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El síndrome de Speedy Gonzales

Nacho, aged 7, my co-worker’s son, said to his mother this morning on the way to the school, that he was heading to Germany tomorrow because children there don’t have homework. His comment made me laugh, but at the same time made me think.

Time accuracy at school lessons, after-school activities, or homework are a continuous source of conflict in our daily lives. We can dig up on the reasons behind this conflict, but the reasoning of it is rather evident: children would like to use their time and flee from tight agendas, and suspiciously, these agendas are quite similar to those one any adult handle with in our daily lives.

Despite the fact I agree with the idea that learning opportunities and stimulation to discover must be given to our children, time has arrived to carry our learning exercises and self-criticism.

Children’s capability to live here and now with a highly developed down to earth instinct, provides evidence that adults drive a highly sophisticated way of live.

A simple question - Why are we always running and we don’t ever finish the to-do list?

I have the feeling that in an organisation, the time guidelines we have learnt (and I have the feeling that I have trained many people about this issue) are turning against us. These guidelines include: setting goals and priorities, making the most of your working time, programming activities one after the other, concurrently making phone calls whilst at the wheel, texting when you are queueing and above all, avoiding procrastination. This last word, which has a perverse touch, shows us the potential risks of postponing things for the next day.

We are sometimes so ambitiously concerned with the time that we overload ourselves with an undoable program. We try to do so many things in a record time. There is always an animated image from my childhood I keep in my mind. (Standing in front of the tv, with a Nutella roll, enjoying it without time constraints). Speedy Gonzales, the fastest mouse in the world, was able to play tennis with himself. This is nowadays an activity as impossible as challenging and that is why I call it the Speedy Gonzales syndrome, a quite common behaviour in our daily lives.

And what does being effective mean? It is obvious that being ill-tempered because you have spent the whole day running from one place to the other is neither effective nor healthy.  If we look around us or even internally, there is evidence that setting an overcharged agenda could be reasonable in some aspects, yet by in large, it makes you miss many things happening in your surroundings.

So, contradicting literature and organisational courses, here is my bold proposal: Be disorganised. It is quite simple. Being disorganised includes crossing off tasks from the agenda, take your time for doing things, observe what is happening in your surroundings and stop doing what dislikes you. Maybe your intuition or your body will simply warn you. Accept coincidences as such, because they could hide some pearls.

I do not know if you will be more effective, but you surely will be happier.

Thanks Nacho. See you in Germany.
Noemi Galindo