Thursday, November 22, 2012

Being Overwhelmed

Today was a good day because I was able to do a lot of things, mainly because there were few people in the office, being the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday so less distractions in my work. I had a chance to respond to my emails, update problem tickets, follow-up on issues and coordinate activities on the projects I am working on. The quiet time also allowed me to plan and focus on the impending project milestones. It is 2 weeks away from going live on a project I am leading, not a big one but important for me as gives me credibility and a chance to improve my prospects. But I wonder if I am not too late as I have been busy supporting an application which was impacted by another major project going live in Reno. There were some hiccups but not tragic and we were able to recover. Hopefully, it will be better next week though one doubts because Monday will be the heaviest load of the week. Supporting this application especially during network or server problems has given me the biggest stress as well as destroy the strides I have been making with my other projects. I am thrown off balance.

The coming 2 days will be non-working days because of Thanksgiving but I plan to work at home to get things moving. The support team in Europe is working this week as Europe does not celebrate Thanksgiving so I need to correspond with the team if needed. I hope to do some work as well so I am not pressured and stressed out next week when there are more people in the office and when support issues arise. I finally used visual thinking this afternoon – mind mapping – to sort out my thoughts and clear my brain. I should have done it earlier but too much work and stress prevented me from doing this task. Mind mapping has always helped me by clearing my mind (like journal writing) but I am often lazy. I started by drawing the map by hand and realized that it was no longer enough, the plain paper could not hold all the associations and the coming revisions so I shifted to the computer application XMind. Finally, there is some ‘space’ between the tasks and the thinking process that allows me to be more relaxed and analytical. I should have done this much earlier.

The coming weeks will be hectic so I need to plan more and use visual thinking tools often. I will play golf in the coming 2 days to relieve some pressure in another way – by allowing the mind to focus on play while being competitive. I spent some time today trawling the internet and checked out a golf tool called Swingbyte which looks promising for self-taught golfers like me. I plan to buy this tool as well as a 32 inch HDTV, a camera for the TV to allow SKYPE calls and a bike rack which would all cost me about USD $ 550 thinking that I could get some Black Friday deals. But I am hoping to control my spending urges if I am going on vacation in California this December. I think the trip is important for my family, especially my kids so they can connect with their cousins and establish roots here. It is also important for my mental well-being because I have not had a decent vacation since April. The house move and the pressures at work had made me feel overwhelmed but somehow I managed to muck along but not efficiently in some of my tasks. The end of the year is in sight and I am struggling to keep up and make sure I meet my objectives for the year.

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