It is no good getting furious if you get stuck…
keep thinking about the problem but work on something else.
~ Steven Hawking
I was having one of those days. It was one of those days that I was “supposed” to be at my most productive, get the most work done, complete specific tasks, get my to-do-list boxes checked. It was the day I was working with our Welshot project manager – creating content, researching new ideas, putting plans into operation and new ideas onto the whiteboard… On these days, I am usually at my very best – these days are “usually” my most focused productivity days ever, making every moment count that I get to spend time working with my colleague who works next to me full-time one day a week.
Expect I was stuck. I had a problem. I had something I need to do. Something was bothering me. Something I needed to fix and no matter what I did, or thought about doing – I couldn’t make it work.
Setting the scene. The morning started off normally, we reviewed the past seven days, we discussed what had happened, what hadn’t happened, what we had got done and what we still had to do and then, it was time to settle down to work. To. Get. Stuff. Done…
He did, I didn’t – I just couldn’t make it work, from sending a simple email, to adding data to an excel spreadsheet to listening to my colleague trying to explain something – my brain just wasn’t having any of it.
And it was making me furious, frustrated, bad tempered and yes, there were even tears. Not only could I not do any of my day to day tasks but I STILL hadn’t solved a problem that’s been bugging me for weeks. The day was rapidly turning into one of those “I shouldn’t have got out of bed days”
We had lunch, sausage butties (yeah, I felt like eating comfort food too), and then started again, or tried to. I looked at him, he looked at me, I looked at my laptop and I looked at him, he looked at me, raised his eyebrows while he listened to my huffs, puffs, swearing underneath by breath and then, seriously…
He slammed the lid down on his laptop and said – “Girl, get your shoes on, we are going for a walk”
Me: I can’t, I’ve got too much to do, too much to think about, too much stuff to sort and organise…
Him: Get your shoes on, we are going for a walk!
Me: Nah, I don’t want to, I’m not in the mood – don’t want to talk – don’t want to walk…
Him: Get. Your. Frigging (ok, HE! used another word) Shoes. On!!!
So I did, And we did.
From the off, I was bad-tempered (always am when I am frustrated) and belligerent – all he got was an unwilling, defensive, I am right and you are wrong, I am not listening, full of bad-attitude Kiwi-ness. to be honest, I wouldn’t have blamed me if he had slapped me and walked away. I surely deserved it.
Then, something happened. We hit the beach. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, I was breathing in fresh air and I found that walk of frustration had released some of the tension and I felt different.
I started to listen, I mean REALLY listen, then I’d ask questions and I listened some more – and then!!! The lightbulb moments started to happen.
We started playing with some stones. We are both visual people and it helped to see things, even if to other people they are just a pile of stones. To us, they represented something – and more importantly they represented a plan of action.
Then, we talked, both of us, thrashing stuff out, asking questions, what if this, what if that, maybe do this, maybe do that…
And then – I. Got. Excited.
That day actually turned out the be the most productive day. Ever!