OK. I hope I don’t lose anyone over this post. I waited for April 1 to publish it as a softener for anyone that might take this hard.
If you’re like some of my peers over the years you may be flushing precious time down the drain. Here’s some tips to help manage your basic priorities.
The Dumbing Down
Sometime late in the 20th Century Disney doubled down on potty humor. To be fair, this seems endemic in childrens’ entertainment.
These days movie makers behave as if it’s just a given that brassy body sounds are hilarious. Children learn to guffaw at these indescrete indiscretions. Some are affected well into their professional years.
Here’s the real damage to your professional life: you take longer than necessary to do your necessary.
The Seated Mutex
We must hit the head issue here: It can be challenging to set aside inhibitions and act boldly. And none shall pooh-pooh those who do. There is no room for childish squeamishness in the little boys room.
Of course, some of you have never fallen for this. Some of you have the maturity and self confidence to attend to your business with abandon. But many of you aren’t comfortable playing a tune in the tiled concert hall.
I have plenty of anecdotal evidence on this. You time your expeditions to a time when you can have all of the resources for yourself. If you find any resource contention you move on and come back.
If you do get started and someone else enters the queue then you immediately put your tasks on hold. How often has someone started after you and finished before you?
All this time spent avoiding being a potty humor punch-line is wasted. You aren’t as productive in the stall as you are at your desk.
Even if you intend to ruminate – mull things over – you would get better results on a stroll than in the throne room.
Time in the restroom not doing business is a complete waste of time. Keep your waste time to a minimum.
Join The Movement
You can take back these precious minutes and do more. How? Use all of the below that apply:
- Get over it
- Pretend to get over it
- Distract Yourself
- Do More Real Work
1. Get Over It
Read that children’s book that confronts this difficult reality Everyone Poops. If you’re in a hurry, just read the title.
Now that you know you’re just like everyone else, move on.
I’m sure you’ve already aced effective elimination. If you haven’t this is the standard:
All of the potentially embarrassing activities take place in the restroom, including:
- No. 1
- No. 2
- Anything like unto 1 or 2
- All personal grooming: combing, clipping, tweezing, and so on
Now that you are effective, it’s time to move on to efficient.
Don’t schedule time for being embarrassed by this. Don’t take time to avoid the embarrasment.
Use the proper forum and skip being timid.
2. Pretend To Be Over It
If you can’t get rid of the feeling of unease then just pretend that you have. Do all the behaviors that you would do if you weren’t embarrassed. After a little while you will be over it.
3. Distract Yourself
If you’re having a hard time pretending to not be embarrassed then try distraction. Listen to music, make flushing sounds, do math problems in your head whilest making progress.
My favorite strategy: Play music during a stalemate.
You might lose your nerve. You may find yourself in place, not alone, and in a prolonged silence. We all have portable electronic noise makers. Many of us have songs for ringtones. Time to make technology work for us.
Take out your phone and play some noisy, upbeat song. Use the air cover to good effect.
Your stool-mate will never call you on it. Most will silently be thankful for the cover.
4. Do More Real Work
If you find you have time to timidly address your biological needs then you might not have enough commitments.
Sign up for more. Do more. Let that urgency help you “put away childish things.”
Conclusion: The Vegas Rule
Someone has to have spent a lot of money to make us believe “what happens in Vegas stays in vegas.” There is an analogous rule for the water closet.
Let not shy semi-private privy practice stymie you. Nest not on your porcelain perch. But be bold, never fearing an involuntary indelicate diatribe.
The overriding Vegas Rule of bathrooms will protect you as you make strides in meeting your most urgent deliverables.