Don’t waste your life on meaningless work

Posted on November 16, 2012


Do we complain too much about lack of speed? Depends what we’re talking about, I guess.

Recently over on my Collective Content blog (CC Blog) I spoke about how lack of speed holds back the best content when it needs to be signed off by businesses.

And it’s not just me who says this. At the end of this post – it’s one of those de rigeur, we’re-all-media-companies-now posts – when asked ‘What are your best practices for content?’ the expert begins by saying ‘Speed.’

Maybe these views make sense. But how about if I mostly have this the wrong way around?

How about if – more often than not these days – we move too fast?

I recently found out about A Short Lesson in Perspective, a blog post by Linds Redding.

Linds was ill with cancer when he published that post in March, after a lengthy career as an advertising creative, mostly in the UK (though he hailed from New Zealand).

Last month he died.

The post is doing the rounds again and I don’t think I’m being too flippant to say it seems to have taken on even more meaning. I didn’t know Linds and have come to this whole thing late. But it strikes a chord.

If a few days ago I complained about slow turnaround, today I wonder whether the Overnight Test that Linds spoke about – like a relic from ancient history (he was only referring to the 1980s) – is what we should care about more.

There are many quotable lines from Linds’ post. But you should read it all.

Not everyone gets to find meaning in their work. And sometimes it is just about doing whatever you do with pride, effort and respect for those you’re serving. But don’t miss out on life’s truly important things too often for the sake of tight client deadlines.

Linds proves an old adage – and I paraphrase – that “no one ever lay on their death bed and said they wished they’d worked more”.

*photo credit: whiteforge via photopin cc

Follow Tony on Twitter – @tphallett

Posted in: Family, Media, Work