The power of a good think

We all lead such busy lives and, if you’re anything like me, you probably get bogged down in ‘doing’ every day.  I’m either trying to clear my project board, rushing off to a meeting or preparing information for a client discussion.  Everything is busy, busy, busy.  When do I get time to stop and think?

I read a really good blog about thinking by Dinah Liversidge a little while back and promised myself that I would re-establish my old habit of taking a half day off regularly to plan and think about what I was doing and where I was going.  I still hadn’t got around to it when my body allowed a cold to sneak past my considerable fortifications.

This was a blow to my pride; I don’t do sick in any way – but this time I had no choice, I felt so bad I was in no state to work.  I sat on the sofa for a few days consuming vast quantities of lemon and honey and reading books.  From time to time I abandoned reading and just let my mind wander and lots of random thoughts appeared; some of them were good ideas and got scribbled down, some were just thoughts that were trying to get out!

Surprisingly, when I felt ready to go back to work, my mind was clearer, I was more focused and I got things done much quicker.  It was as though I’d had a mental ‘clear out’.

So, when was the last time you gave your brain a spring clean?  You might be surprised at how much ‘stuff’ is wandering around in your mind and needs to filed away or thrown out instead of just lying around cluttering things up.

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What will happen to Skype now Microsoft have bought it?

I’m not a big newshound, but now Microsoft have bought Skype what happens will affect me directly. I’ve been using Skype for years and have found it invaluable for talking to people in other parts of the world, having instant conversations with colleagues, using it for group chats and for conference discussions. There’s been plenty of jokes since Microsoft took over about the requirement for glitches to be engineered into the Skype platform, but it does seem that since the buy out more problems have occurred than during the whole time I’ve been using it.

  • A conference call produced quality so bad it made it hard for the attendees to hear what I was saying.
  • Instant messages don’t get delivered for AGES!
  • Now only two of my list of contact seem to be online – wholly unrealistic in the middle of the afternoon – and Skype seem to know that some people can’t get online, but don’t know why, so can’t immediately fix it.

It may have made sense for Microsoft to pay $8.5 billion, but not if the value drops. It’s just as well their bid for Yahoo failed a few years ago – now Yahoo’s value has dropped by about half. I’m sure Mr Gates and his board are hoping that doesn’t happen to Skype – and the solution is in their hands. They need to put their not inconsiderable technological expertise to work to ensure that Skype performs at a consistently high level in order to make that investment worthwhile.

If a good product or service deteriorates, people will leave in droves. After all it’s not the only option.
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