Think Time

After last week’s surprise, the rest of the week was a whirl of phone calls, meetings, and e-mail exchanges, making and renewing contacts, gathering information, and trying to get to a place where I’d have enough data to think about considering making plans.

I realized that while all that activity was necessary, it wasn’t sufficient, so I also blocked several hours of “Think Time” on my calendar for today. The plan was to stand in front of a whiteboard and write down positives and negatives of various options, make unanswered questions explicit, and ignore the world. I told a couple of colleagues that that was what I was going to do; I even blogged about it yesterday.

It didn’t happen.

Instead, I spent most of the day talking with people who’d also been affected (some directly, some by having their teams reduced), as well as several other colleagues in various parts of the business (at least two of whom had been my manager at one time or another). I also had a long session with IBM Benefits, so that I really understand what my choices and resources are if I do retire.

But what I really did was listen carefully to my gut.

Because it turns out that this decision isn’t going to be one I make entirely objectively, based on threats and opportunities, strengths and weaknesses, and financial considerations.

My gut has to be happy.

And it’s giving me a pretty clear message about what will make it happy; it’s a message which doesn’t require a whiteboard to analyze.

I’m going to sleep on that message tonight and make sure I’m reading it clearly.

Tomorrow could be interesting.

4 thoughts on “Think Time”

  1. I love it, David! It’s the intention that is important. I see you looking for clarity and direction. Last week the solution looked like thinking, today it seems the solution is more about feeling and intuiting and reading your gut. Sweet dreams! I know tomorrow WILL be interesting!

  2. Intuition is such a powerful thing. You’ve got to go with your gut. The more you go with it, the better it gets. Even the occasional misstep (incorrect assumptions, etc.) is helpful. Ignoring it is a terrible habit – it gets harder and harder to figure out what your intuition would say. =)

  3. @Sacha — yep. Fooling yourself is hard work, but it gets easier all the time (and that’s when you’re in real trouble!).

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