion and napping under your desk (although that sounds mighty inviting…) but CareerBuilder says slacking off slightly from the usual go-go-go mentality at your new job will ease the burden of your 9-to-5. Even the dreamiest of jobs can have its nightmareish moments!

* Bail on your email. Remember when changing your Outlook meant reevaluating your life perspective and not right-clicking on a bobbing desktop icon? Yeah, me either. But disabling your pop-up notices and responding to emails in batches will save you hours a day. Just don’t ignore those labeled From: Boss.

* Say no, no, no. If work is toppling over your desk and a coworker nonchalantly asks for a hand with a non-urgent matter, it’s fine to say no, or at least explain that you’re one assignment away from your head imploding. Trust us, he’ll understand.

* Multitasking isn’t all that.
You may feel super important with a phone perched on your shoulder, one hand pecking out an email, and the other one clutching your chicken wrap. Chances are high, however, that you’ll miss some details of the call, the email will be riddled with spelling errors and ranch dressing will splatter your lap. When in doubt, the most efficient route tackles one task at a time.

* Munch on that lunch out of doors.
Speaking of food, back it away from your desk. Making your whole work area an anti-eating zone will force you to take a walk, not to mention help keep your keyboard crumb free.

Do you deserve a break today?  Kick off those shoes and tell us your multitasking horror stories. [CNN]

Posted: 9/24/08

You're worth much more to your company if you can take care of all your responsibilities, rather than just the ones at work or just the ones at home. Balance it all and do one thing at a time.

  • By cobber
  • on 9/29/08 10:05 AM EST

Most important. Always remember that businesses survived and prospered for a LONG time before the cell phone and Blackberry was invented.

Don't take calls while you're eating lunch. Don't read your email while you're sitting at the stands at your kid's ballgame. And most important, don't do either in the car. Turn up the radio and chill-out.


I've learned when to just shut down for the day. If I don't set a limit to my computer time, then I will just keep doing work until I start falling asleep and my head bounces off of the screen. I always tell myself, "The virtual world will not fall apart without you!"


I DO deserve a break today! As for a multitasking horror story...i once was so busy doing too many different things that I screwed up big time. I answered a call regarding a memorial for someone (let's call her Mrs. F) who had passed away and asked if Mrs. F would be available for a meeting. I totally wasn't thinking and completely offended the person on the phone. It was not good. LESSON LEARNED.


Unrelated to starting a new job, but on the subject of time-consuming emailing, unsubscribe from all those emails that you immediately delete! I got so used to deleting that I forgot I could just unsubscribe and not deal with them altogether!

  • By aliciak
  • on 9/26/08 2:12 PM EST

I've actually never been big on multitasking anyway; I prefer doing one thing at a time. However, I still feel just as overwhelmed with work and life as anyone else. I'm guilty of trying to pack too much into my day, and as a result I don't get enough sleep. I know I'm the classic "eight hours a night," but rarely do I get it. I usually get six or seven, which makes me incredibly groggy. I'd love to have a whole day to do nothing but sleep!


I constantly feel like I'm doing a million things at once! If you're feeling guilty about slacking, the best thing to do is get people to slack with you. Srsly! We went on a long walk in the park as a team on Monday, and it really rejuvenated all of us, I think, for the week ahead.

My motto is: "Work will still be here tomorrow." It helps keep the perspective that half an hour to run an errand or eat lunch won't really keep me from getting my job done.

  • By kristen
  • on 9/24/08 3:25 PM EST