Doing The Work

Working Through Personal Change

We all work through change at some point in our lives. More to the point, we frequently experience change, and often several changes at the same time. As universal as the experience is, there is precious little guidance on how to make it through. This is not a rational, linear process. There is a starting point and an ending point, and what happens in between is anything but predictable and easy. Which isn’t to say that there aren’t structures that we can understand, and ways through that we can find. We just need to know where to look.



This Is What Change Feels Like

I wrote last week about the transition that I was undertaking to a new approach to time management. At the time, I presumed it would be a relatively easy change to make. I knew I needed new software. I thought that I already had the practices and concepts down. I believed that I had ample time to get things sorted and organized in time for the new year. I was wrong on all counts.



Our Tools Get In The Way, Too

Not that we need any help on this front. We get in our own way just fine. But then we add tools to the mix, and that complicates things unnecessarily. For those who have a fetish for office supplies and time management solutions (you know who you are) it can be awfully tempting to look at shiny new software with covetous desire. My usual advice is, “If what you are doing now is working for you, then keep doing it.” Which is great, until you realize that it isn’t working. This is what happened to me.



We Often Get In Our Own Way

How we think about work is challenging. And how we do that work is more challenging still. When the work we are doing is creative and uncertain—where we are the author and motivating force of what gets produced—success is often judged externally. We don’t have an effective, objective way of evaluating the quality of what we’ve done. Ultimately, we rely on the subjective assessment of those for whom we have done the work. That’s a hard thing to do, and many of us have developed work strategies that make it even harder.



Defining What “Done” Looks Like

Knowing why we are doing something is inarguably important. Being able to define what one successfully looks like is fundamental and critical. This is particularly true when we are the ones that are guiding development of the deliverable, and there is a creative component to what needs to be produced. While we would like to say that we know what successful completion looks like, there are many factors that can create roadblocks for us. Most of which exist in our own perceptions.



Working On You

Entrepreneurs have a saying: you need to be working on your business, not just in your business. That often gets viewed as spending time on things like planning, marketing or establishing systems. But it goes beyond that. And while not all of us may be entrepreneurs or business owners, all of us need to take the time to work on ourselves.



Figuring Out What Matters

Proposals are a fundamental part of my professional reality. Having written a few hundred or so over my career, you’d think I’d be fairly good at that. And I am, in my way. I have strategies. I like to think that I give good proposal. But there are aspects of the process that are persistently challenging. The most significant part being figuring out what the client actually requires.



Don’t Be That Consultant

Whether consultants or employees, we all have clients that we serve. We advise, advocate, support and sell. How we do that depends on our attitude and our orientation. It is shaped by how we show up in our work, and how we engage with those around us. We have a choice in that. And we forget that at our peril.



Taking The Time To Plan When You Are Too Busy Doing

You know the feeling. You’ve got a mountain of work in front of you. Projects that are critical are falling by the wayside to make room for the latest dumpster-fire of urgency that landed on your desk. The merely important projects mock you from the depths of notebooks that go back years, reminding you of…
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Planning For 2019

And so another year begins. And with it, we turn our attention to hopes, ambitions and intentions for the future. And how we think about planning and managing the resulting commitments and goals. For some of us, that means a trip to buy office supplies is in order. But sometimes the best planning tools are the ones that we already have.