I was on site in the UK all week. It was a short week mind you…Friday was a Public Holiday in the UK…as is Monday. Spring is here. The days are getting longer. The Sun shines more. It’s getting warmer. No one thing makes Spring seem better; but better it is. I even took the snow shovel out of my car and put it away in the garage – its April after all…and yes I know…justifiable confidence or tempting fate.
It’s a busy time. When isn’t of course. Lots of things going on – lots of work; lots of family. It’s always busy. We work full time and our friends and family are always there for us, but also need us to be there for them.
It’s good to be busy. I am better when I am busy than when I am bored. And when I am busy I try to focus on the big picture and on the little things. And on people.
The people aspect is easy; I have long since realised how much energy I get from talking to people. No matter how much or how little they may get from me, anyone I interact with gives me so much. Ideas, inspiration, a different perception, a different situation. So when I am busy I work very hard to keep people in my calendar. In person, on the phone, video or instant messages. They all work and they all help. I hope I help some people…some of the time…but I know how much these discussion help me.
The big picture is good. Vague but good. Well not really vague…more ‘multi-component. At times when I am very busy…times when I am being asked to work on multiple opportunities, or help solve multiple problems…I find it essential to have my own agenda. What is it that I really want to achieve, or want to achieve with my team? What is our agenda? When I am being asked – and rightly so – to work on other people’s agenda…I have to be able to balance this with working on our own agenda.
I have an agenda at work. And an agenda out of work. Only good…nothing conspiratorial…all aligned. Just ideas, possibilities, objectives, options that I want to explore and to achieve. I know that if I make progress on my own agenda that these achievements energise me for everything else I do, and I am also certain that these achievements directly help what we do at work, and what we do at home.
The challenge is not so much having my own agenda – the challenge is finding time to work on what I want to achieve whilst ensuring I contribute to important activities I am rightly asked to work on, or that I have to work on to help resolve urgently.
And the little things matter enormously. Especially when we are so busy. A smile here. A word of thanks there. An act of kindness. An acknowledgement. An unexpected call.
Sometimes when we so much going on we can miss these little things. We miss out on giving and we miss out on receiving. I know I do on both. I work hard to remember…to remind myself. I take a moment to look around. I give myself time to acknowledge. I shake hands and even hug. I smile more at work…and even when driving. I put more pictures in my emails. I tell my wife, my children and my family.
I listen harder for stories – to appreciate and to share – and look harder for moments and people – to appreciate and to thank.