Where is Your Paint Can? : Global Organisation for Pravasis Urakam (GOPUR)

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Published On: Sunday, June 03, 2012

Where is Your Paint Can?


Once, a man got a job to paint the yellow line passing through the center of the highway, by hand. He started working on it and after three days, his foreman complained about his quality of job, which he was doing for him. In an angry tone, he told him “Your first day out, you did well, and you painted the yellow line for three miles. On the second day, your performance was not bad as you painted two miles. But going into the third day, you painted only one mile..So, I am not happy with your performance and I will have to fire you from this job”.

The man was sad, and leaving the office of his foreman, he looked back and said..”Sir, it’s not my fault. I kept the paint can at the starting point of my work. Everyday, I moved further and further away from it.

Moral of this story:

This story illustrates how we complicate our lives at work and at home. If we lack insight into it, we will miss to see how we create additional stresses in our lives by our own deeds. It is very common that we look to a time management seminar or a book to tell us how to gain more time. Perhaps, we might do better to ask, "How can I simplify my life?"

Here is a brief questionnaire that can be used to evaluate whether you are unnecessarily making your tasks more difficult.

1.    What systems do I have, or need, that will make sure that I use my time, resources and materials in a practical manner?
2.    In what ways am I making my job more difficult because I walk back and forth between the unfinished "yellow line" and my paint can?
3.    Have I let a habit lock me into a routine that is not only counter productive, but also costs me time and a peaceful existence?
4.    How can I further simply my life at work and home so that I feel more in control and more productive?
5.    What unnecessary steps can I eliminate at work that will reduce the stress that I feel?

Like the man painting the yellow line by hand, if we fail to plan how to accomplish a task. We then lose sight of our ability to re-evaluate our activities and we may find ourselves walking the same path over and over again, but accomplishing less and less. If this becomes a habit, we may find ourselves on the road to burnout.

Taking a few minutes to analyze situations in which we have left our paint can far behind, rather than bringing it along, can lead to a happier more productive life.

Let us make it a point:

"I live and work in a simplified manner, and I frequently look up and survey my life to determine if I need to make adjustments.

Have a great week ahead.

Inspiration and story credit : Mary Rau-Foster, Illustration by Ramesh Menon

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Posted on Sunday, June 03, 2012. Labelled under , , , . Feel free to leave a response

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