It doesn’t matter what you’re working on, you’re going to run into snags.
It might even feel, more often than you’d like, that you hit one snag after another.
That there are more snags than forward momentum.
You might start to feel beaten down by the snags. Exhausted. Drained.
You might even want to just throw in the towel. Walk away. Sell the house that came with more problems than you expected and go back to living with your parents because at least then if there’s a leak, they can handle it.
Okay, maybe I’m touching on a bit of a personal issue, but it did get me thinking about other things and the importance of looking at the momentum between the snags. What purpose the snags might serve or teach you.
They’re going to happen anyway, so I guess you might as well get something out of it.
In our case, it’s the house repairs. Back in December (FIVE MONTHS AGO), we discovered a leak in our basement. Since then, it’s been issue after issue with mice and drafts and construction, and now, three days after the wall was patched up and two days before the new carpet was due to be installed…. more water.
So we’re feeling a bit down, a bit of all those things mentioned above, but it happened. Raging at the world is not going to make it NOT have happened. So instead I’m doing my best (it’s not easy) to focus on the positive: at least we discovered the water before the carpet was installed. This new leak evidence has also helped us narrow down where the source of the water is likely coming from, which is different from where were thought it was before.
It’s still frustrating and exhausting, but at least turning it into a learning experience makes it productive. Something we can actively seek to interact with instead of passively cursing everything that brought us to this point.
As I’ve mentioned on this blog before: there is no good experience or bad experience — there is only an experience.
You can’t plan for everything that’s going to come up in the course of a project.
Conflicts with associates, corrupted/lost files (the horror!), personal issues that effect the quality of the someone’s work/deadlines…
There is no way to know in advance that your schedule is going to be uprooted — and if you’re lucky, it often won’t be — but if it does, there are really only two options: let the snag stop you, or learn from it readjust, and keep plodding along until the next one.
The former might be the easiest, but it’s unfilling, unsatisfying, and, really, you should probably get the job done, which leaves the latter.
Which is not easy to achieve.
My solution? Talking it out with people: first venting and then working through the issue rationally; self-care in the form of walks or meditation to clear the head and let the emotions settle so pragmatism and logic can kick in; chocolate.
In the end, we get there, it’s all about the journey as you go.
Because, really, the thought of living with my parents again (much as I love them) is one of the greatest motivators to keep my butt moving.
What are your go-to tricks to help you gain perspective on a snag? Let me know in the comments!