Sunday, 23 June 2019

Why am I feeling bad?

This is a reflection on where I feel I am right now. It's helpful to me to write this down.

A while ago I wrote about being proactive in work. I looked at the balance between reacting to what is going on around me and taking the time to look ahead. At the moment I'm not getting that balance right.

I really hate not having the time to think around problems and last week I had to cancel some 1-1s to reduce my own cognitive load. I've written before about making time for people and this is a big deal (in a bad way) for me.

So I feel like I'm failing right now. The question is - what can I do about it?

First of all, I should put "right now" into context for myself. The nature of my job has changed. I've taken on a new role, with a whole world of new things to learn. Now I need to be clever and insightful in conversations that feel like they've been happening for months when I have maybe a week's worth of context. To catch up, I'm basically constantly cramming for the next big test. There is a constant feeling of my brain being an over-saturated sponge and I'm looking at half a bucket of water left to absorb. It's overwhelming at times, despite my colleagues being very supportive.

This is a particularly busy time. There is a lot to do, and a lot of decisions to be made and it all needs addressing immediately. Both of these will definitely pass.

Secondly, I need to recognise what I'm doing right. As I cram information and react to the current situations, I'm putting in place the building blocks for the future. I'm taking the opportunity to restructure the software engineering community so it will be in a better place as we go forwards. I'm pushing some of my colleagues outside of their comfort zone, and I'm already seeing them really growing which is good for them as individuals and us as a department. We are using the current challenges as an opportunity to bring some important work to the fore and ask the right questions to take us in the right direction.

I may be thinking on the back foot, but that doesn't mean this is short-term thinking. I'm still managing to work in support of my longer-term goals and, while I'm not necessarily delivering in exactly the way I want to, I should recognise that I'm keeping myself more or less on track despite the new pressures.

As I write this down, I realise that I'm juggling an awful lot at the moment and not dropping too many balls. Overall, I should stop kicking myself.