This week my 3 kids went back to classroom after their summer vacations. They were all pretty excited about going back to school and kindergarden, meeting their friends and (I guess) going back to the routine they know and like.
Personally, the thing I remember most about starting the school year was the feeling of a fresh start. My personal and subjective illusion that at least at that point of time everything was possible, and that none of the mistakes I had made the year before had any influence or weight on what I could do and achieve during the year that was only starting.
I remember listening to the “speech” we got from my 5th and 6th great teacher, Mrs. Barleta, who uses to start the year by addressing the class and saying: “Today all of you start your school year, and today is the only day when all of you have a perfect score of 100 on your grades. It is up to you to keep that 100 by behaving good and completing all your assignments in class…”
Needless to say, 5 or 10 minutes later I would already start bothering in class, and the teacher would start taking off points out of my perfect 100…
Work is not different from school on this respect
When you are just starting your job or your project, when you have not made any decision or taken any actions, at that point everything is possible.
Then, as you begin working with your “less than perfect application, you start running tests and reporting bugs.
Part of these bugs will angry some of your developers and affect your relationship with them…
As it always happen, you will also start running late with your test plan. Some times this will be because of your mistakes and other times because of issues that are not related to you. Still, people in your team will point this to you and tell you that you should have planned better…
And soon enough, you wake up one morning and get a sense that somewhere along the way you lost that feeling that everything is possible, and now you feel stuck in a situation that you don’t really like, but on the other hand you don’t know how to get out of.
What can you do then???
A new beginning starts in our heads
If you think about it, there is no reason why you should not be able to get a clean start at any time in your project. You only need to make a decision to get rid of all the things that are weighing you down.
How do you do that?
Start by listing everything that is making you feel stuck.
Once you have this list in front of you, look for the ways to solve each of these issues.
If you have issues with members of your team, set up personal meetings (better do them over lunch or coffee, and outside of the office) where you can open up and solve these problems.
If you need to correct your plans or update your assumptions, better to do it now by calling a meeting with everyone who needs to be involved in this process.
If you have any other issues that you need to solve, look for the quickest and simplest way to solve them. Waiting 2 more weeks won’t make the situation better, and it may actually make things a lot worst.
Clean up your desk to clean up your mind
I have a little OCD, so for me it always helps to clean my desk.
I literally throw away all the loose papers and unnecessary stuff that has accumulated in my desk and office. Once I have a clear desk it helps me to clean up my mind.
For some people instead of cleaning their desks they need to disconnect for a couple of days and do something cool, like walking a mountain trek or windsurfing in their preferred lake or beach.
This is also OK, and if you manage to get rid of your bad feelings, this time off will pay itself more than double with the good work you will be able to achieve.
How do you do it?
In short, you need to look for the way to get your fresh start.
In the long run it depends ONLY ON YOU.
How do you manage to get a clean start?
If you have your own way of “cleaning up your desk” share it with us by leaving a coment!