Cover photo: Walking around in Singapore between workshop days — Did several workshops there in Jan and Feb
I made a mistake recently.
Yes, I did: over-committed.
I did more workshops in the first three months than I did the previous six months in total.
Traveled for 31 days in the first 80 days of the year.
I had projects from last year being postponed and delayed until everything had to be done at the same time.
And like a domino, my schedule collapsed.
I did not have time to write. Not here, not in my professional blog either.
The only thing I kept more or less alive was my Instagram profile. The reason is simple: taking photos helps me stay sane.
And while trying to keep up with my crazy schedule, I missed a few deadlines.
Ouch. They hurt.
I feel am more or less above the water again though.
I have learned a lot from this mistake.
What? — You might ask.
First of all, I have to do better with energy management.
I am intentionally not saying time management — I believe what we have to manage is our energy.
What do I mean?
There are days when you can be in “flow” easily and get things done.
However, there are other days when a one hour task takes six hours. When it just doesn’t come together. When everything seems to be more important, more urgent, more…
But I just don’t have the energy to do any real work.
I know you know this feeling.
This is what we have to manage somehow.
Not to plan four three-hour-long tasks for today when you feel the only thing you want is crawling back to bed and not talking to anyone at all.
Or if a client asks when you can create a report that takes let’s say 10 hours to write, don’t promise it for early next week if you already have 20 hours of tasks to do for this week AND you feel your energy level is below zero.
I like planning “required energy” numbers to every task rather than “estimated time”.
My “energy level estimation” system is similar to agile methodologies “story points”. I use Fibonacci numbers and I try to organize my schedule to have about 4–6 “energy points” of tasks for every day. Sometimes, when I don’t have the kids home I can get done more. Other days I can get done less.
These “energy points” help me a lot to plan my days and weeks.
But still… When I am overcommitted, everything I can see is a growing list of tasks, and growing value for “energy points” to get done asap, too.
So I got to this point, yes.
I felt a snow slide hit me. Then another one. And another…
What I had to do is to stop and evaluate these snow slides. Which one is life threatening? Which one is easy to deal with? Which one can I maybe ignore (at least for a while)? Which one can I redirect to someone else (outsource?)?
I had to stop and breathe, first.
Then slowly, breath again and again.
And look, here I am, I survived.
And I feel I am stronger than before because I’ve learned a lot.
What I learned during these days is, first of all, is that I have to take care of myself.
Going to the gym or for a long run is not a waste of time anymore.
It’s recharging my batteries.
I had to learn to speak myself out of guilt for this.
Those are very hard discussions sometimes (with myself!)…
I also learned that I have to learn to delegate and outsource.
Yes, I have to admit I am still learning it…
But eventually, I am getting there…
I also have learned a lot about myself.
Many of the Why’s.
Making mistakes is not good at all.
Can be very painful sometimes.
But this is how I learn and grow…
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