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czwartek, 12 września 2013

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Disappointment, focus and solution for all problems ;-)



Many of us dream of a situation, when we can work with sustainable pace, having enough time for everything and be able to comfortably do our job. But it doesn’t work. I’ll tell you why.
When you get too comfortable and you have much (time) space for work, you start to distract yourself. You usually say to yourself: “I can dig it a little bit deeper. It would be worth to find out more about it. I should look around for another sources of information. It is necessary to expand my network so I’ll take a look at LinkedIn”. It sounds quite reasonable at first. You start to read about subject A, then you come across another interesting subject B, which turned out to be also important and then the subject C appears. And so on. After a while (sometimes a few days, weeks or even years, you are doing something completely different.  

And there disappointment appears. You start feeling in your guts that you are not doing what you wanted to do. Disappoinment is a kind of emotion that aims to move you a little bit, so that you wouldn’t feel too comfortable. Wow! What a contradiction because you wanted to feel comfortable.
You can imagine such internal dialog:
“Strange. Why this disappointment? I wanted to feel comfortable.”

“But you know you are off course. It’s time to wake up. It’s not fulfilling in a long term. And you might lose your comfort in a while. ”

Sometimes also guilt appears. You wanted comfort, you had gained it and started to lose it. It is not pleasant but it forces you to do something. It is a kind of warning.

 

So the question is: “How can I consciously do it in a different way? How can I develop different kind of warning system." There’s a good news for you. There is such a system already. The main thing is that you want to be sure that you are on course or sometimes you might want to change the course a little bit but doing it with full awareness. And you want to see the progress of your work, this is what gives a sense of purpose and meaning. In other words you want to be strongly focused.


To achieve these goals you may use kanban board (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanban_board) and retrospectives (http://agilediary.wordpress.com/2008/12/15/agile-retrospectives-start-stop-continue/). Kanban board gives ability to see what you are doing, to see progress you make, to roughly plan what you want to do. It keeps your focus sharp because it is physical. Our minds distract not having something they can stick to. And retrospectives help you to verify your course and modify if necessary.
The story described above applies also to teams. It’s quite common that teams after weeks of very hard overhours work tend to do their job many weeks in a very lazy manner, which is not good for anybody in a longer term. Such kind of work is simply not satisfying.

So, stay focused, feel fulfilled.

P.S. (This is first time I write in English and this is direction I decided to choose for my later writings. Now it is experimental activity and I am sorry for language mistakes in advance. Have a good fun!)

3 komentarze:

Peter Gwiazda pisze...

Hi Mariusz. A little advice. Remove the "sorry for my english" part grom the beginning of the post. The reader will focus on the language instead of contents. This is how the brain works. If you really want move it to the end.

I like yor post. One more simple technique for distractions is "pomodoro". Just make yorself a timeframe for distractions.

Mariusz Sieraczkiewicz pisze...

Thanx for advice and "pomodoro" hint.
Pomodoro is also very good tool especially for getting focused in the moment.
The focus itself is a quite complex phenomena and can be considered at different levels of granularity:
a) long term focus - your/team vision and mission, what's your guiding force; what is it all about;
b) strategic focus - your/team complex goals you want to achieve within one, two or more years - roadmaps, broad brush planning;
c) tactical focus - what you/your team want to develop, deliver within days or weeks; this is where scrum or kanban might work well;
d) short term focus - what I should do right now in the context of broader goals (all above together) - this is where pomodoro works well.
And retrospectives are great at all levels.

Michał Bartyzel pisze...

@Peter Gwiazda

Does Pomodoro work with a lot of small tasks (ie management tasks) for you?