Posts Tagged ‘ doing the work ’

You Are As Ready As You Will Ever Be

There is procrastination, and then there is procrastination. One of the most insidious forms is, “I need to do this first, to get ready.” Theoretically, this is all productive work. It is us getting prepared and focussed. We are making sure we have our ducks in a row, and we are committed, ready and able to do our best work. Practically, we are in many ways avoiding the thing that we say we want to do most. It doesn’t have to be that way.



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.



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.



Keep Going

We (and I) write and think a lot about work. We embrace dedication and commitment and “giving 110%” like that’s something easy to do. In reality, it’s not easy, and sometimes it’s downright unpleasant. And the risk is that—faced with a mountain of work—we run screaming in the direction of our Netflix queue and oblivion. Some thoughts on how to persevere instead.



Work Is Visceral

There is a difference between doing the work and loving the work. Much of what produces worthwhile work is–well–work. Painful, sweaty, slogging, frustrating work. That’s why, often, we avoid the work. That’s why “do the work” is an exhortation and imperative; it’s designed to get us to make the first step, with the hope and intent that we keep on going. And that’s where the challenges start.



Do The Work

Doing the work is fundamental. Yet, if we we’re honest, many of us are tempted by short-cuts. We look for quick wins. We settle for just enough. We distract ourselves. And when we look back over our shoulders, the mountain of work is still there, waiting for us. It might even appear to be a little bit bigger now. When we stop figuring out how to get around it, we realize that the only way to tackle the mountain is to start climbing. On why that’s a really good thing.



Working In The In-Between Spaces

The idea of liminality is a simple one. It describes a progress by which significant transformation can occur. But within a simply presented model, there are a lot of moving parts. Attempting to navigate through in-between spaces takes work and effort. Knowing what to look for and what to expect helps make that a little bit easier.



Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys

There’s a lovely expression that I came across a few years ago, that has helped me through some difficult and challenging situations: “Not my circus, not my monkeys.” Or, in the original Polish, “Nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy.” The origins of the phrase are a little uncertain, lost to the mists of time and…
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Good Enough Isn’t Good Enough

All too often, we just show up in our work. We do what’s required, we fall back on old patterns, and we replicate what has worked for us in the past. That’s not bad, per se. Evolution wired us to do that, after all. At the same time, it’s not all that meaningful. And it very often doesn’t reconcile with what we know we’re truly capable of.



Everything In Its Place

Miss en place is a delightful term. It comes from cooking, and is the basis of preparation for a chef. Meaning “everything in its place,” it highlights the value of being ready. It also highlights the value of actually getting started.



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