Today has been a very productive work day. There were many projects that I’ve been able to get a jump start on. As I think about all that I am thankful for today I think that is something that rally sticks out to me. I’m working ahead on upcoming projects as opposed to my normal mode of getting things done right before they need to be done… and it feels great!!!
There’s something to be said for scarcity, it can bring out my best in high stress situations. A few weeks ago I talked about being in the middle of a sprint. What I’m realizing is that now this week I’m sprinting again, but on things that don’t have a deadline of tomorrow. My pace is the same, but I’m working on things long before they need to be done. As I’m working ahead I’m still feeling the rush of working rapidly and focused, but it’s also allowing me the time to take a step back when I run into a roadblock. I’m able to pause, think, and then act all because I have extra time. When something doesn’t quite seem to flow right I’m able to take a deep breath and get other input and advice because I have a more time to process the answers.
Over the past few years I can clearly see just how much working deadline to deadline has hurt. Sure, I’ve done well, but had I been working ahead like this I can see where there may have been some really cool solutions that would’ve been more successful.
The funny thing is that what’s finally gotten me feeling this way is something one of my mentors has been telling me for many years. “Dude, you’ve got to say no once in a while.” This year I’ve made a commitment to myself, Norm, and my teams that I am going to keep all of my work energy focused in one of three specific areas. There have already been many rabbit holes I’ve wanted to dive into this year (all four weeks of it!) and I’ve continued to say no if they aren’t in alignment with my teams goals for the year. Sure, it’s frustrating at times, but on days like today I smile and realize that I’m able to do much more good with more time and focus.
As I wrapped up work today I had a great feeling of accomplishment. Many of the upcoming projects I have are either now completed or are well ahead of schedule. Working ahead today has felt AWESOME!!!