A living example of the need for Slack

Yep, that’s me.

One of the key ideas in Tom De Marco’s book Slack is that people need a little slack in their schedules to reinvent and change. Humans who are busy all the time don’t have the time/ability to reflect and create new hypotheses on how to work.

I just finished eight (8) weeks of travel. I was home 2-3 days at a time, long enough to prepare for the next gig, do laundry, pat the dog, and repack.

And I’m starting to feel it. My creative energy is down and I’m moving more slowly.

And I’m thinking about the price business pays for a relentless pace.

My current plight — not enough downtime (slack) — is repeated countless times in software organizations.

People are pushed to work long hours for weeks and months on end. The result is not faster progress or greater productivity. It’s slower reaction time, less energy, lower productivity.

So I’m taking a bit of a break. I’m walking around the lake (no snow here yet!) a lot and giving myself time to recharge. I’ll be back to regular posting after a few more turns around Nokomis.