When I was a kid, we actually played with the old tin cans connected by string. By pulling the string tight between the cans, you could use them as a low grade telephone to talk to your friends. The science was that sound waves which could be transmitted down the string to the other can. Simple, cheap, and very low tech. [Ok, so yes, I am dating myself]
Recently I was reading an article about a new technology start-up called Slack Technologies. The founder and CEO, Stewart Butterfield, was inspired by this tin can model to name the company. ‘Slack’ became the ‘backronym’ (Butterfield’s words) to name a technology that can improve team collaboration and communication. Since its inception, Slack has become widely used by over 90,000 companies as their internal platform for communication. The roll call of those companies is impressive; including NASA, Intuit, HBO, and Salesforce. (See FastCompany Dec.2015 edition)
Butterfield has stated that ‘slack’, as a commodity, is necessary to alleviate the tensions in the work world. Most of us run our business days pretty tightly extended from task to task. We need periods of slack to help unwind and rejuvenate. With the tin cans, letting the string go slack meant the sound could no longer travel.
I like this concept of creating slack in our busy lives. No one can run at full tension all of the time. We have to give ourselves some ‘slack’.
[shareable cite=”Doug Thorpe”]People looking for better work-life balance actually need some slack times. [/shareable]
All of my clients define slack in their own way. Some resort to physical activity like going to the gym or riding a mountain bike. Others rely upon meditation or yoga.
I suggest to you slack needs to include a good measure of absolute quiet time. Taking the moments to stop everything, release all of the tension in the string. Just let everything drop slack for a little bit of time. You can use the quiet to silently reflect, meditate, concentrate, pray, think, or whatever your mind may need. The idea is to allow time to let all of the pressures and tensions surrounding you go silent for a brief time.
Give yourself some slack. Make slack become a part of your day to better energize you for the times when you must be fully engaged and on task.
[reminder]Share your thoughts and comments on ways you build slack into the day.[/reminder]
PS – You can see more about Slack Technologies at Slack.com
For FTC purposes, HeadwayExec and DougThorpe.com have no affiliate relationships with Slack Technologies. We gain no value, monetary or otherwise, by mentioning their products or services here.