Performance Perspectives Blog

How large is your stack of quotidian reports?

by | Jan 7, 2012

If you’re like me, the word “quotidian” is probably one you’re not terribly familiar with. Perhaps you don’t even see it in print regularly, though interestingly it appeared twice on page A15 of the July 26, 2011 edition of The Wall Street Journal, in both an article on the nutcase Anders Breivik and a book review of Rules of Civility, by Amor Towles (a book I happened to read, and found quite good).

Bret Stephens, the author of the first piece references the “quotidian details of [Breivik’s] shooting,” while Joanne Kaufman, who penned the book review, referenced the “quotidian pursuits like commerce.”

So what does this word mean? My favorite source for word meanings offers the following:

1. daily: a quotidian report.
2. usual or customary; everyday: quotidian needs.
3. ordinary; commonplace: paintings of no more than quotidian artistry.
4. (of a fever, ague, etc.) characterized by paroxysms that recur daily.

5. something recurring daily.
6. a quotidian fever or ague.

And thus the real reason for this post: your quotidian reports (or the ones you produce and give to various folks in your organization). When was the last time you did an inventory of them? Are they needed? Can they be improved? Might be a good new year’s project!

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