Day 159: Into the Soup

Big day today, on a lot of fronts. I don’t like to get into the particulars of my job, but there’s an annual event that requires my input, as well as a huge week-long project launching next Tuesday. We’re mid-project on another massive endeavour. And I just got clearance yesterday to start another major project. Into the soup!

The big thing for me today is going to be orienting for a lot of this stuff. Take a step back, look at time allocation, and then start managing up. Because the problem is, this is going to be stressful. I can see the stress train a’comin’. The lights are clanging and those stripey arm things are coming down. So what I need to do, right now, is take about an hour to make sure I’m not standing on the tracks.

Into the soup, and into upward-facing management.

Work life isn’t something I talk much about here, but it’s something that obviously has a direct impact on my whole life. And “managing up” is something that I’ve been working at getting better at for years now. It’s hard. It disrupts the whole ‘boss – employee’ relationship we’re trained to model things after.

But to stay on top of stress, and in turn on top of sleep and diet and ultimately sobriety, I have to stay on top of work.

So at times like this, it’s important that I start talking to my boss more, not less. And the key word is “talk,” not “complain.” “I have too much to do and I can’t get it all done” is not a conversation starter. “I have conflicting priorities and I’d like your guidance on which one to escalate” is a way better opener.

So that’s the morning gig. It’s not about complaining, it’s about honesty asking for advice. The side effect of asking for that advice is you get buy-in and complicity on the things that don’t get done first, because you’ve been advised on what should get done first. So: into the soup! But with well insulated gloves and goggles firmly in place.