ASSESS // SURVIVE THE DECEMBER CHAOS // WEEK 3
So, you are still grinding it out but HANG IN THERE! You are nearing the end of the busiest season of the year. It will get better because you are more aware of the things that are driving you up the wall. And the good news is, we are here to help you get to that place.
First, a wee story for you. About a year ago I was producing a camp curriculum. There were a LOT of details and revisions that were being done by a team of four to five people that were spread out all over the U.S. There were so many documents, emails, and side conversations that it was hard to keep track of what was the most current piece of whatever it was we were working on. I was losing my mind and I knew my team was too. When we were in the thick of round one revisions I knew I couldn’t do much to change the moment we were currently living, however, I did know this cycle was going to repeat itself a whole hell of a lot more as we did round two and three revisions plus adding in another curriculum bundle. I couldn’t do it and I couldn’t ask other people to do it. So, I paid attention to how I felt and what my team was saying. We took a hard look at what was working for us, what absolutely sucked, what we could control in the mess, and then we talked about how to make it better for everyone and HOW we were going to actually do it.
Turns out we were doing some things well, we could influence quite a bit, and there were some things that we couldn’t. We ended up creating a very simple style guide so we didn’t continually have the same copy errors, streamlined team communications in Slack and Trello, and moved document management to Dropbox. It was still a lot of work but it made our lives so much easier, we cut out unnecessary stress, and we produced a kick booty product.
So, like I did with my team a year ago, this week we are challenging you to assess the mess. My girl Shannon made a sweet freebie for you to work on through your own assessment.
- First, THEMES: Take time to think about how you handled and reacted to this busy season. Based on what you noted in week one and two, what themes and patterns are emerging?
- Second, HITS: What are the things that are working well that you want to keep doing? Are these things in your control? Can you duplicate them?
- Third, MISSES: What are the things you never, ever want to do again? Most likely not all of these are in your control, so which ones within your control and influence and which ones are not?
- Fourth, OPPORTUNITIES: This is a mix of things that are a disaster and need work and things that could be great but still need some work. If you can change and influence those misses that are making you put a dollar in the business swear word jar, what needs to change? Really. Ask yourself and write it down. What needs to change now and how is it going to change? What needs to change over the course of the next few months and how are you going to take practical steps to get out of the chaos cycle?
What made all the difference for my team, and I suspect this will be true for you too, is to talk about it and write it down so you can visualize it and commit to a plan of changing.
Why continue living in a fresh hell when you can avoid it?