Tuesday, 21 April 2020

After four weeks

Four weeks down. Another three (or more?) to go.

The last few weeks I’ve been writing about work. That has been interesting, but if I’m facing the better part of two months (or more?) without any direct human contact I need to think more about my own mental health and look at my own reactions.

I have been working long hours and weekends since the outbreak began, and in a way I’m grateful for this. It has kept me focused and given me purpose, which has meant time has passed rather than dragged, or worse. However, I came into this period exhausted and there is only so much a change is as good as a rest. Unfortunately the nature of my current work makes taking time off extremely difficult, so now I’m feeling pretty trapped.

Fortunately, this very problem (and a few large mugs of coffee) has been a catalyst for some significant changes in our approach. Why can’t I take time off? Because we’re nowhere near a business as usual position. This is a problem for many reasons beyond my own need to take some time off so solving it should be very valuable for all kinds of reasons. So how do I solve this wider problem?

Thus begins the journey to re-craft the project into something that looks like a more conventional programme. Once I'd opened that box, it's amazing how many other related things started falling out - governance, technical decision making, staffing questions, etc etc. Lots of the leadership team are grappling with some tricky situations and I have a hope that pushing through these questions will put us on track to finally resolve some core issues and give us a framework for discussing the rest. Then maybe I can take a break.

The details here are something for another time. For now I'm returning to something I wrote about years ago - asking (and answering) the simple question can lead to some very interesting results. I really wish I could remember my own advice more clearly sometimes.

Oh, I was supposed to be writing about myself rather than work. Well, I guess I'm fine. How are you?

This post is from a series of shorter posts, written roughly once a week while the country is on lockdown to capture my feelings and reactions as we go. They are all tagged with coronavirus.

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