Sunday, January 20, 2008

Managing expectations

Oliver Burkeman's discussion of strategic incompetence is spot on. Unfortunately, encouraging others to have low expectations of me is something I find very difficult to do. (It's just a kind of lying, isn't it? Sure, the outcome might be beneficial in one sense -- I might be asked to do less --- but there's always the danger my cover might be blown.) But there are others who are much better at it and seem to have no qualms at all, so perhaps I should model myself a bit more on them. On the other hand, it's not clear to me that they have arranged such low expectations intentionally. Maybe they just are incompetent, and not strategically so.

Now, can anyone set up an add-on for Thunderbird that lets me answer an email but won't send the reply for a good couple of hours afterwards? Then I can enjoy the mental freedom of an empty inbox while not seeming to be too efficient.

UPDATE: the busy bees have already done what I wanted. Download the 'Send Later' add on here (right-click and save link as).

1 comment:

RJR said...

There is a "Send Later" extension for Thunderbird, which allows one to specify exactly when you want something sent (e.g. a birthday greeting, etc) but some w*nker has hacked the page in the name of Allah and I can't find a cached version. Magic SLR may do the same thing, I'm not sure.

I saw that piece in the Guardian, too. I do it a bit myself as a means of defence, but it's not good for the self-esteem after a while. I certainly know some terminal cases in Cambridge though...