— About 8 years ago when I was working with Microsoft, our team did the Belbin test to know our personality types so we could understand each other a little better. Amusingly, the results came back that all but one of us was a Plant, and one of us was a Co-ordinator, which is the perfect combination of people for good ideas, but absolutely no chance of finishing things. It probably won’t come as a surprise, but I was not the Co-ordinator...
Back then, I wore the Plant badge with pride. I was a creative. Sure, I “might ignore incidentals, and may be too preoccupied to communicate effectively” and I “could be absent-minded or forgetful”, but I had IDEAS!
What an arrogant knob.
What I didn’t realise then was that not having attention to detail, taking time to communicate well and generally being disorganised weren’t things that I should accept as inevitabilities and move on, because hey, I could come up with some sweet ideas and be enthusiastic about them for a whole two hours. Being aware of blind spots is important, as is not beating yourself up about things that are in your nature, but there are also tactics you can employ to balance or counteract these things that make life slightly easier for yourself.
For me, recognising behaviours meant that I can stop myself from racing ahead with reckless abandon. Reading up about ADHD, and techniques to manage it (bullet journalling and lists yo) really helped with the forgetfulness (I’ve never been diagnosed with ADHD, but why wait for diagnosis if the techniques help you now...). And recognising that hey, maybe I should take some time out for someone to check through my work and be open to critique and feedback might actually help with elevating my work because some of those details get fixed.
I was reminded of this this week because the new year is when this usually flares up for me. The arbitrary marker of a new year feels like a blank slate, and I naturally fall into wanting a million and one projects and saying yes to absolutely everything.
This year I’m trying to tone that down. Do a bit of Marie Kondoing of ideas. Will this spark joy in me if it’s still going in a month’s time? Will picking this up and dropping it have detrimental affects on myself or the people around me? Am I just filling my brain with more cruft?
Or fuck it, I might just pick up Taiko drumming instead.