How a disaster can innovate the way you work

How a disaster can innovate the way you work

How a disaster can inspire you and innovate the way you work

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Having a complicated rupture of your leg is no fun at all and has altered my outlook to 2018. But having had a couple of days in hospital, reflecting which positive things I can get out of it, captured my mind and made me innovate the way I work.

 The disaster struck me on a Monday

Playing football, I broke my shin and fibula bones badly in the middle of January 2018. I had a hard time navigating my personal change curve in the first three days, going through a lot of emotional ups and downs. Thinking about the impact on my ability not to do any sports until the end of the year, probably not being able to be part of my football team ever again and the negative impact on family and finances were a tough nut to chew on.

The Change Curve – accepting before you are able to improve

I went through a similar injury just three years ago and knowing how hard it will be, how long it will take and how frustrating it will be at many times is not the perspective one is seeking at the beginning of a new year. But after a couple of emotional up´s and down´s I moved on to the next phase of my personal change curve.

Picture Source:

However, I got through the ,dark night of the innovator’’ and left the phases of denial and anger behind a week after the accident. After having had a successful second surgery, I have decided to move on & look forward. At first, I felt so negatively overwhelmed by the horrible short term perspective for 2018, but taking an agile approach, focusing on just the next step makes me feel so much better. It feels manageable having – step by step – little experiences that feel like an achievement, like success.

Stepping back to adjust my focus

I took some time to think about how I could make the best of it. And I thought: “What is bothering me the most?” And pretty quickly I came up with that looooong task list that I am carrying along since years and years. And then I thought, “What should I focus on? I won´t be able to do it all – even if I have months to fill during the lengthy physical recovery…”

Of course, you can take a rather big approach in order to to optimize your time management. I´d love to be able to implement all of these rules, but for me a 99% pragmatic approach has a higher likeliness of being feasible on a day to day basis. So I took my good old task management matrix and decided to focus on the IMPORTANT stuff with a high business impact, that does not make it to the top – again and again.

Picture Source: Schoop, own drawing

Having cancelled all appointments for the next months, because I won’t be able to travel, has given me a positive mindset for the days and weeks to come. Being a consultant for digitization puts me in the comfortable position to have all the tools at my fingertips that enable me to work efficiently from bed. As we eat our own dogfood at 4-advice, we know the tools and apply them on a daily basis. This is a key for being efficient and effective in the months to come.

So as described above, I have decided to use the time for the things I never ever get to do, because they are only important but not time critical. Starting to close all of these tasks, even if working from bed or home, is exciting and motivating. This includes topics such as doing that LinkedIn Marketing course I bought last year or completing some eLearnings I´ve started, but never completed.

Somehow, it´s a bit sad that I seem to need that really bad accident in order to be disrupted to make me focus on the things I neglected. But I assume, this is just human. I hope that in the future it will not take such bad life events to focus on the right things.

I´m looking foward to your thoughts about WHAT DOES IT TAKE FOR YOU TO FOCUS ON THE RIGHT THINGS – to leave your routines and comfort zone behind?

I´d be grateful to receive some comments to this article from you. And now I have to go to bed, as the tiredness due to two surgeries in a week sometimes still comes through… 🙂 Take care and I am looking forward to hearing from you.

This article was initially published in a slightly shorter version as an article on my LinkedIN page.

  • After a couple of weeks later, I have to admit that it´s rather difficult to do what I´ve planned. The injury is taking more of a tribute which makes it very hard to progress anything. So I have adjusted my plan and am reading more and trying to make sure that I progress high impact tasks with a private context. It just is not possible to do that for business related tasks. But every change is good for something, right? If you are able to sort out high impact tasks in your private life, this might even be more valuable than working from bed… I hope this altered, more private focus will help me to get ready for business once I am back at work.