It’s been a challenging few months since the last post; I don’t want this to be a confessional blog, but suffice to say that my wife Katie has been fairly ill, having been diagnosed in mid-December. And, frankly, it’s the thing that’s on my mind constantly, so what else to write about….
As ever, such things throw everything else into a sharp, instant perspective, which has a direct impact on how you approach work and all its different parts.
For me, there’s been a few things I’ve noticed:
– prioritisation is everything (see previous post on the myth of multitasking); there’s a reason why this is the first blog post in three months or so, and the non-urgent and the peripheral drops away rapidly….apologies to those at the periphery, but that’s just how it’s been of late
– impatience as a driver: I’m hugely driven at the moment to cut through flim-flam, inefficient (or unneeded) meetings, stuff that doesn’t deliver change / impact, circular discussions and so forth; and (as the image says), seize opportunities wherever possible; this impatience is something that has to be managed, otherwise it can easily move towards rudeness rather than (more positively) towards greater productivity
– support networks: it’s one of those terms/phrases that you don’t really know what it means until you call upon it; thanks to all those who’ve been kind, supportive + listened (and those who continued to take the piss/make me laugh); especially colleagues + workplace who’ve demonstrated for real that the organisational values actually mean something outside of the business plan
– flexible working has limits: hospital wifi is poor, and multitasking doesn’t work with this kind of stuff: attention required at all times; so thank heaven for e-mail on smart phones (without which I would be playing an even larger game of catch-up), but I’m also recognising the benefits of an office with flows of information, companionship and co-working [a good reminder of why I left freelancing behind]
– there’s always someone worse off (and willing to talk): it’s not a particularly positive thing to hang your hat on, but it is true; people in every network, every sector, every group of friends…are dealing with big, hairy problems all the time; and honesty about your situation begets honesty about theirs
– crosswords are therapeutic: I’d kind of got out of the habit of doing the crossword on the commute home, but am finding it a thoroughly useful thing: not only occupying the mind, but also doing something that has definite answers and a clear order; a clarity and certainty not available elsewhere
– drink plenty of water and get enough sleep: I may well write a self-help / productivity book in future which simply has this as the title, with a load of blank pages inside; certainly guaranteed to achieve more than any amount of positive visualisation and aligned chakras
On that note, back for some water, crosswords, sleep and prioritising the important stuff over this blog :0)