No Time to Lose: A Search for Work / Life Balance

Latest links by notimetolose

Since concern about work/life balance — rather the growing lack of it! — seems to have only grown since NTTL was presented at Peacock Visual Arts in 2008, I’ve decided to continue posting links and other information here as part of an ongoing commitment to this project.

Here are a few items that have come up recently, that I’d like to add…

1) Another exhibition

Workers Leaving the Workplace exhibition curated by Joanna Sokolowska– Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz – 06.07 – 05.09.2010

The point of departure for the exhibition are contemporary changes of labour and production referred to by researches as „post-fordism” and connected with the development of the global information society and economy based on services and knowledge. This model of economy has extended the traditional borders of productivity by a complex and diverse set of social, intellectual, emotional and communicative processes, thus leading to engagement of workers` and consumers` subjectivity into cycles of production and reproduction of capital beyond fixed hierarchies and categories. Labour viewed from this perspective becomes biopolitics: management of life, creating its new forms. Productivity enters areas it used to be separated from: these of free time, entertainment, aesthetic experiences, social involvement, political action and housework. The requirements of constant efficiency, self-education and flexibility in adjusting to the constantly changing conditions also known today as self-improvement have caused us not to cease producing capital even after leaving our workplace.

The exhibition will debate three main intertwining themes: industrial labour, broadened and hybrid character of contemporary productivity, an artist‘s work and economy. The works focused on industry or its remnants will examine labour processes connected to the factory incorporated into immaterial flows of meaning, that determine in fact entire production cycles. The artists who position labour within the wide field of social and generic activities will particularly concentrate on an ambivalent, flexible and elusive dimension of work today, which often makes the worker function on the verge between self-realization and (self)exploitation. To what extent are the artistic practices – operating with and reprocessing after all images and meanings – reliant on the current transformations of capitalism? What kind of economies might be conceived by the artists, what is their potential to break away from the dominant modes of production?

In relation to the exhibition two new works are being prepared: Janek Simon’s project at Alaba International Market in Nigeria and “The History of the Bomb” by Roman Dziadkiewicz

The Workers Leaving the Workplace project further develops some questions raised by the exhibition Arbeiter verlassen die Arbeitsstätte at the Galerie für Zeitgenőssische Kunst in Leipzig in 2009.

Artists: Joseph Beuys, Rafał Bujnowski, Roman Dziadkiewicz, Miklós Erhardt, Harun Farocki, Aleksandar Batista Ilić (in collaboration with Ivana Keser and Tomislave Gotovac) Kristina Inčiūraitė, Piotr Jaros, Ali Kazma, Jean-Luc Moulène, Frédéric Moser & Philippe Schwinger, Peter Piller, Martha Rosler, Mika Rottenberg, Janek Simon, Škart, Mladen Stilinović, Mona Vătămanu & Florin, Tudor, Ingo Vetter, Haegue Yang, Artur Żmijewski

For more information, contact: Joanna Sokolowska — — or visit

2) Creepy news that is not about being flexible but rather about justifying cuts to social security

“British should set their own retirement age”, The Times (UK) via eurotopics

The British government plans to prevent employers from retiring employees aged 65 who want to go on working. The daily The Times is delighted: “In earlier decades, when employment was dominated by manufacturing, workers were a drag on productivity as they became physically weaker. But in an economy characterised by the provision of services and the application of knowledge, older workers contribute far more. A default retirement age is neither a boon to them nor a way of improving the productivity of the workforce. On the contrary, it adds to one burden that an ageing society does impose, namely the expanding costs of pension provision. The proposal to abolish the DRA would ameliorate that problem by its symbolism. In indicating that older workers have an important contribution to the world of work, the Government may persuade many of them to stay within it. They will pay taxes as well as draw pensions.” (30/07/2010)

3) Omega Interventions: Burnout-Performance

For more info, visit:

4) They don’t because they can’t…

Canadians not using their vacation time
Talbot Boggs, The Canadian Press
(Special) – Canadians aren’t getting enough – vacations that is.

“A new Harris/Decima poll has found that although Canadian workers have an average of 19.68 days a year off, almost one quarter don’t use all their vacation time and give back an average of 2.17 days.

The most common reasons Canadians give for not using their full vacation time include not scheduling their vacation well enough in advance, they are too busy to get away or their significant others are not able to get away from their jobs.”

Read more:

In favour of a 21 hour work week by notimetolose
February 13, 2010, 6:16 pm
Filed under: ideas, news articles | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

As reported by BBC news…

Thanks, Monika!

The Myth of Multi-tasking by notimetolose
January 26, 2009, 9:32 pm
Filed under: ideas, news articles | Tags: , , , , , ,

The Myth of Multi-tasking by Alan Kearns
Reposted from Workopolis on Thursday, January 08, 2009

As you read this, are you checking your voice mail, getting a call or thinking about what you have to do today on your “to do” list?  This week’s podcast is with Dave Crenshaw author of The Myth of Multitasking: How “doing it all” gets nothing done.  The title of the book caught my attention.  How many times in a job ad have you seen “must be able to multitask”? According to The Basex Group, 62 per cent of us think that multitasking is a good thing for our work.

