[EN] What you can (and should) do when others have no plan...

Sure - the title sounds quite heretical, but perhaps you are familiar with the following situation:

You are in the office and your desk is full of work. The inbox is overflowing and felt 50 mails still have to be answered until the end of work. At the same time your colleagues are queuing up at your table. You feel stressed, trying to make up for lost time by skipping lunch, which in turn leads to a loss of concentration. Last but not least, the mistakes and the idea of catching up on time and being faster as a result are getting worse and worse.

Maybe this scenario is a bit exaggerated, but at times it's also not uncommon. I can't promise you that if you read blog after blog, it won't happen again in the future. But I can show you how every disturbance, every additional task and every unplanned situation that triggers a wave in your inner peace can quickly bring you to an end.

David Allen, the inventor of the "Getting Things Done" method, describes it in his book as follows:

"In karate there is an image that describes the position of perfect readiness: a "water-clear mind". Imagine throwing a pebble into a quiet pond. How does the water react? Well, it responds perfectly adequately to the force and mass of the input, then it returns to the rest state. It does not react in an exaggerated or understated way. Your ability to provide energy corresponds exactly to your ability to relax. Water is what it is and it does what it does. It can overwhelm you, but it doesn't get overwhelmed. It can be quiet, but it's not impatient. It can be forced to change its course, but it is not frustrated. You know what I mean? The force of a karate stroke comes from the speed, not from the muscles; it comes from a focused "bang" at the end of the whip string. This is why dainty people can learn to smash boards and bricks with their hands: No calluses or raw forces are required, only the ability to produce a concentrated blow by speed. However, a tense muscle is slow. Consequently, at the higher levels of martial arts, one teaches and demands balance and relaxation as much as anything else. It is crucial to clarify the mind and to be flexible. Anything that causes you to react exaggeratedly or understatedly can control you - and often does. If you respond inappropriately to electronic mail, thoughts about what you need to do, and your children or your boss, less will come out than you would like. Most people pay more or less attention to things than they deserve, simply because they don't work with a "water clear mind."

(Allen, David. How I get things done: self-management for everyday life.)

I myself had a similar experience in the last week. Basically, my tasks and projects were well set up and the milestones planned. Even the customer was informed. Now customers like to try to get the maximum out of it - and if you have to go over a superior in case of need. You can try it once. And as in my case, my superior is an extremely optimistic person, the customer had success with it. My milestone planning was superfluous, the customer was happy (and so was my supervisor) and the work remained on my desk.

At the same time, tasks were distributed immediately before appointments. Curiously, it also involved an appointment with project managers who should be trained to plan appointments properly and on time.

For me it meant in any case:
  • rescheduling and re-prioritizing tasks and deadlines...
  • From all other things that weren't my priorities, differentiating...
  • Looking for free resources that could take over my tasks...

Such "peaks" occur again and again and it's normal in professional life that not everything can be planned down to the last corner. It may also be necessary to work on weekends so that everything can be completed on time. However, I do not wish to speak of such exceptions and special cases.

The tools I'm telling you about help us maintain the system. You shift ideas, tasks and appointments into the tools so that your brain can concentrate on the work and not on "keeping the information".

With this system we will be able to find out priorities, sort the tasks according to them and incorporate them into your weekly planning.

Don't let others decide your day. With such "nasty" and "selfish" attacks, your colleagues only try to pursue your own interests. And the inability of your colleagues to control their own planning doesn't have to become your problem.

Install the system and use the tools you need. At the same time, you can build up habits that can better protect you from unplanned actions. Habits help you to build a framework in your daily routine. This means that the special cases that still appear can no longer affect you as much. They arise when a behavior repeats over and over until they become self-evident. This process takes on average a little more than 2 months and I am currently programming myself to do my sports activities before work.

I set myself the goal to train for 20 minutes on weekdays. This makes me feel less stressed in the evening if the day doesn't go as planned.

Think of yourself, your family and only then of your work when you are planning. And don't forget yourself.