Commit

Listening to a pro cyclist talk about racing the other day, he used the word “commit” a few times. Cyclists talk about that a lot. Committing to the race, committing to a move during the race to improve one’s position, committing to a decisive climb. They also talk about their teammates in this way, the importance of everyone committing to the race plan to be successful.

Commit. It’s the action associated with creating the state of commitment. When we commit to something, and remain engaged, that creates an iron foundation for good things to happen.

In a job, a sport, a marriage, parenthood, all these require one to commit to realize the highest potential. Commitment can also be applied in far less lofty pursuits: getting to bed at a reasonable hour; giving all three kids a bath without pause; finishing the dishes after dinner, before retiring for the evening; doing five more math problems in your practice exam; finishing a crossword puzzle.

The underlying trait, the underlying mindset, is to be focused and resolved to attain your goal; not letting up from frustration, fatigue, or otherwise negative forces.

Be committed; it will serve you well, every time.

Juxtapose

Side by side we go through life. So many different ways this plays out, consider these few. Unless we choose the hermitic life, we strive to live with others. Friends, colleagues, even strangers, we go through this world side by side. If we’re lucky, there’s even that ONE special, other person with whom we share our journey. Ideas are often side by side in our head, quickly joined by choices. What to eat for breakfast? What is our favorite flavor? Do I want silence or the radio on the way to work? Endless examples cloud the mind. What to with our time? The next year? Where shall we go this summer? What to do the rest of the day? So SO many choices, all juxtaposed, one to the other. How to discern? A very successful musician I follow and admire once talked about his work thus, paraphrasing, “…I’m spending a lot of time doing what I do…so I want it to be meaningful, and satisfying…after all, time is the most precision commodity we have — we have to use it wisely.” And so with the endless choices we have about all manner of things, it’s with the Big Ticket Items that I want to spend my energy working to identify and prioritize and then hone the skills to make the best path forward. Because life is full of uncertainty; but it’s also full of hope, if we have the right mindset. And then one of fundamental tricks is to turn that hope and desire into action, amidst the uncertainly. And make it GOOD.

Use What You Have

Often times we have to quickly adjust to changing circumstances.

To be successful, we have to do the best with what we have in the moment to create the best outcome possible with given constraints.

When we suddenly were ordered to stay home and “shelter in place”, most all of us had to adapt. Three weeks in, we’re still making adjustments and modifications to plan and place and schedule to accommodate.

Example? Living with four other people in a three bedroom house, you’d think there would be plenty of space. Not so much.

Two of the three bedrooms are only set up for sleeping, really; no desks, tables, etc. to use as work space. So my wife took the third bedroom we use as a reading room. That’s her base and classroom; she does her virtual teaching from there.

The kids are working at the dining table, and using the family room as their play/craft multi-use space. That leave me the garage, which I’m perfectly happy with. We don’t use it for parking vehicles; it’s a multi-use space too.

I started working in the washroom / dogs kennel side of the garage. I set up a make-shift standing desk on top of the recycling bin; that worked for about two weeks.

Now that we’re in this “work from home, shelter in place” mode for at least another month, I’ve moved to the other side of the space, where I already have a desk. I didn’t go directly there because it was piled high with other things (the garage space also function as storage for things only sometimes used). Enough of that though. In pretty short order I cleared, cleaned, recycled, and voila! a whole new look, a whole new functionality.

Amazing what you come up with when pressed. What actions can you take to improve your situation? Look around; there’re likely a few options to choose from. Go ahead, make it a little better. Make it GOOD.

WFH

From my own little corner of the Work From Home (WFH) World — in between the laundry area and the hot-water heater, my own standing desk work space — a few thoughts to share. Or more like a list to share, actually.

1/ Make your work space comfortable, welcoming (to you), and quiet.

2/ Be sure you continue work habits you would typically follow in the office, to maintain continuity and productivity.

3/ Don’t let yourself get muddled down in the work (this applies to the office, too); take frequent breaks of a few minutes. It’s tougher to get your daily steps in at home, so make a point to walk around; the apartment, the house, the backyard, the block, whatever. My goal is 250 steps per hour. It’s been hit and miss so far, honestly, but I’m trying.

4/ Stay hydrated. I’m trying to maintain my usual consumption at work, about 16 fl. oz. every hour.

5/ Enjoy the variety, hunker down, and get it done.

#COVID19 #COVID-19 #coronavirus #halffullallgood #worklife

The New Normal

Strange times right now. I’ve been saying that for some, thinking it a lot more.

The current COVID-19 pandemic, this situ bares in stark relief the bigger picture frame I’ve been thinking about for a while.

Circumstances changing, expected some, some not expected; no matter either way, change, adjust we must.

These neubulus images offered, just what does it all mean? It all amounts to the “New Normal”, the new standard, the benchmark to strive to.

The New Normal means what you, we, I should expect, work to, live to, each hour, each day.

Seems to me this idea plays to a theme I return to again and again: access, accommodate, adjust. What next? Adapt, and advance toward the goal.

At home with the family during Shelter In Place Times? The New Normal.

At home full time with three little kids responding to their needs, moods, wants? The New Normal.

Working from Home as best we can, finding creating space to do so, time to do so. Strive to still do good work in new environ and confines and pace? The New Normal.

Responding to new demands to the position you have at work, the work you do, what the job, what the market requires? Well, maybe this isn’t really the New Normal.

On this front, it’s just normal. It’s always how it’s been. It’s how it will always been. Figured it out, solve the problem, hit the number, finish the project, then…?

What’s next on the list, what’s the new goal, revised or otherwise? It’s Normal. The same principles apply, in a new way perhaps, but apply they do.

So?

Get after it. And make it GOOD.

From The Assembly Bench

I work for an instrument manufacturer. Specifically, I work in the supply chain group of the company. What does that mean, exactly?

Well, currently it means I am one of three planners that coordinate between the buyers, the manufacturing groups (there are three), research and development, and cost accounting (along with a few other groups ad hoc as well), to make the amazing biotech machines we sell around the world.

What it also means, is that I’m still learning. It means I’m learning system work (enterprise resource planning), forecasting techniques, problem-solving disconnects in data, supporting technical development, and different ways to report out data to illustrate where we are in our workflows, etc.

What does all THAT mean? It means I’m humbled nearly every day. I only began doing planning work about a year and half back; prior to that I worked in other business disciplines. It ALSO means I’m stimulated and delighted with the work I do, and the people I work with. The work is challenging, the people pretty well fantastic to a person, and the industry is interesting.

It also means that sometimes a blog post comes from the assembly bench on the manufacturing floor. And that?

Well, that’s GOOD.

A New Gig within a Gig

Learning is always good. In your personal life, in your professional life, you get better when you’re learning. Sometimes it’s not easy. But it’s always worth it.

Any company that prioritizes cross-training its personnel to support each other’s functions within a work group is doing the right thing.

I’m in that boat now at work, just beginning to learn the business processes of a sister manufacturing team at my company. Some of the activities are the same; some are a bit different. Common business goals pursued, but handling some exception situations are unique to the department.

Bottom Line: Problems need to be addressed in a timely manner and resolved in the most efficient way for the business overall: manufacturing, supply chain, accounting all working together.

This learning takes time, but is well worth it in the long term; everyone is more informed, and can help each other for the common purpose of moving the business forward.

So keep learning, keep striving to be better. That’s my goal. I feel fortunate to have the chance to do so.

GOOD.