Weeknotes S2 E3 2020

Problem definition

Requests for tweaks and changes have started to pop up as we get to grips with the ‘new normal’ such as it is for the moment. These requests often manifest as some of the problem and a bit of the solution.

“I noticed that <x> isn’t possible due to <y>, how easy would it be to do something with <z> to fix that?”

I’ve been trying out Ben Holliday’s problem framing questions as a way to hold some space open to think and talk things through before we start reaching toward solutions, especially technological ones.

I’ve got a problem/solution in progress where we didn’t use this method and two other instances where I did. It might be interesting to contrast and compare when I’ve got more data.

Working Patterns

I’ve had a creeping realisation this week that I need a proper break. I use the word creep advisedly, as it’s shown up in small ways here and there. Like totally breezing past things I’m usually good at remembering or finding certain tasks curiously difficult or frustrating.

In the first couple of weeks of lockdown, I was doing (imho) a decent job at organising my day to take advantage of the times where I was likely to be interrupted vs where I was likely to be left in peace. That might look like stepping away from work at 3pm when the kids are getting restless and then hopping back on the laptop at 8pm when they’re settling down for the night.

As the weeks have worn on, our schedule as a family has settled into different rhythms and my working day has started to resemble more of a traditional solid block.

I’m not sure why it’s reverted that way. Maybe it’s more of the synchronous and less of the asynchronous? Maybe it’s that some outcomes have proved elusive of late and I’ve had a feeling that “.. if I just spend more time working on this I’ll be in a better spot tomorrow”. Hello law of diminishing returns my old friend.

So, this coming week I have vowed to take a breath and try and find some better balance in my days, offsetting the working day if possible (but not extending it!!). I’m also going to book a whole week off.

This is all bordering on the bleeding obvious in retrospect, but I find it’s ever so easy to get lost in my own head sometimes. Maybe the next topic will help…

Journaling

There are lots of things I self-edit out of weeknotes for all manner valid reasons. It tell myself that this is okay, as working openly isn’t about sharing everything, it’s about sharing the right things.

I’ve been thinking of jotting down a few thoughts every day, for nobody’s reference but future me. Mostly because in the self-editing of weeknotes, I’m absolutely presenting a neater, tidier, sanitised version of events than the actual very wiggly and messy route toward the destination.

I’m going to give it a go this week and see if it’s a habit that’s useful and sustainable.

Wind of Change

In non-work related news, I became mildly obsessed with a documentary podcast about the Scorpions song, Wind of Change and whether it was used by the CIA to speed the end of the Soviet Union. I know, it’s proper foil hat stuff. But it was really well produced and I devoured it over the space of two days.

https://crooked.com/podcast-series/wind-of-change/


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