Blathering about lifting and mental clarity and tech team management

If you've a keen eye you might spot that I've technically already missed my 2nd day of the 100days challenge but I won't stand for it, it's 2 minutes past midnight and I shall be calling it yesterday for the remainder of this writing. Besides, I've forgiven myself.

Today has been another of those days where I found myself feeling lethargic, unfocussed and just not really switched-on.

Then I went to the gym and lifted some heavy bits of steel and suddenly I felt alive again. "Forced myself" into it I suppose, I usually go in the morning because it's quiet. Today I enjoyed it being full - the vibe was on point - just a lot of dudes trying to be stronger, better dudes. Having a laugh while they were at it. Barely any headphones in sight!

And that session fixed me right up. I've been off for a couple of weeks due to a back injury, and got the clear from my physio today to get back to it (gently).

This was tough at first, because I've always quite liked pushing myself as far as I can. I bet you can't guess how I got that back injury.

It's quite nice getting home and still being able to walk and not aching everywhere actually.

Anyway; my work day was subdued, I didn't get much done. I was dragged through many different DMs and chats with various other engineering depts and was mostly playing teacher today. Usually I get some quiet on Mondays I can dedicate to moving things forward, but today I had to keep the "Manager Hat" on.

This has been a recent challenge of mine. I'm a mid-level engineering lead (TLM / Lead Engineer expectations with the "Manager" title). I moved into the role just over a year ago now, and I've only really recently realised the struggle between wanting to make my own individual contributions (IC) and balancing that with having the responsibilites of a manager.

I'm getting better at it! One of my main realisations, is to be a little kinder to myself.

For example, on Tuesdays - I have 6 hours of meetings; various one-to-one's with my team, a couple of project update calls I represent my team on, and occasionally a therapy appointment to make.

Tuesdays, it turns out, are categorically not the day to expect of myself a world-changing number of commits towards our projects.

Stupidly simple, but I started this job and regularly put in 11-12 hour days, and I would commit and I had the stamina nor desire to put that time in. I accept that. So I shouldn't expect to get the results I got in those days back then (in terms of quantity, anyway) on a day where I'm 50%+ on calls.

This honestly feels so foolish to have taken so long to realise, but I'm a lot happier for having had the realisation so brutally, even if I have been a little slow on the uptake.

I'm going to call this note to it's end now, I started writing late, and amongst the new habits I'm trying to keep is getting more regular decent sleep.


p.s. I'm not proofreading this.

100days 2/100

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