To be frank, at first I agreed with Dave’s thoughts. Then, I started to fight back thinking, “hold on. I am great at multitasking.”

However, I had to think about the difference between putting the kettle on while checking my email versus trying to listen to my kids while checking my email.  I love Dave’s definition – “multitasking is a polite way to say I have not heard a thing you said.” It is hard to truly listen to anyone while you are doing something else at the same time. In a number of provinces, you are banned from using your PDA while driving, and you have to wear a headset if you are on the phone. Why?

Well, the reality is that our skills drop when we are doing two things at once, even if they are mundane tasks.

According to research by The Basex Group, on average there is a $650 billion in lost productivity in the North America economy due to multitasking. We lose on average 2.1 hours each day and over 28 per cent of our work day is spent dealing with interruptions. Not to mention the number of errors that result when trying to do multiple tasks at the same time. This seems counterintuitive. Most of us work in companies that are asking us to do more with less and to be more efficient.

Combine a mix of 24/7 environment, toss in a bit of globalization, add a taste of technology and presto: we have a ripe mix for corporate ADD.

The 5 most common interruptions at work are:

* A colleague stopping by.
* Being called away or leaving your desk voluntarily.
* The arrival of new email.
* Switching to another task on the computer.
* A phone call.

This is not necessarily a new Pbulilius Syrus.  A Roman philosopher once said, “to do two things at once is to do neither .”  I think we have convinced ourselves that we can do more with more technology and less people. Technology is a wonderful thing, yet this has added a more complex work pattern. There is a principle called “switching costs” according to a study by Irvine Department of Information & Computer Science. Switching costs result when we interrupt what we are doing and go to do something else.  When we go back to our original task, it takes time for us to get back into the flow.

How do you solve this issue?  Here is my solution:

Say this three times…

“Multitasking is worse than a lie.”
“Multitasking is worse than a lie.”
“Multitasking is worse than a lie.”

Of course I am not being serious. All of us remember that we need to do multiple projects at once. The key is to break up tasks into pieces that you are able to start and finish. Then, respond to that email that you were alerted to while working on your project. Here are 5 simple ways from Dave’s book to help you break your multitasking habit:

* Recognize that multitasking is a lie.
* Understand and measure the truth about using your time.
* Create a realistic time budget per week.
* Schedule recurring appointments with key people.
* Set specific hours when you are available.

Here are some other ideas that I thought could help you:

* If you have a door, close it.
* If you have a phone, don’t answer it.
* If you have a computer, turn off the sound.
* Work at home on specific days.
* If you have a schedule, use it.
* If you have a blackberry, put it down.

I personally have been reminded about this issue when it comes to really being with my family. As Dave said, “dealing with the fallacy of multitasking is ultimate about doing your work at higher quality with less stress and ultimately, the benefit of better quality relationships. Doing less with more focus equals an overall higher quality of life.”

And that folks, is what all of us want.

Today, take one step towards a better career situation for 2009. Take our Free 15 Minute Career Test or join our complimentary, 1 hour TeleWorkshop. Looking for more personalized support? Book an initial consultation today. Your career and your life await and everyone wins, including you.

Focused, along the road with you!

Alan Kearns Canada’s Career Coach is the founder of CareerJoy: The Career Coaching Company. He is one of Canada’s foremost experts on all things relating to careers. Alan has more than 17 years of experience coaching professionals with successful career decisions. Alan was voted one of the Top 40 entrepreneurs under the age of 40 and is the author of Get the Right Job Right Now!

Onthaasting: About Spare Time and Slower Worlds by notimetolose
November 16, 2008, 12:25 pm
Filed under: artists, contemporary art, curating, exhibition | Tags: , , ,

Onthaasting: About Spare Time and Slower Worlds
Curated by Niels Van Tomme and Jan Van Woensel

Onthaasting is a mental diversion through the use of recreation as an “escape” from the perceived unpleasant aspects of daily life. It takes place on the outskirts of contemporary life: on mountaintops, in wide-open plains, in churches, in landscapes, in gardens … but most of all in the mind. The exhibition presents Belgian contemporary video artists within this conceptual framework.

Artists: Guillaume Bijl, Jacques Charlier, Cel Crabeels, De Brassers, Messieurs Delmotte, Gery De Smet, Harald Thys & Jos De Gruyter.

November 11 – December 21, 2008

American University Museum
Katzen Arts Center
4400 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016

OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday November 22, 2008, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM


Saturday November 22, 2008, 4:00 PM
Onthaasting – The Exhibition as a State of Mind
Co-curator Niels Van Tomme will explain the concept of the exhibition. Through wide-ranging references, Van Tomme plans to merge the national with the personal, the theoretical with the anecdotal.

Saturday December 20, 2008 4:00 PM
Belgians on Holiday
Co-curator Jan Van Woensel will explore the peculiar behavior of Belgians during their vacation at the beach. The lecture takes the 1996 surreal cult movie ‘Camping Cosmos’ as a key example.

