Being On… All… The… Time

Being “On” all the time is a very hard thing to do.

I would go so far as to say no one can really do it.

We all have our bad days where we are not as chipper as we would like to be.

We don’t make the best use of our social media interactions.

We snip and snap at people a little more brusquely than we normally would have.

Perhaps we are angry, frustrated or bored with the root of our manifestation coming from simply being “On” for too long.

You can pull up the latest meltdown du jour and probably look a little deeper that they were probably “On” a little too long.

When we were young, our parents could see when we’d been On for too long and would send us to bed.

But now we are older, and sometimes it’s not going to bed that refuels us and gets us ready for being “On” again – sometimes it’s reading, exercising, thinking, playing video games, building something with your hands, coding on something that we love.

Whatever it is, find it and figure out how you can tap into it wherever you are, whatever you are doing, so perhaps you don’t need to be “On” all the time, but you can know how to refuel it when you need it the most.

Focus where it Matters

We all want it, we all need it, we all crave it.

Focus in what we are doing, focus in the direction that we are moving in.

And as such, it is imperative that once that focus is attained, we don’t waiver.

Want to build a product?  Great, start building.

“But I need a new fancy laptop…” – really, do you really need it or is it nice to have that would pump you up?

Not sure how to close that last sale?  Talk to them.

“It would be so much easier if I had an assistant…” – but you don’t and now you’re wishing you did instead of thinking about how you can close that sale.

Figure out what it is you want, push out the clutter and deliver.

If you need to, write it down, put it on a wall, two columns – one of what matters, one that doesn’t – everytime you look up, the decision will have been made for you.

Focus – that’s all it takes.


Context is Everything

In problem-solving, the context of the problem and the solution derived from are everything.

Take the example…

Two houses are late being built – one is behind by two months, one is behind by six.

The one that is behind by six months is due to environmental issues, bad weather, tough rock, lots of snow, etc, etc.  The team has put in extra hours to make up for the delay but keep getting hit with issue after issue that is outside of their control.

The second house had no issues, they knew the first house was delayed so they took their time knowing they’d still look like “superstars” compared to house #2.

Both houses are late but the team building House #1 are breaking all the rules to make it happen, doing all they can to make it happen.

Context is everything.

Receiving Feedback

There are some great posts here on how to give feedback to people;

How to Give Feedback

I don’t care enough to give Constructive Feedback

And as much as it probably pains you to sometimes do, the Giving is the easy part.

The hard part – receiving it, processing it, moving forward with it – that is where we all struggle.

If you really, really, really want to take feedback then you need to be able to receive it.

Receiving feedback takes three parts;

  1. Being Thankful – yes, thankful.  Someone(s) just took time out of their schedule to sit down with you and give you feedback.  So whether they are right or wrong or misguided or missing some facts – the first part is always to be thankful that they have taken the time to focus and help you grow.
  2. Listening – Receiving feedback isn’t about arguing your position, it’s about hearing and listening to what someone has to say on what you’ve done.  It’s not about justifying your actions, it’s about getting another view into how your actions were perceived and providing insight into what went wrong and what could go better next time.  It’s not a test, so as a result, we all need to stop getting hung up on whether we have passed or failed.
  3. Action – The key to any feedback is to generate next steps, what should I do better, where should I focus on, what do I need to think of when this happens again.  You can be thankful and listen to all the feedback in the world but if you aren’t going to commit to taking any kind of action on it – you might as well throw it against the wall and see how long it sticks.

If you are not able to commit to those parts of receiving feedback, then you are not ready to receive it and as such, you shouldn’t be asking for it.

And this is okay.

We are all at points on projects and jobs where we are so focussed on finishing what is front of us that we can’t take feedback at that point in time for what it might do to our mental state on the project or confidence.

That’s okay.

But make sure when everything has calmed down that you go seek out that feedback so you can continue to grow and get better – be thankful for their time, listen to what has to be said and take an action – either to incorporate the feedback into your work or seek out someone who can provide better feedback in a way that suits you better – not everyone is great at giving feedback and sometimes part of the action is knowing when to find someone else to help you.

Owning the Problem towards the Solution

A 5-minute owning up to the problem and what you should have done is much more productive than a 35-minute debate on what you did do in an attempt to prevent what went wrong.

The former gets the ball rolling towards a solution, both parties focussed on moving forward, together.

The latter stalls the solution process, strengthening walls, instead of breaking them down.