Sunday, August 12, 2007

Six Handy Steps: See What Needs to Be Done - Step 1 part 1

The first planning step is See What Needs To Be Done. Pretty obvious, right?

Don't be so sure. To truly see what needs to be done you must be aware of what's going on inside you, around you, and what's just around the corner. It's easy to be lulled into complacent acceptance of our routines. Go to work, do your public service hours, order books, reboot computers, chase toddlers, punch out, repeat.

You can live that way. And if you're living that way for long, you're probably making yourself nuts. If you work full-time for 5 days a week, the majority of your waking hours are spent getting ready for work, going to work, working, driving home, and decompressing after work.

A person could get into a real grind. Grinding only lasts for so long before you start feeling a little antsy, maybe a bit crabby, overworked, underappreciated, and downright mad. You feel like your life and your Self is controlled by your work.

Here's the good news. Your life and Self are not controlled by your job. You have control over how you do your job, within safety and sanity limits, of course. The antsy/crabby/mad feelings are important clues. They're clues to a life out of balance. And since our job is part of our life, it's likely to be a big part of that imbalance.

Begin by really questioning how you're feeling right now. Work isn't the only thing that might make a person feel crabby, overworked, and mad. There are lots of other reasons. Your kids, the love of your life, your famly, the weather, your physical abilities...the list is very long. Look at it all.

If the problem's at home you have to take care of what's at home. And sometimes it bleeds over into work time. Welcome to the human race. If the problem's at work you may find it bleeds over into home time. Again, a big 'ol welcome to the human race. And sometimes the problems are in both areas.

I think you know what I'm going to say about that.

So grab your pencil and paper. Think about your home. Think about specific family members and tasks. Write down your feelings about them right now. Joyful? Depressed? Overwhelmed? Bored? No need to write names, just start listing the feelings.

Now do it for work. Pinpoint which tasks make you feel best, which make you feel angry. And be sure to rate your annoyance and boredom levels. You'll find it revealing.

Next: Your feelings and how you think.


zirelda said...

Good post. I made the mistake of identifying myself with my occupation at the insurance agency. There is so much more than network administration.

Booktender said...

Boy and didn't I learn that a couple of years ago when I let that promotion I didn't get upset me for so long?

Separate your Self from your Work. Your Work is not Who You Are. Probably a good idea for one of the next ones.