I’ve recently begun to feel as though I’m repeating the same day over and over again in my project. I participate in a few meetings during the day and then the rest of my day is spent data mapping. I’ve been on the same project for nine months now and I can say a large majority of my time has been spent data mapping. While I wish I could say I felt like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, I often feel exhausted and as though the days run together without any distinction as to what day of the week I’m living.
In a blog post by fellow colleague, Alex March, the use of a Pomodoro timer is discussed as a method to keep focused on the work and help minimize mistakes. For more information about that, I suggest reading his blog entry entitled, Adventures in Data Mapping.
I’d like to talk about the set of strategies I’ve used to cope after the work day is done.
While accuracy and efficiency during the workday is important, it takes more than just adjusting your habits during work to fully refine those skills. What we as consultants working in IT product management must remember is that our overall well being determines how well we deliver to a customer. If we aren’t at our best, we aren’t delivering our best for our customers.
With all that in mind, we need to be cognizant of what our mental state of well being is at the end of any workday or workweek. I suggest finding things that allow you to clear your mind of any stresses or frustrations that work may be causing you. For me, my dogs are the best at melting my worries away. I also enjoy exercising and doing guided meditation to relax my mind. Obviously we all have methods for relaxing, but I challenge you to find a new and exciting method to unwind. Maybe you join a bowling league, or maybe you start learning a craft you’ve always found interesting. Either way, the important part is that you take the time to separate the stresses of work from your personal life.
As consultants, our time is valuable and needs to be focused and efficient at all times. In order to do that, we must do our best to keep that energy alive and well.