This week’s Monday Morning Message from Wm. H. Danforth, founder of Ralston Purina:
What is the Monday Morning Message?
Before you read this message glance around and see how many conversations are taking place on your office floor.
How much of it is idle chatter and how much is worth while talk?
You wouldn’t dare — twice — to come into my office and tell me about the vaudeville show you saw last night. But some people impose on the good nature and courtesy of others by wasting their own time, and the other fellow’s time, with social visits during office hours.
Show me the man or woman that avoids useless explanations and gets right to the point.
Show me the man or woman who saves golden minutes by frankly telling the chatterer to be gone—
Show me these, I say, and I will show you the Purina Leaders of today and tomorrow.
This type of Monday Morning Message makes me uncomfortable because I must check up myself. Maybe it will make you uncomfortable too, and we will all have a better week.
Good-bye — Idle Chatter
Enter—Worth While Talk
Although William Danforth wrote this message decades before the Internet became a part of our lives, his words apply to the Internet, too.
The “office water cooler” may still exist for those who work in offices, but wherever you work you can be lured into idle chatter via Twitter, Facebook, email, texting and other online communications. Each of these has valid business and personal uses, but it is easy to get distracted by unimportant chatter and waste minutes or hours everyday.
We all need a little downtime during the day to decompress and recharge. Spending a few minutes catching up with friends and colleagues, in person or online, can be fun and the interactions keep us connected day-to-day. However, when it becomes a habit that encroaches on productive time, it is time to scale back.
Draw a line between productive time on email and social media and non-productive time. Pay attention to how much of your work day is spent on “idle chatter,” then decide if you need to make some changes. One way to start is by setting aside time every day to handle email and social media. Set a timer, and when it goes off, get back to other tasks.