I have been thinking a lot about how to manage my work load whilst staying focused recently and happened across Peter Drucker's excellent essay, Managing Oneself.
Whilst a lot of the advice didn't necessarily apply to me, some offered great insight into how best to perform.
Managing Oneself is largely about figuring out your strengths and working in that direction. This is an interesting approach and one I have not come across before. Most methods around this subject tend to try and force you to change. Changing behaviour is extremely difficult so I found it surprising that Managing Oneself is unique in it's approach.
Feedback analysis is the key component to Managing Oneself and is how you discover what your strengths are.
I applied this to my daily working life and found my strengths are always magnified when I am enjoying what I do. Take out the enjoyment and I soon lose interest and struggle.
This of course isn't unusual but is a trait I wish I could change. That isn't what feedback analysis is about though. Playing to my strengths is what I need to concentrate on.
What are my strengths?
I’m excitable and optimistic. I reflect daily and I write blog posts that help me flesh out my bigger ideas. I use my introversion to aid me and turn my weaknesses into strengths. I'm good at organising and thinking about the future. I'm constantly improving.
How do I work?
I am a visual thinker and learner so I should use this more to my advantage. I learn through reading, writing, and trying things out. I’m more comfortable taking orders than giving. I need routine.
I'm very organised and tend to have a big mapped out plan for what I want to do. This doesn't bode so well if I am paired with someone who prefers a more chaotic approach to their work.
What are my values?
I value people and their needs, no matter how different they are or how difficult it is for me. I struggle with people who settle for less due to this value.
I value knowledge and learning. I like to pass on what I have learned.
Where do I belong?
I prefer small and don't do so well in high-stress, volatile or workaholic environments. I do well with some additional time to work on useful side projects that will help everyone.
What should I contribute?
I struggled with this one as I don't think I can contribute much where I am at the moment. I recently joined a volunteer program to help me but this is all about my work.
I think I could contribute more by learning more and applying this to my work.
Taking responsibility for relationships
I'm big on communication styles as everyone is different and everyone has their own way of thinking. I'm also very interested in mental health and psychology in general I am fascinated by people who are different or unique in their thinking. I should take the time to explore this more.
The second half of your life
I am not quite here yet! Though it is never too early to take up another interest, I have many already!
It might be ten years or so before I need to be thinking about this question. Until that day, I am quite satisfied.