Six Sprints Make A Quarter

A quarter of 2022 is over/passed/done.  It has been an interesting experience to take this in fortnightly sprints, focusing on specific things each sprint, at least as best as I could.

The momentum of 100 days to go at the end of 2021 helped significantly.  Writing everyday hasn’t been hard. Calligraphy continued and I’ve worn out at least 3 fine nibs 🙂 I’ve been able to read more regularly than in the last couple of years. I’ve been able to stop reading stuff that I don’t particularly enjoy in the moment. I’ve learnt stuff that I thought was important – but haven’t really used it. The learning was fun, and kept the momentum.

Some habits didn’t quite stick. I did three weeks or so of push-ups.  Doing them alone meant a lack of external motivation on days I didn’t feel like or couldn’t for other reasons. Switching to yoga with my wife solved the problem, and it meant that we both kept (keep) each other going.   We caught COVID, and recovered. The fatigue continues weeks after, although not as much as in the first few days. The weather played havoc, and took out our evening walks on the beach.

Several people I respect at work decided to move on. Journalling everyday has been my way of coping with it. I’m still unsure of where I stand in my work journey, but it is becoming clearer each day.  Observing leaders behaviours has been illuminating- I’ve had to reassess my opinions and change my minds about several in the last three months. Incentives have a huge influence on the way people behave within the system.

My community involvement has started to reap benefits, even though they’re miniscule at this stage in some, and much bigger in others.

The second fortnight in February was pivotal as I considered it then, and still do. The highlight was giving a platform to 3 women who don’t usually have a voice in the org hierarchy. It’s triggered a wave of change that many are riding.

I started writing for 20 minutes before I start my day. It’s helping to centre my emotions, and gives a reasonably consistent level.  Taxes and finances are back on track, almost.  The specialist broke up with me, not finding anything seriously wrong and/or requiring major intervention.

I started to learn to play the cello, and sketch a little. Went well for a week, and today it stalled because I got carried away with some chores during lunch hour.

What needs to change?

Emotional turmoil is hard to deal with, particularly at work. There’s more org politics to deal with and no one to bounce it off in a couple of weeks from now. Supporters are harder to come by, as are budgets. New alliances are forming but there’s not been any room to deepen or strengthen them before they are starting to be tested.  Journalling is the only way I can see how to deal with it.

Screen usage is rising again. The effects are debilitating – poor sleep, doom scrolling eating into time, fatigue and guilt when I realise what I’ve done, often too late, inattentive eating.  I read today that ‘dumb’ or ‘less smart’ phones are making a comeback, perhaps essential for me too?

I have to deeply examine what role work has in my life. Is it central to everything I do? This post from 2019 by Arthur C Brooks is on my mind.  The Agile Manifesto frames it well: We value (one good thing) even over (another good thing). There are a few exercises I will do in the lead up to the Easter break that will help me synthesize and clarify what is important.

Reading every day. Paper, not screens. Screens offer distractions and I take them.

This tweet by Tom Goodwin was very useful to think about what is my super-power, and has been in the dozen years in this industry, and beyond.  I need to remember this on days I feel impotent or frustrated.

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