When working with other people, you will, without a doubt, have to make changes or adjustments based on these other people. People are complicated, and working with them is complicated. A key trait that is needed to work in any team or group setting is flexibility. Flexibility is not just beneficial when working with teams but also when working on projects for other people.
The idea that we will always get everything right is entirely wrong. The idea that other people are always going to get things right is also wrong. Unfortunately, people often make mistakes, and we will have to deal with them. The ability to change plans or have them changed for you and keep on going is crucial in almost every area of life.
Flexibility is a quality used to describe materials, people, plans, and it means bending easily without breaking. Simply you get tested or stretched, and you don’t break. Breaking during a project is never a good thing, and breaking and taking it out on other people is not good either. Other words that people use are resilience, mobility, openness, and versatility. Having these traits takes you from being stuck in your own ways or own forms of thinking and opens you to new concepts, which is exactly what learning looks like. Sometimes being flexible can mean that you have to do more work, but it makes you an easier person to work with and provides a better environment in general.
I like to think of myself as quite flexible when it comes to plans or projects, and my flexibility was put to the test recently in my capstone project meeting. We are now to the stage where we get to move onto the implementation of our project. My team and I were putting together designs and sketches of what our project will actually look like. We wanted to make sure we were all on the same page and get approval before implementing it from our project sponsors. Well, when we presented our layout to our project sponsor, he had some questions that we did not have the answer to and, after some digging, found out that there had been some miscommunication between what he wanted the process to be and what our design will look like. It was honestly very odd because we had been communicating about this the whole time, talking about what we wanted the process to be how things would be implemented but never before had he said that we were off base. Anyway, after a fair bit of discussion and lots of clarifying questions, we understood what it was that was different and now have a much better picture of what things will look like. Our implementation actually got a little easier and definitely more clear. All of this is helpful, but at that moment, I felt like I had completely missed something or we had not had all the information we needed. At that moment, if I was not flexible, that would not have been nearly as productive as it was. Flexibility has some stress built into it, but how you respond to that stress and pressure is what determines if you break or just bend a little.
Everybody has a way of doing things, and often they have a similarity between the different things they do. Let me explain. Whenever a person sits down to do something, they have an order of doing things. As we grow and mature, that order usually changes and improves, or it can make it harder The order in which we do things and specifically work or school is a process. Everything we do has a process in some form or another. For some tasks, it is a regimented and specific process; for others, it is a more general process, but a process. The great thing about having a process is that you have a starting point, and you have a set of actions that you take to complete a task, and you can utilize that same process as guidelines for any task you do. For most of us, we have a process for waking up in the morning, or taking a shower, or coding a program; each thing we do has some form of process.
The reason why a process is important is that our brains like patterns, and words, languages, music, are all patterns. The reason we see things in clouds is that we look for patterns. So why not utilize our brain and set ourselves up for success.
I am sure there is scientific evidence about such things, but I’ll primarily talk about my personal experience.
I know that one of the biggest hurdles in completing things is starting. Once I am going and in the flow, most things are easy to complete, and I want to complete them. Before I start, I don’t want to start because it is hard, or I want to do something else. A process is a key way that I have found that helps me with completing such tasks or assignments. I have a distinct set of things that I do to get my mind to transition from, say, eating to working. I sit down at my computer, clear any distractions, IE emails, reminders, extra tabs, anything that is gonna distract from my work. I then review what I need to do and when it needs to be done. I often like to listen to music; I usually pick music without words else I will want to sing along. Lastly, I open all the things I need to have open, so I don’t have to go looking for them, and then I start. This is one of my processes, but I have others. This works for me because when I do these things in succession, I tell my brain to transition into work mode and not get distracted. This process is vitally important specifically for me because I like to accomplish stuff and be done, but if I keep on stopping, then I have to keep on starting again, which is the hard part.
Your process can be putting on a certain pair of closes, sitting a certain way, using a specific mug; anything that reduces the number of distractions can be your process. Processes are everywhere in manufacturing, teaching, surgery, and driving. It all has a process, and our brains like these processes.
“Do Not Frown, Break it Down.”
Quote from Blog post referenced below
Several of my thoughts about processes arose after reading this blog on ADHD by Alan Bester “Nahaz”, a Ph.D. in Economics and a Georgetown professor.
Here are a few things to read if you want: