01 Starting at the end

So this is my first official HR blog. I’m presented with a dauntingly vast expanse of white to fill with some shapes that by virtue of your brain working with your eyes you will turn into words and then derive some meaning from them. I hope.

I’m also sitting here with the knowledge that there are so many other blogs I have read that were inspirational, that made me laugh, that made me stop and think for a few minutes and even one (and only one so far) that made me cry. In fairness I was in a pretty tired and emotional place at the time (and no, that isn’t meant as a euphemism for being drunk). But I digress – which is just something you’ll have to get used to if this carries on. In short, I know what good blogs can do and I’m hoping to contribute to that in my own small way.

So why “starting at the end”? Well I’m two weeks away from finishing in my current role. People keep asking me if I’m on the wind down yet. Far from it. There is at least one meaty project I’m still rushing to implement before I leave. I am running several recruitment processes. There is a lot I want to get done before I think about scooping out the remnants of the last seven years (yes, seven*) from my desk drawer and heading off into the sunset.

What I have observed is that working my notice has changed how I manage my time. I’m suddenly very focused on the looming deadline – my last day. I have identified a handful of things I am Going to Get Done. I have stopped doing things which I figure are unnecessary now. I have stopped wasting time humouring people on the phone who are trying to sell me things I don’t want or need. I have started to get all my filing sorted out, put all the old paperwork in the confidential waste and emptied my overflow drawers of things I needed to keep “just in case”.

And you know what I’ve realised? I should have done this years ago. Not necessarily move on – although some may say I should have – I mean started working in this way. A laser-like focus on the tasks that really need finishing and getting rid of the unnecessary flotsam and jetsam you accumulate in a reasonably settled role for a period of time. I knew I could be a bit of a hoarder, but budget preparation papers from 2009 – did I really need to keep them? Of course not. I’ve let go of the paper comfort blanket and it feels good. Now it’s almost time to let go of the organisational comfort blanket, to make a new start and I’ll try to carry these new working practices with me.

So there you go: in a somewhat unexpected conclusion to my first blog, I’m suggesting you should do your job like you’ve already quit.

I Quit sort of

 * One of the things that always amused me when watching Grandstand/Final Score was when a team had scored 7 goals – the vidiprinter would follow the numerical 7 with the word “seven” in writing, to differentiate it from a one I suppose. But as a kid I always imagined it was the vidiprinter saying “seven???” incredulously…

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