Leeway

Many folks have mocked Mr. Trump for his frequent golf outings, on the one hand because he did the same to Mr. Obama, and on the other because they think he should be working more. Golf outings are not the problem; using them to move public funds to his private pockets is.

Now that his term is approaching its official end, many–possibly the same people but I haven’t paid attention–are mocking his published schedule because it’s empty. Personally, I think the recent White House schedule has been a lie through omission, but, again, the mockery has been because Mr. Trump is seen as not working enough.

What is wrong with us that we think every single minute of every single day should be over-scheduled? Why do we think The Office is boring because nothing is done rather than because Michael’s a jerk? Why do we think that the frantic busy-ness of Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing is correct, admirable, and worthy of emulation?

One thing I’ve noticed over the years of not working in the same physical location as everyone else on my team is that teleconferences tend to start late and run over, and yet no one leaves leeway between meetings for technical difficulties or bodily functions, nor ends meetings on schedule. This has only gotten worse as my co-workers have become more and more distant, which added the additional complication of timezones, so now a day of meetings tries to squeeze into the few rare overlapping hours, often including an assumption that work continues around the clock.

When do we allow ourselves, and others, the time to breathe?

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