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Monday, 4 March 2013

If it's a sisyphean task - why are you doing it?

I was on a flight last week and was introduced to the word Sisyphean in an electronic book I was reading. It's such a great sounding word I made a note to look up it's meaning when no longer in flight mode.

A sisyphean task is one that is endlessly laborious, ineffective and/or futile.  

If I'm to make a blog out of using this word then my suggestion would be to ensure that as soon as anything becomes sisyphean - stop doing it - and do something different instead.

I'd certainly suggest that's been my strategy since starting to work for myself seven years ago. I've tried many ideas and have beaten myself up often for seemingly changing tack and not sticking with what I'd proclaimed only months before was my latest, and obviously greatest, idea for my business. Yet that IS the strategy: persevering, giving it 100% and more and then finally knowing when to say "enough" and start to look for opportunities in another direction.

It certainly feels like 2013 is the year that the perseverance will pay off when I finally manage to integrate all that I care about into what I do - business change, procurement, stakeholder engagement and personal responsibility.

Next time you realise it's a sisyphean task - what new direction could you take and what's stopping you from taking it? 

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach
Inspiring collaboration in purchasing to ensure no task is ever sisyphean! 

Photo courtesy of : By Hansueli Krapf This file was uploaded with Commonist 

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