01432: Work Stress And Thinking in Systems

So I'm having a drink before bed.

It's not exactly a habit that I want to start, but I do appreciate the value of the occasional bottle (or two?) after a very stressful day. And these Vodka Mudshakes go down rather nicely despite their rather modest (read: weak) alcohol kick. So yeah, just enough to chill for the night.

Well this and some mindless, toilet humor comedy thanks to the early episodes of Futurama.

Work remained to be quite the roller coaster ride. I spent way too much time trying to contact the client-side support team both over email and via toll-free number only to get things resolved a few hours before the deadline. And as I started to stress out over completion, they extended the deadline by a meager 1 hour. Talk about adding insult to industry.

But at least I ended the day on a decent enough note. Made the deadline with 14 minutes to spare. Finished the draft for another task due. And started work on a third needed by the end of the week.

And now for a completely different topic.

There's a rather fine line between the ability to see things from a greater perspective or in systems, as it were, versus remaining focused on single events. And I've always prided myself as one of those types of people who can see things from this somewhat more complex perspective, although it's not exactly a precise science. In the end it's a helpful analytic tool, but one must also understand the limitations of your projections and factor in a margin for error.

The ability to accept the possibility of mistakes is key in any thinking activity.

There's a difference between seeing things in systems versus trying to predict a specific chain of events leading to a conclusion. Hence the latter is where the risk of the sliding slope lies. Systems means being able to figuratively take a step back, see the larger picture and try to draw connections and relationships from there. It's more about observation and the ability to discern patterns amid the noise of things.

It's a fairly practical skill to have depending on the nature of your work or your day-to-day activities. But it's a more interesting skill when applied to studying human behavior, watching how their complex relationships also connect, play out and even fall apart. In theory there are levers to which, um, "forces" can be applied in order to take advantage of those connections and sort of game the system as it were.

But then I've long promised to use my powers for good.

Enhanced by Zemanta