Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Thoughts about...A process?

My office has serious mood swings.

Not me mind you but the office itself.

I go from reasonably orderly to disaster then back again. (Of course it does all this without any input from me naturally!) There are two primary problems for me when things get a total disaster. First I find it very depressing to try and get any work done. Second I know that I can't find everything that I have. In fact I'll be lucky if I remember everything I have because I haven't seen it in so long!

All of this comes up this time because the office is a disaster and I'm looking at being moved to a different office. Which means I have to pack and move. And I don't want to have to pack and move things that as I unpack them I'll think "This is junk, why did I keep this?". So I've been trying to bring some order.

Along the way I came across a piece I wrote at a seminar of some kind in the last year or so. I remember vaguely being asked to describe the process of my work. As I re-read it I realize that I haven't made much in the way of changes from then. It still rings true to me. And perhaps to you as well. So I'm sharing it here:

What is the process? More importantly am I looking for THE process or A process? In my heart I believe that it is A process, specifically MY process. My mind keeps casting for a definitive process, the surefire, can't miss way that will allow me to produce from moment one. Of course the ongoing search allows me to delay the beginning of any project. The question arises that if I allow myself to delay past the point of no return (defined as the point when I am no longer capable of beginning) can I live with the "what-ifs"? It strikes me that I begin too many things without finishing them, fiddle with too many things without discovering if I could master them. My life is already dominated by too many projects that didn't so much end as they just stopped. Too many ideas never explored. Too many opportunities never pursued.

So I think the question answers itself. I must begin a process, some process, perhaps even ANY process. Beyond that I think I need to focus that process on projects that already exist. There the process can be fine tuned on ideas that already have some form. This can help me succeed, grow confident and prepare me for the totally new future projects. The siren's song calling me to newer, more alluring concepts must be resisted. It is one thing to take notes in preparation for the "next" but it cannot seduce my attention away from the "now"."

I have projects that I began six years ago that aren't finished yet. I have projects sitting on my desk that need to be done now that languished while I wrote this post. I have notes from meetings going back several years that have ideas I wanted to remember lying in a pile of torn pages.

The work day is almost over. I have two more days this week to be constructive.

What is my process?

The day after I wrote this I found myself spending a fair bit of time on "new projects". I pulled up short, went back to my to do list (which is part of my process) and worked on some things that had been sitting there for a while. Those meeting notes? Sorted sifted and consolidated into usable form! Three items completely finished on the list and two more with serious dents in them! Hallelujah! Whoops, it's lent I'm not supposed to say that, lol.


1 comment:

Tony Myles said...

This is great food for thought... I really need to rethink my work patterns, too. Thanks!