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Creating a personal firebreak


Lulu helping with the reading

I really enjoyed reading about how the Helpful Technology gang managed to create what they call a firebreak for themselves — a pause in their work that allows them both to work on their own projects but also catch up on some of the housekeeping work that always gets pushed to the bottom of the pile (or at least mine does!).

I enjoyed it for two reasons; firstly because it makes sense if you are running any team with a continual ingress of new work you need at some point to stop and catch up and secondly because its a great way to build reflexive practice into the rhythm of how a team works.

I am a huge fan of reflexive practice — its a corner stone of an action learning approach and takes personal reflection in a space which allows you to consider your observations in the context of wider system impacts and models. Its also something that can help a team work more effectively together and develop common purpose through a shared enquiry.

I also liked it because it sounded fun — a bit like that period in between Christmas and New Year when if you are working you are really just getting organised and eating mince pies.

I’m in the middle of my own firebreak — I’ve taken a few days out of the office to do some work on some of the things on my todo list which need some proper focus and I really recommend it. Figuring out how to build reflection into the way I work is one of the ways I find the balance between the constant ‘busy-ness’ of the doing and the thinking which makes sense of it.

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