The quiet times...

I read a great post today about why someone had sent their iPad back after a week of use.  Not because it was rubbish, far from it, he loved it, it went with him everywhere, it became part of his life, so much so it stopped his creativity.  He killed out the boredom, the times when your mind wanders and comes up with the next idea, the next thing to change the world, change your business or just change your day. I don’t have an iPad.  I have promised myself one if certain business metrics are achieved by the end of June and no doubt I will then be in a dilemma whether to buy one or wait for the iPad 3 that will be launched the day after I buy my iPad 2… This isn’t a post about technology though… what got me thinking is the way the volume of work pushes away the boredom, stops some of our thinking time and ability to see things from a new perspective…

Already I’m starting to be like that.  I’m 3 weeks into a new assignment and having got over the initial ‘how does it all work’ phase can now see the activity levels increasing, the volume of emails and calls increasing and getting back to being a slave to my outlook calendar. Is this a pure recruitment thing though, do we see ourselves as special?

I suspect more and more, certainly in a corporate environment it is an HR challenge.  HR and the Talent Acquisition area I work in have managed to change internal perception, treat our business colleagues as clients, using phrases like business partner and actually meaning it.  The result of this though is  a workload that increases, and demands from a business that expect more and more, without an increase in headcount to support it.  For all the many faults HR teams may have, in the main they are trimmed to the bone, work long hours and yet retain the true customer focus needed to make things happen, execute and deliver.

So given that we can’t increase headcount, need to keep the plates spinning and manage the most important thing to us, the candidate experience, how do we find time to step away, allow the boredom to creep in?

Some you think I’m a train geek.  The new website features Preston Station and trains and low and behold I am writing this on a train. So maybe when I’m not writing this the train is my boredom place, the place to let my mind get fed up and wander. 6 hours or more on a train will do this… plus my tube time, iphone connected listening to Oasis in some strange ironic, Manchester is with me, even though I consider myself a Londoner and here I am on a tube heading home to Manchester…

But this time is being absorbed into CV reading, email replies and general use the time for pure work time.  It’s going to sound like a cliché, that I have finally disappeared up my own bottom but for us to successfully lead teams, think of new ways to engage with candidates, engage with the business and become and an extension of them we need to find a way of getting bored, taking the time out. 

I suspect that this is going to be a difficult task.  But here’s to boredom and the benefits it brings.


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