Exhibition and all events free and open to the public.

Carl Honoré on “No Time To Lose” by notimetolose
June 8, 2008, 10:28 am
Filed under: exhibition | Tags: , ,

“In our workaholic culture, we have lost the art of leisure. We never make time to switch off; to rest and reflect; to play; to do nothing at all. But leisure is not an optional extra; it is an essential part of a life well-lived and a cornerstone of every great civilization. No Time To Lose is a powerful reminder that we are often most alive, most ourselves, when we are at rest.”

Carl Honoré, author of In Praise of Slow: How a Worldwide Movement Is Challenging the Cult of Speed

TED Talk with Carl Honoré: Slowing down in a world built for speed by notimetolose
May 20, 2008, 2:35 am
Filed under: updates, videos | Tags: , ,

No Time to Lose opens at Peacock Visual Arts on Thursday, June 12 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

More coming soon… but until then, an inspiring TED Talk by Carl Honoré, author of In Praise of Slow: How A Worldwide Movement Is Challenging the Cult of Speed.


Science Matters: Fast-forwarding through the hyper-real by notimetolose
March 14, 2008, 11:04 am
Filed under: environmentalism, news articles | Tags: , , , ,

Reposted from an email sent by the David Suzuki Foundation, March 14, 2008

Dear Friend:

Here’s your weekly Science Matters column by David Suzuki with Faisal Moola.

Last month, I attended a talk by former-UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair. I don’t agree with him on everything but he is an excellent speaker – animated, articulate, and thoughtful. After his talk, he answered questions thrown at him by former-New Brunswick Premier, Frank McKenna.

Mr. Blair delivered very insightful answers, as befitting a former political leader. But what impressed me the most was that he often took a few seconds before responding. And he occasionally paused to think during his responses. He didn’t deliver instant twenty second sound bytes that the media love. Instead, Mr. Blair considered each question seriously and answered appropriately.

It was a refreshing departure from the rapid-fire delivery we’ve grown accustomed to over the years. But perhaps it’s time we revisit this obsession with speed. Never before has there been a greater need for some heavy thinking before action.

We live in a time when we are assaulted by a cacophony of demands for attention. I watch my children navigate as they effortlessly download pop songs, watch snippets on YouTube, check out their friends on Facebook, tune in to missed university class lectures and chat away via the computer. Convenience, immediacy and brevity are striking features in this brave new world.

It also extends to their choices in entertainment. Young people spend hours amusing themselves with Playstations, Xboxes, and Wii video game consoles. In this electronic virtual world, it is increasingly difficult to distinguish between recordings of actual events and computer-generated images.

As players manipulate controls to “kick” an onscreen football or wage war against alien invaders, their shouts and body contortions suggest they are experiencing the heart thumping adrenalin rush of the real thing.

I think the experience these electronic games offer is even better than the real thing. In the virtual world, one can have the kinkiest sex without contracting sexually transmitted diseases, lose a gunfight and live to fight again, crash a car during a race and return in a brand new vehicle.

Television is no different. Programs also enhance reality by using a soundtrack to cue a specific emotion, or a sound effect to add some sparkle to a punch between stuntmen.

Of course, I’m describing fictional programs like action shows, sitcoms, and dramas that are meant to entertain. It had always been my conceit that the programs we did on The Nature of Things would present the wonders of nature so that people would fall in love with the rest of creation. But now I realize that in many ways, we too present a virtual world that is better than the real thing.

Let me take you behind the curtain for a moment: The producer or host of a segment on, say, Arctic polar bears, doesn’t spend months filming footage. We send a cameraman to gather as many fantastic shots as possible – a bear capturing a seal, two males fighting, a family breaking out of its icy den, etc. Once the filming is done, these sequences are edited together into a film that gives the impression that the Arctic is a flurry of activity. But that’s because we’ve edited out the most important aspect of this ecosystem: Time.

Nature needs time to reveal her secrets. And nature needs time to cleanse, replenish and renew herself. The Arctic. The Great Bear Rainforest. The Sahara Desert. The Amazon. The Great Barrier Reef. The Grand Canyon. All of these regions and ecosystems are unique because of the way biological diversity, wind, soil, water, and time have worked together for centuries.

But in television, we present a version of nature on steroids, a world full of adrenalin jolts per minute.

This is symptomatic of how much society has speeded up in our search for thrills. Nowadays, we expect everything to be instant and abundant. Without a sense of the important role that time plays in nature, humans expect the natural world to yield more, faster.

We look to our genetic engineers to breed bigger, faster growing trees, fish and grains which will enable us to carry on with practices that denude the mountains, empty the oceans and fill the atmosphere with planet-warming molecules. Without considering the role of time, we miss a crucial ingredient that has made these things what they are in the first place.

It’s time we reconsider the role of time in our decisions and our technologies. Maybe we all need to slow down, take time to read, think, exchange ideas and deliberate questions of who we are, where we come from, where we are heading and what life is all about. If not now, when?