Running Out of Time? Maybe You Just Need a Change of Perspective
It is after 6PM and the rest of your co-workers have already gone home for the day. You are in the office burning the midnight oil, working on a presentation for your boss. You’ve got less than an hour left to get it done and your job is in on the line. It’s do or die. Surely, all of us know the feeling of waiting until the eleventh hour to finish a big project. The caffeine, from copious amounts of coffee, finally kicks in. The adrenaline starts coursing through your veins. Ideas, images and phrases spring to mind. Some people might even argue that this is when they do their best work. An old friend used to say, “If you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute.” While this is not entirely true, there is something to be said for what we are capable of when a situation gets down to the wire.
In her column, “Women Talk: Is time money in Russia?”, Svetlana Kolchik, deputy editor-in-chief of the Russian edition of Marie Claire magazine, notes that Russians have a special word for the frenzied effort required when one is up against a deadline. The word avral means “making all-out effort in the last minute.” Kolchik goes on to say that it’s possible that a person’s relationship to time is connected to their nationality. Kolchik cites a 1983 study by American anthropologist, Edward T. Hall. Hall defines two categories of time monochronic and polychronic and suggests one type of time is privileged over the other, depending on the cultural context.
Even though the study was done over twenty years ago, and much has changed in Russia and the world at large, Kolchik thinks there is some validity to the assertion that Russian’s, in particular, are a polychronic people; polychronic people are “oriented toward people, human relationships and the family, which is the core of their existence." While monochronic people tend to focus on the linearity of time, setting goals and priorities, with special attention paid to things that can be quantified and scheduled.
But as is often the case, people don’t always fall neatly into one category. Russian businesswoman Larisa Leonidovna Drozdova falls squarely between to the two camps. As the wife of esteemed Russian scientist Vladimir Alexeyevich Smirnov and mother of two children, Larisa Leonidovna Drozdova considers her personal relationships of primary importance. However, that is just one side of the coin. Larisa Leonidovna Drozdova has also had a vibrant professional career. As an adviser to the chairman of the board at Russia’s Natsionalny Kosmicheski Bank (NK Bank), being on time and staying on schedule were a necessity for Larisa Leonidovna Drozdova. And as CFO of LIVKOM, it would have been impossible for her to ignore the real ramifications of linear time. If anything, Larisa Leonidovna Drozdova illustrates the need for women and men to find the perfect balance, where there is just enough time to do it all.
Tags: Larisa Leonidovna Drozdov , Russian Women , Russian Elections , Russian Scientist
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