WHEN WORK WORKS
I failed and I’m glad.
I’m not fond of the word “fail”. It has such negative connotations to me. But here’s the story.
I had set out the new year of 2017, as I do most years, making plans and setting goals for myself and my business.
One of my goals was to blog monthly. I had created a series called “When Work Works” focused on organizational development and workplace excellence.
I was jazzed! I love writing! I love helping people. I am passionate about writing meaningful subjects that may help and inspire my followers. I was writing and I was posting my blogs.
Then it happened.
I got busy. I know everyone says that right? But what I mean is that I received news that I was successful at winning 2 leadership development coaching contracts I had applied for over 9 months ago. Not one but two! I was thrilled. I also began working as a career transition coach for one of Ottawa’s major human capital businesses. It felt like all the stars were aligning for me.
So guess what happened to my blogging? You guessed it. Writing & blogging took a serious back seat.
I failed at my goal. I failed to blog monthly.
But I also learned some important things about goal setting:
1. I was in a totally different head space. Sure I felt bad that I had not attained my goal. But then I realized I had set my goal when I was in a different phase of business, a different level of business and certainly a different focus.
2. There are often valid reasons we don’t attain our goals. Those reasons typically fall into 2 categories: circumstances and motivation.
3. In my case, certainly the circumstances changed. I was now responding in 2 completely different roles that demanded my utmost attention. I had embarked on a seriously exponential learning curve that took all my attention, focus and every bit of my mental energy.
4. My motivation changed as well. I was determined to focus on these new roles that I had worked so hard to attain and to be perfectly honest, I chose to focus on the deliverables I was getting paid for.
5. I also learned quickly that when I am on a steep learning curve, my creativity goes out the window. Our brains are wired to separate creative thinking form analytical thinking. I was clearly focused on the analytical and learning my new roles. I had no room for creative expansion in my brain.
6. With these new responsibilities, I learned I needed to revisit my daily routine. I tend to start my day by delving into my work, telling myself that I will have time to blog by the end of the day. In other words, I put off writing as if it is the reward for demanding working hard. I, now, know that my most creative time is early morning and saving it for the end of the day doesn’t work for me. I have come to realize I am much more focused on work, if I allow myself some quiet
creative expression first. So I will aim to blog in the mornings when I am the most creative and my energy level is highest.
7. I also have to be realistic and realize this will not happen all the time. There will be times when I must respond to work in the morning and so my writing will not happen on those days.
And that’s the thing about goals.
We set goals for ourselves under certain conditions. In order to be successful, other aspects of our life must remain status quo. But life is never status quo. So we must remain flexible. We must remember to re-visit our goals. When thinking about your goals and tasks, ask yourself:
Is it still relevant? Is it still what I want?
I encourage you to ask yourself these questions regarding your own goals. If the answer is NO to either
question, it’s time to step back and re-visit your original goal. Maybe the timing is not good and you
need to push back your timelines. Putting you goal on hold so to speak. Maybe your goal is no longer
relevant to what you are trying to attain. Is your goal still what you want to do? There are a whole host
of reasons to become unmotivated but largely the de-motivation comes from change of circumstances
and relevance/importance to your overall plans.
I find this Prioritization template helpful and perhaps you will too.
Prepare a list of your tasks, responsibilities and goals. Categorize your list into these four categories:
URGENT & IMPORTANT
URGENT & NOT IMPORTANT
NOT URGENT & IMPORTANT
NOT URGENT & NOT IMPORTANT
My new goal is to aim to write more blogs over the summer months that tend to be quieter times with
my clients. Will it happen? I hope so. But I know better than to demand a rigid goal of myself without
allowing for circumstances and motivation to change along the way.
I failed at blogging regularly. And I’m ok with it.
Today more than ever, organizations are shifting focus towards creating a coaching culture in the workplace. But what does it all mean? The buzz words may be new but effective business management is not. Whether you work full-time, part-time or volunteer, “WHEN WORK WORKS” blogs will highlight specific workplace cultures, habits and patterns that can contribute to or detract from an effective work environment.