By Andrew Clifford
IT is so mentally demanding that we do not get the opportunity to think how to improve.
Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it.
This opening paragraph from the Winnie The Pooh by A A Milne sum up so eloquently how we live. We are so busy bumping backwards down the stairs of life that we never get the chance to stop and think of a better way.
I have noticed this recently, writing these newsletters.
When I started, I had decided to take some time out to think through ideas that had been buzzing about in my head, and to gradually turn these into methods and tools that could form part of a business.
These newsletters have been a record of that journey, helping me to develop and articulate the ideas.
But in the past few months, writing these newsletters has got a lot harder. I am a more proficient writer (that just comes with practice), but I have not had such a good flow of ideas.
And I know the reason why: I have been busy.
Little by little, despite our inexperience, we have managed to generate more and more interest in what we do. Instead of having occasional contacts, we are talking to people all the time. And they want difficult things from us - like actual work - not just a chat about ideas.
You might think that all this activity would give me lots to write about. But you would be wrong.
I have found that my mind fills with the immediate demands of the situation: finding customers, creating plans, doing work, meeting deadlines, navigating politics.
This has crowded out the broad, general ideas that used to fill my mind, and contributed to writers block for this newsletter.
Having the time to think gave me insights that I would not have gained had I continued bumping backwards down the stairs of life. It let me critique the approaches and limitations that I had previously accepted, and find new ways through.
As I rejoin the real world, I am losing that perspective. Although I am more focussed, more "switched on", more professional, I have lost some of my free thinking. Inevitably, I have fallen back into accepting the common ways of working, and the problems and the limitations of those around me.
IT is hard and it fills our minds so much that we simply do not have enough mental bandwidth to critique how we work, and how to overcome the problems we face. In so many ways, we are, as an industry, bumping downstairs backwards. We need to find ways to stop bumping, and to free our minds.
I am going to do my bit. I am going on holiday.
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