Try again…

Everything gets all jumbled up, sometimes
Everything gets all jumbled up, sometimes

I got some of what I intended done, yesterday. But I spent a lot more time being distracted and letting my mind wander in all sorts of different directions.

A lot of remote managers at work are in town, this week. And the recruiter who placed me in my current position stopped by my cubicle yesterday. They haven’t done that in close to a year. What the heck are they doing in my part of the universe?

I could be wrong, but it seems to portend yet more changes on the organizational horizon.

And that is most distracting to me.

HowEver (and this is a big new development for me), I actually know what direction I want to go with my career in the future, and the path is open for me, anytime I want it. I’ve got a veritable army of recruiters all eager to place me somewhere and get me into a good-paying position. The more I get paid, the more they get paid.

So, it’s no big deal, if I get laid off.

But it is a big deal, if I’m not prepared — and that’s something I forgot to do, yesterday. Last week, I found a bunch of free training at our company’s employee intranet, that will really help me gear up for the next steps in my career. It will help me get free and be fully qualified to do the kind of work I am aiming to do. And I did some of the training on Friday afternoon. But yesterday I was so distracted by so many different things, I forgot to resume it — that is, I forgot why I should resume it. I didn’t have good focus, and I was pretty scattered, trying to organize myself and get my planning and follow-through system in place.

I worked at it all morning, and by afternoon, I was tired, but I pressed on. And I actually “got lost” in the process — ended up spending way too much time re-hashing numbers and calculations and scheduling items, that I would be better off just putting aside and coming back to, later.

Plus, I didn’t get my swim, yesterday. My last meeting ended early, and I could have gotten to the pool in time. But I got distracted and by the time I got around to driving to the fitness center, the parking lot was full, and I realized it was way too late to be swimming.

So, I turned around and drove back and finished up the day on a pretty strong note.

Still, I didn’t accomplish all I set out to do. And I need to have a better system for handling things. I get so caught up in things, I lose track of time… and then I get tired and get even more distractable.

So, I need to break down my activities in to smaller “chunks” that I can handle more effectively… and not get lost.

This is especially important for this new training I’m doing. I’m really excited about it, as it offers me a clear path forward — and the methodology they use is not only widespread, it’s also really, really good for me. It “ticks all the boxes” for me in my work, and it’s a skillset that’s very much in demand, so there’s no lack of work.

So, it’s important that I follow through. And that I not forget to keep going with it. I really went off the rails yesterday. Then again, I did get some important things done, so it wasn’t a total waste.

I just need to try again today.

And so I shall.


A plan awaits

A year from now, you will wish you had started TODAY.

– Karen Lamb

The pieces are coming together. My earlier ambivalence about this job is dissipating. Now I know I am going to be leaving – after the big deadline I have in September. This gives me about 20 weeks to hone the skills I need to get up to speed. I just really need to do it.

I have resolved to do this in the past, but things broke down with me, and I did not follow through, much to my current disadvantage. Now I am in a situation where I need to move, I want to move, I have to move… but I can’t. Because I don’t have all my ducks in a row.

To be fair, though, I can’t exactly leave before this big deadline. I can’t just ship out before it’s done. I am a key player in this project, and leaving right now would seriously screw over my co-workers, and I don’t want to do that.

I want to leave the company, not stick it to people who I work with. It’s a classic conundrum, which I’m sure I can overcome – it just takes time.

You know, it’s funny, having memory issues when it comes to future planning. Sometimes I just plain forget what I’m supposed to be doing, down the line. I lose sight of things and I get distracted and pulled off in a million other directions. Then I forget what I’m supposed to be doing… and I lose ground on what progress I’ve made before.

And then I get depressed and feel like I will never make progress. Ever.

Which isn’t true, but it sure feels that way.

So, here is my plan :

  • I have a set of skills that I need to hone and strengthen and prove.
  • I have 20 weeks in which to do just that.
  • I have chosen three different distinct but related skillsets to work on during this time.
  • Each of these skillsets has books and documentation and training materials that I can use to gain expertise.
  • Those books and documents have chapters, which I can use to break down my work into manageable pieces.
  • I have sever space of my own, so that my work can be seen and experienced “in the wild”, not just on my hard drive, which is very, very important for a job search.

So, if I am systematic and focused on the taks(s) at hand, I will be able to position myself very well for a job change in the fall. I will have time to work on my portfolio, and I will have time to build things that are real — and are really the types of things I want to be doing — so that people can see that I’m not just a dabbler, and I know what I’m doing. I will also have time to focus in on emerging industry trends and participate in online discussions that show that I know what I’m talking about and I’m current on emerging trends and technologies.

I just need to stay the course. Not get pulled off in a million different directions. Stay focused. Quit looking at the news to see if they’ve figure out who bombed the Boston Marathon, stop obsessing over my marital issues and personal issues. Yes, they matter. Yes, they (some of them) affect me directly. Yes, they have the potential to make me really miserable. But at the very base of it all, at the very core, if I am not gainfully employed in a job that is meaningful and rewarding for me, everything else just falls apart.

So, I need to keep myself on track. Not get pulled in a million different directions by things that may or may not affect me personally, and may not be under my control at all. There is no point to me getting that distracted over so much. When I start to get overwhelmed, I become more easily distracted, and that doesn’t bode well.

So, I need to make sure I’m not getting overwhelmed. I need to pace myself. Not go faster than originally planned, but also not bag it when I feel like I’m going slower than originally planned. Just keep steady, which is so very difficult for me… because I get foggy and turned around and then my head goes in a hundred different directions, thinking that each of them is a good idea, which it is not.

It’s a problem, this distractability. And the morale-killing fatigue. And the overwhelm that narrows my cognitive resources and wears me out… AND makes me crave stress, so that I feel sharper and I feel like I’m able to handle my life.

A plan awaits. Yes, I am motivated. Yes, it is now time to start in earnest. And yes, I’m going to do this – because I can’t imagine doing anything different. And if I don’t, things will never change the way I want them to.

Enough talk – onward.