The Solitaire Moment

Time to Read – Faster than getting those cards in order

On TV adverts, Kit-Kat was the first – “Have a break…”

Followed up with the more intimate “Diet Coke 11:30” advert that involved no window cleaner I’ve ever seen.

And in work, we have The Solitaire Moment.

This is how it works:

You arrive at your desk first thing, or after lunch, or after a long meeting, and you know exactly what you need to be doing – that item at the top of your in-tray, the one marked “too difficult.” You have been delaying this for some time, and today’s the day…

‘I’ll just have a quick game of online solitaire first.’

There is something so enjoyable about moving those cards around, and it is so rewarding when you finally complete it.

Enjoyable, rewarding and very, very time consuming. After all, you can’t just have one go, you have to finish one game all the way through.

And time is money, not just in your time, also in what you could and should be doing instead.

Please don’t get me wrong, I am all for people relaxing at work, and there is nothing “wrong” with playing Solitaire, except this…

How many games do you have to play, before you focus on, tackle and deliver on what needs to be done, right now?

David



9 Comments

  • Michael

    So true David – there have been so many (insert game name here) moments that defer that hard task/job/call for that little bit longer. This is also the reason as to why I haven’t given up smoking…I’ll just have another before tackling that item…

    I’d be interested to know how the number of responses to your email today compares against the standard number of replies…another reason to defer that awkward job?

  • David
    “Solitaire” is not my thing – but the story still hit home and I have reflected on a few key things that I have been putting off……..”Don’t put off to tomorrow, what you can do today!!” also haunts me in the same way !!

    As Michael implied, I reflected on what I was avoiding but writing this email and decided that I had to do the only thing that would take the same amount of time in order to justify the email…….so I told a member of my team “what a great job he was doing and what i liked about his leadership and management during a period during a period of reduced manpower – holidays, sickness, olympics etc”.

    I saw him walk away two foot taller and with a spring in his step.

    Now to get back to the other stuff I have put off!

  • Ah yes, a gentle reminder not to put those jobs off in favour of a quick game, which never is ‘quick’!
    Thank you David a pleasure to read as always
    Emily

  • Albie

    I do love a game myself and i do waste so much time it’s like you were talkingstraight at me and now I know you know It’s really making e think and get on with my stuff. Here’s to more productive time..

  • Tony Weeks

    Games take time to play and it shouldn’t really be encouraged at work!

  • Maureen

    People who play solitaire at work have obviously not got enough to do!
    Anybody caught at work playing it where I am is given a warning.

  • Mark Hammer

    This all comes down to the same thing about whether you should put off tasks or just get on with them. I prefer to get on with them.

  • Boris Cahn

    I reckon there is a time for everything and playing solitaire at work is fine in moderation although that ios hardly the point of the article.
    get on and do things without procrastanation, that is the key.

  • Peter Anastasi

    It’s the “too difficult” comment that hits the nail on the head for me. I convince myself that I am working more efficiently by dealing with 40 easy enquiries, leaving the much harder one until I have more time. True, I have 40 happy customers with quick replies but the difficult enquiry is invariably the more profitable one!

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