[2024] Week 18

Look, it was my own fault. Banging on about having a ‘good week’. Bringing O’Shea Jackson Senior’s name into things. It clearly angered the Quintessence because this week has been miserable. Fully Les Misérables.

Adding Metformin to my morning pharmaceutical cocktail of Antihistamines, ACE inhibitors, Statins, Aspirin and Gliclazide caused a major malfunction Tuesday that absolutely floored me. I basically lost the entire day to dizziness, blurriness, weakness and a new super power that allowed me to sweat through t-shirts despite not moving. Still not quite feeling right days later.

All this was un-fun enough but it also meant I wasn’t able to facilitate the workshop I’d spent hours planning and rehearsing (but not writing speakers notes for – sorry Ben!) on Monday. Nor the meeting to discuss the prioritisation model I spent hours thinking through last week.

Generally I felt horrible physically and mentally I felt that I was dropping the ball professionally. Honestly I am finding it hard to juggle all  these health worries and occasionally really bad days with the work outside of bursts of action and interest (which puts more and more pressure on those bursts to really add value…which is stressful…which raises my blood pressure…and off we go again.)

I did do some okay work elsewhen. Contributed a bit to someone else’s fascinating and expertly facilitated workshop. Got involved in some proposal planning and was able to dig up some helpful stuff from the Foundry4 days. Attended some sprint planning where I actually picked up some actions and am taking on some client-ing to give some practitioners some space.

It all feels very bitty though. I’m loosely spread across four or five projects at the moment depending on how you count and am still disengaging from the wider Local Digital oversight role (this is on me though – Ben has it under control but I am finding it hard to let go in some spaces). There is a lot of context switching and some quite superficial engagement at times – though all the projects are super interesting and I do think I’m contributing if only through my experience and network – but one of the reasons I’m helping with the proposal is that it is a client I have worked with a bit before and really like so if we were successful (it is very early so that is currently a big IF) I’d love to take that on as the Partner responsible as I think I’d benefit from a bit more of a focus again.

Anyhoo.

I’ve informally started my 4 day working week as of today – which is basically a 3 day week given Tuesday’s horror show. Contractually it starts from June but I’ve taken a couple of Fridays off (alongside a longer holiday at the end of the month) plus the Bank Holidays to bring it forward. Hopefully it will help.

What else? I wrote this blogpost about AI and Product Management which seems to have gone down well. Makes me want to make time to do some other non-weeknote blogging again.

Had a lot of fun experimenting with iA Presenter – can see this becoming my presentation software of preference…it is especially going to fit with my preferred process for my bigger talks where I write them basically as a blogpost first and then shape that into a presentation. This tool is perfect for that.

That said I have zero talks lined up this year and it is probably too late now to land any. 2025 maybe.

….however I am going to be on a panel at TICTeC in June with Alex, Mevan and other luminaries much smarter than me talking about civic tech and its relationship with digital government. I’m basically there representing someone who has played on all the teams – civic tech, government and consultancy (with a little freelance) and been involved in all the community stuff.

Hopefully I will see a few people in Manchester for Camp Digital next week (trains permitting). I’m really looking forward to it and will endeavour to bring the positivity for a couple of days!

Right – I need to get dressed and head out to see The Fall Guy – if Emily Blunt and Ryan Gosling can’t cheer me up I’m not sure what can.

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