Spend Your Time
I. The patient took the pain medicine as prescribed and didn’t understand why the doctor was upset.
Patient’s point of view: He was in pain and followed the instructions on the bottle.
Doctor’s point of view: The pain medicine was prescribed by the patient’s veterinarian, for the patient’s dog.
II. The drug rep walked into the doctor’s office dressed as the Grim Reaper and didn’t understand why the doctor asked him to leave.
Drug rep’s point of view: It was Halloween, he was having fun.
Doctor’s point of view: He had patients with life-threatening diseases/illnesses. The last thing they needed was to be met by the Grim Reaper upon a visit to their doctor’s office.
III. The office manager put examination table paper on all of the doctor’s examination tables and didn’t understand why the doctor asked him to remove it.
Office manager’s point of view: It was free paper provided by a drug company and would save money.
Doctor’s point of view: It was flat out wrong to have a young teenage girl sitting on examination table paper that advertised a drug for erectile dysfunction.
These are true stories (well true, but with a few tweaks . . . ).
They make me laugh because they are real examples of real people doing what real people often do best—fail to fully think through their actions in advance.
I value the stories because they are real examples of real people, taking real actions that I never would have been able to make up on my own.
To obtain these stories I had to 1) experience them myself or 2) lift the stories from the doctor to whom they belonged. I went with the latter.
I’ve been working out of my home office since 2001. The upside of working alone: No other people. The downside of working alone: No other people.
I’ve never wished myself back into a traditional office, but at the same time, I often feel the walls around me becoming more comfortable and harder to leave.
I have everything I need—and if I don’t have it, I can order it online—except for great experiences.
With a few exceptions, all of my great stories occurred pre-2001—or when on vacation from the home office.
We talk a lot on this site about keeping our time safe, not wasting it, doing the work instead of becoming distracted by the rest of life and the people within it. But… We miss a lot if we go too far.
As the end of 2017 approaches, and so many of us think about the changes for the next year, I want to encourage all of you to get out of your office.
The sounds of the streets help inform musicians. The colors of the sky speak to painters. The actions of everyday people inspire the writers.
It’s important to save your time, but you’ve got to spend it, too.