Sunday, June 07, 2009

Starting to see the end

The pressure of this work project isn't exactly easing yet, and the busiest time is still underway, but the nature of the pressure is changing in a way that I find very heartening, and the beginning of relief.

For the last month or two, there's been a constant pressure of a deadline: certain things would be happening in June, and I had a list as long as your arm of things that had to be prepared in time. We'd committed to dates, and thus, to having everything ready for those dates. But more and more of that list kept falling onto my shoulders, not just my rather-too-large part but also parts intended for others; and more things kept getting added to the list. I was constantly swamped by the sense that there were so many things that had to be done in time and I had to be the one, not just to ensure they got done, but in most cases, to do them.

The first deadline was this coming Tuesday when training begins. I'll be attending most of the training during the week and a half to follow that. That brings us straight into the final preparations and thence to the day called "Go Live". And throughout those last steps, I'll be just as frantically busy as ever I have been, both attending those final preparations and training, and ensuring they go smoothly, and dealing with any issues that arise during them.

But it's a different kind of busy. Every day I'll have to do in each hour whatever comes up to do in that hour, but by and large I won't be carrying the weight of any deadlines. Well, that's not entirely true. Issues will arise that will have to be dealt with before the next class, or before inventory counting, or before go-live, or before any of the other steps on the way. And I'll probably be working a lot of overtime still, all the way to the end. But most of it will be "do this now" without the sense of it adding to a big list attached to a terrifying deadline: each thing will be handled as it comes up and set aside once it's done.

And that feels like a sea-change in the nature of the stress, and it's a relief. Combine that with the sense that in a few more weeks, it'll all be done, and I can taste it. Two weeks of training and transition, one or two weeks of dealing with problems as they arise, and then suddenly I'm free to go at a more reasonable pace again: the usual pace of "do whatever is next" without specific deadlines on most of it, plus the chance to take some time off (and you can be sure I will be).

1 comment:

litlfrog said...

I'm glad to hear that at least the quality of stress is changing. Even when busy, it's not so bad when you're busy with tasks that you know you can do, not with an amorphous mass of stuff that you have to work out under tight time pressure.