That’s apparently what life is filled with according to Christmas film Love Actually, and they’re not kidding.
Sometimes you’ll have a great week, sometimes things get in the way. When the plan changes at the last minute, what do you do? And what do you do if this keeps reoccurring?
These are questions I’ve asked myself several times over the last few months when I’ve had a short list of things to do on Monday morning and left on a Friday afternoon lucky to have maybe started one and done several things that weren’t on the list in the first place (or indeed my job to do sometimes).
I can only apologise for a lack of blog posts this week too due to connectivity issues and no other time than the evening to do the work.
The lessons I’ve learned as a take away from this is to always have a backup plan, to follow the 3 Ps I talked about last week like a life mantra and to accept that sometimes you may well have your route planned, but roads close and queues happen, it’s where you plan to go next that you should just keep your focus on and before you know it you can divert yourself back to where you need to be, just like the blogs will be next week.
Do you ever get the feeling you’re never quite getting to the end of your work? Or perhaps a task you hoped to start on Monday still feels no closer on Friday on the account of so many other things getting in the way? Yeah, me too.
In my daytime work, there are things that are still bubbling in the way in the background that I’d love to get done but many daily and monthly responsibilities, letdowns by other people you have to rely on (as apparently whilst to get it perfect you have to do it yourself, you also can’t be everywhere at once) and meetings/problems/projects that drop in at the last second, they often get pushed to the wayside for weeks or even several months at a time.
The important things I’ve learned through all this can be taken down to 3 Ps.
The first is Preparation, a term I already try to incorporate into a mantra I call PASTRY (an acronym I hope to later explain in a future post on sister site WAVE Media). You should always be prepared for the unexpected events, even if it seems unlikely they will happen. On top of this you should prepare for what happens when other bumps appear in the world which whilst trivial, can soon add up. If you have a contingency plan though, at least you can rest in the knowledge that you have it under control.
The second is Prioritisation. This one is usually a given, but clients often feel that they’re work is the most important. Being the one doing the work, it’s best to be the one in control (or at least partially) of deciding what is to be done first and then following in an order that allows for minimal disruption. The rule of thumb I’ve learned in this is “Do they need it now?”. If yes, crack on. If not, add it to the queue and be honest with them that it might be a while. Simple as that. At the end of the day, there’s only one you and being only human you can only do so much.
Finally, there’s Perseverance. The world keeps turning each day and people hope their projects they’ve requested will keep up with that. In the relentless run of work, it’s important to keep going as best as you can as failure is only really guaranteed if you don’t try. Your clients will appreciate your perseverance when the going gets tough and you might just surprise yourself. As the anonymous saying goes:
“The moment you’re ready to quit is usually the moment right before a miracle happens. Don’t give up!”
Happy Sunday and go get ’em!
Perhaps one of the more sung hymns this Sunday in churches today as of course it’s Easter Sunday.
For those of the Christian faith around the world it’s the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ after being Crucified on Good Friday, being placed into the tomb, only to find the stone rolled away on the third day and Jesus walking around again to the astonishment of his disciples.
For many who participate regardless of faith, it’s a relief to finally finish the 40 day (or more if you did include the Sundays too) tradition during lent giving something up and tucking into a mountain of chocolate. It’s also the joy for many who work, if you’re so lucky to have Bank Holidays off in the UK, to have an extra couple of days off either side of the weekend.
The central theme around Easter of course, regardless of your background is new life. Spring plants will start to grow and reclaim the land after the winter and the association with eggs won’t be completely lost in the animal kingdom at this time either.
So if you needed an excuse to start off on a new venture, perhaps express something you’ve been holding back or perhaps to take a new big life step, use this time to serve as inspiration to help you take your first step on the journey of a thousand miles.
If you’re not starting from afresh but looking to build on what you already have, then perhaps looking towards a change or upgrade is another great option, whether you go for refurbishment materialistically or emotionally, refreshment or perhaps reviewing and revising to help the next financial year go better (or better still) for you.
However you celebrate this Easter time and whatever you may have taken away from it, I sincerely hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend and you will have some downtime in it if you haven’t already, so you can go back fighting fit on Tuesday with a fresh look into future life.
Happy Easter to you all!
This week has been one of productivity in many facets. For one it seems my whole flat is undergoing refurbishment, from damp control downstairs and kitchen update, to the workspace upgrade upstairs (that will hopefully keep pace next month). There’s talks going on to refurbish more rooms at the Trust as well as working on next steps for our new staff intake and a wider uptake of people taking responsibility with the Ed Tech resources we have across the sites. And perhaps further goings on to expand more of the stuff I create and the people I work with. More to be revealed in the future.
With all this work going off I’ve often thought it’s worth remembering to keep your bearing when you’re working and keep your eye on the final destination to prevent things from losing track. That said, if a possible diversion comes up, it’s worth looking on the map to see if it serves any benefit. It’s often said that you don’t know what’s around the corner and if you miss a potential turning, you’ll always be wondering or perhaps regretting. This works the other way though too hence why it’s worth considering rather than being hasty. If this sounds a little confusing, take a look at Freeway Theory from How I Met Your Mother.
Here’s to the future and what it may bring through the choices we make.
It’s been quite the week. On Monday I attended the funeral of my late almost step-grandad (not legally, but the family is close enough to be family), on Wednesday I went had a crazy day at work and learned a few lessons, On Thursday/Friday I threw caution to the wind and began stage 2 of my home workspace and Thursday/today thanks to having a little sun I managed to process more laundry in 2 days than I can usually get done in 2 weeks over the cold winter period in a Victorian building.
Through all this I’ve learned an important lesson and see in it action. At the funeral we were reminded of how Angelo was a hard working man, that started here with very little and worked hard to achieved what he had and from all our knowledge, he was about the family and was always caring to everyone that he got to know. Whilst this isn’t a ‘life changing’ message to me it has encouraged me to try and take more control of what’s happening around me. Take up the leadership side to my new role rather than waiting on the thumbs up to do something, to go ahead as soon as it’s possible rather than thinkning “meh, I’ll wait until I can afford the lot” and being brave and stepping out when opportunities arise for you to do so.
Ironically, due to the weight of the week and all that’s happened, I sadly failed you in delivering a post on Wednesday. The post from Tuesday was mostly prewritten so I was able to have that out just in time, but Wednesday sadly wasn’t. Rest assured you’ll have one this week and business should be as usual with hopefully a couple more exciting things along the way!
It’s an age old lesson but it’s surprising how well it hits you when you realise the world around you is always changing. We don’t always notice it day to day as the world spins at over a thousand of miles an hour (1,040pmh/1675 km/h to be exact), but when life goes into a spin cycle you need to put your best foot forward and make your choice before it gets too late and the world has moved on without you.
As I wrote in lyrics of “The Middle of the Day” (yes, it’s a demo recorded for a uni assignment!), when you come to a crossroads, whilst everything is a choice it’s often wise to pick a direction rather than pacing around and letting the day pass you by. So grab your guide (if you need one) and get walking down your path this week or be brave and seek into uncharted. You never know what’s around the corner until you take your first step and after time, you should be able to look back and see just how much you’ve acheived along the way and potentially paved the way for future people hoping to travel down the same route.