If you were a sportsperson (and maybe you are) you’d want your body to be match fit to ensure you performed to the best of your ability. If you were training for a 5k you wouldn’t expect to be able to do it on day 1, couch to 5k does involve a few more steps.
So why do we expect our minds to be working at top condition all the time, don’t invest enough time in ‘training’ them and don’t give them help or a rest?
If you think of your mind as a muscle then you’ll know it needs training, regular rests, sometimes aches and occasionally needs a day off in bed. I know mine does.
Investing in your mental match fitness will make you more resilient. Start small, and build. Try a 5 minute mindfulness exercise today like this one.
That's it. Easy huh. 5 mins of downtime. Feel better?
You can do this sort of simple exercise when eating something too, and properly taste it.
I had a meeting recently which was about communicating messages.
We talked about using 3rd party websites to do this. Some people in the meeting were very nervous about that and focussed a lot on the risks. To be fair that was their job, but I often feel that we don't focus enough on the potential rewards associated with doing things differently.
Those different things might not work of course, but you learn through every failure and I'm sure I read somewhere you have to speculate to accumulate.
I use a lot of risk registers. I focus on risks. I don't use so many reward registers. I'm always looking at mitigating the potential for the negative and not so focussed on embracing and maximising the potential positives. It sometimes feels a very negative way of working.
I guess it's coz risks are better understood, or at least better imagined, because they have happened often before or people just find it easier to believe the possibility of something negative happening. But how big is that potential risk and could you live with it if the potential reward is worth it?
Doing things in an Agile way is a good solution because you get to test things, and tweak and evolve. The scale of risk is smaller at each stage and perhaps not as scary.
Change comes though taking risks.
But it also comes through selling rewards.
Make sure you do a proper assessment of the potential reward and sell that opportunity to decision makers.
Well it isn't but hopefully you're now singing and thinking about drinking sangria in the park.
The point is that it doesn't have to be a perfect day and it likely very often isn't and that's the same with anything where you are trying to be perfect. You don't need to be. The people or situation you are trying to be perfect for probably don't mind too, unless you're a brain surgeon or rocket scientist.
I get frustrated when I don't do things perfectly. I have a friend who is the same. I bet you do too.
It reminded me of some stickers about Mental Health I found recently on Twitter and have been plastering the office with, here they are.
I like them. I look at the done is better than perfect one on my desk a lot.
Done is better than perfect most of the time. And if you try and think like that you'll give yourself an easier time.
I also think perfectionism is harder to keep in check when you work remotely (you can probably tell I do from the amount of times I mention it), and that's when you need to check your work with others more and your managers and peers need to check in with you that you're not doing too much. And ask for help if you need it. It really is ok.
And invest some time in yourself, because like Lou said, you're going to reap what you sow.
Seya, take care
So am I mended yet, how am I feeling (in myself)?
Well the progress and change has been disappointing so far. The purple spots didn't appear but I am constantly knackered, feel like I have a headache most of the time and I feel like my vision has been affected. But these are pretty much all listed on the set of common side effects so I guess that's ok.
It also says that you need to avoid alcohol, which is a challenge and that they may take 4 weeks to work, so at the moment it feels all pain no gain.
I just started a new job this week, but am still doing some of the old one and it's a busy time. And also a pressured one (mostly my own pressure starting a new job and wanting to impress).
But it's probably the perfect time (what with my state of mind) to be having some reasonable adjustment.
The time to change doc says "Managing workload and priorities can be difficult for a range of reasons, including problems focusing, or a tendency to take on too much. Some people benefit from having extra support with this, on either an ongoing basis, or just when they need it. It may be helpful to focus on fewer, manageable pieces of work for a while. "
I think that's something I need to recognise and discuss. I've never been good at saying no and do feel at the moment that my focus isn't as sharp as it usually is, so I'm glad I read this document and have noticed and will have a think about what I can do differently.
Being a remote worker doesn't help either and I was therefore pleased when my new boss prompted a conversation this week about how to stay in touch better and I suggested some way of flagging how I 'felt' to my 2 colleagues 60 miles away.
So that's it for this one. Be aware of the support you may need or may be entitled to and also the support your employees / colleagues may need.
I'm not saying I need a lot, but wanted to share.
Mr Paul Wyse