I am working for my new company for two month already. Two month in which I have learned a lot. But two month in which I also had to learn that things are not always as they should be.
There is a huge difference between theory and reality. Resources are limited. People, time, knowledge, motivation. But when things are getting slightly out of hand, we can see how good a system really is.
In a new project with new people in a new environment, of course it will be a mess. But wouldn’t it be boring otherwise? In those most interesting times of a project, I tend to loose my head too easily. I forget to breath and take a break. My focus is too narrow. My mind out of control.
Calm down and look at the big picture.
We all know that we should do this, but how many of us can actually do it? Stay in control of our thoughts. Stop worrying and always looking ahead for a practical solution.
Ask yourself what you can change right now.
It is always easier to blame others. The project, the company, that particular person that does a poor job. But as long as you are not the boss, this isn’t the thing YOU should think about! Stop it! Right now! The only thing that matters right now is you! What can you change? What can you do differently today?
Start with little changes.
We always focus on the big things in life. All or nothing! We go all in with everything that we have. But overpacing is never a good idea! Especially not at work! Instead of flipping our whole workday up side down, we should focus on the little things in life.
But what are does little changes?
- Time to get stuff done.
- A to do list.
We have meetings all day long. We are busy talking and talking and talking. But when do we actually have the time to do something? What you need is a certain time window in which nobody is bothering you. I, for example, start working at 6 am in the morning. Not because I have to, but because of the reason that I can gain a two to three hour time window every single workday in which I can work on my projects without any distractions.
But just making the time isn’t necessarily making you more efficient. It doesn’t matter how much time you spend, but how you spend your time. Therefore you should always work with a to do list. What are your tasks for today? What is important today? What are the most important things you should get done with?
Last but not least we have to talk about structure. In this ever changing environment, things are getting out of hand pretty quickly. Agile work environments, new organizational teams, call it what you want. Sure, maybe I am just a little bit too old fashioned when it comes to topics like this. But structure was never a bad thing to have. There is nothing against a good old piece of paper and a pen. Write things down. Make some notes. Understand your work environment. Know your products. This list can go on forever. Give your workday the thing it is missing.
Then and only then we can take the next step. Looking at the bigger picture and improving the team, organization, company.
See you next time!