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Dec 04, 2020

Are you trying to carry too much?

Instead of slowing us down, the pandemic has had the opposite effect on many of us.

We’re trying to do more.

More each hour. More each day. More each week.

More at the same time.

It reminds me of a lesson my Mama tried to teach me as a child.

Tried, and failed.

The “lazy man’s burden”

The term is over a hundred years old, and it’s packed with imagery and seeming contradiction.

A lazy man’s burden or load actually describes a very large, very ambitious amount to carry. So why would anyone associate it with someone who is “lazy”?

Because the load is so large that it really warrants two trips instead of one.

Therefore, the person who determines to carry all of it in one trip instead of two jeopardizes the safety of the cargo in a shortsighted attempt to reduce their own effort. And so they are regarded as lazy.

The classic example is when you attempt to carry in the groceries all at once because you don’t want to make multiple trips. Your arms are too full and the groceries you carry are unstable.

You’re going to drop the eggs.

Growing up during winter in the Midwest, I would attempt to carry the required amount of firewood into the house in one trip because the last thing I wanted to do was stay out in the cold longer. When I made it inside with three pieces of wood in my arms and a trail of pieces behind me in the snow, my Mama would smile and explain that I had attempted to carry a lazy man’s load.

Driven by a reduction in our team headcount, or a general increase in work volume, or job insecurity, or boredom, some of us are stacking our days with more meetings and tasks and projects than we did pre-pandemic.

We’re trying to do too much at once, and it’s going to cost us.

The cost of doing too much

When we try to do too much at once, the quality of our work often suffers. It’s a constant struggle between “getting a project done now” versus “getting a project done right.” Sometimes, both cannot be had.

Flawed results that occur because we’re trying to do too much tend to be discouraging instead of rewarding. We would all prefer to complete fewer projects well instead of turning out a higher number of projects that are flawed.

The secret is to know our own capacity, and to limit our focus to the number of projects we can manage to do well at the same time. We must also learn to resist the temptation to try to carry too much at once.

After all, we don’t want to drop the eggs.

We can help

Instead of trying to do too much at once, find your pace. Your sustainable pace. The pace that yields rewarding, high-quality projects and deliverables.

And if you still find that your to-do list is too long, we can help. We’re here to make your day more doable. Please reach out and let us know how we can serve you or your employees so that you’re not trying to do too much at once.

Thank you for partnering with us and for placing your trust in OSV. You remain at the center of everything we do.


About OneSource Virtual

OneSource Virtual (OSV) is the Workday partner that has helped more than 1,300 companies with everything from deployment to maintenance to payroll and more—all to make the day more doable. Founded in 2008, OSV pioneered Business Process as a Service (BPaaS) and has become the leading provider of automated solutions for organizations of all sizes using Workday, delivering services with unparalleled choices, unwavering commitment, and uncompromising care. OneSource Virtual’s global headquarters is located in Dallas, Texas, with additional locations across North America and Europe. OneSource Virtual: let’s make the day more doable. Find your company’s solution at www.onesourcevirtual.com.