I had just come back from a long weekend trip and sat down at my computer. My scrum board and prioritized action items were sitting there waiting patiently to be moved about, filed away, or acted upon. But for some reason, I just didn’t want to do it.
This was surprising to me. Normally I very much enjoy organizing things. But something about being unplugged for a while without a care in the world just made me rebel ever so slightly at the thought of doing another refinement of my work in progress.
So, I didn’t. 😑
The pain was real
What started as a few hour delay turned into a day. And that turned into several days. I just felt like I was flying blind and under an avalanche of work in progress. The amount of things demanding my attention was the size of a universe.
Of course, none of this is really true. It’s just the stories we tell ourselves in our heads when we’re anxious. And I knew this, for sure, but it’s much easier to say that now than it was back then.
Here’s the advice bit, though: make your problem bigger.
I called my coach.
I said, “Coach, I’m stuck. I can’t figure out why I’m not using my tools and there’s just infinite amounts of work coming at me.”
After a short conversation, I made the committed action to sit down and review my scrum board and come up with a prioritized action plan to return to green. In fact, this “infinite work” problem could be fixed in as little as 4 days if I focused.
Find your tribe of mirrors
So, I did. And it got done. Yay! But that’s not the point.
If I hadn’t reached out to someone I trusted to say “I need help, I’m stuck” – I’d just still be stuck. It’s perfectly fine to ask people for help, and it’s wise to have a small circle of trusted advisors and coaches that you interact with regularly.
The greatest leaders have the wisest council. In fact, I’d say it’s not optional at a certain point in your career. You need your tribe of mirrors to show you every angle you’re curious about, especially the ones you can’t see alone.
Oh, and be that person for others.