Are we there yet? You may instantly think of road trips where a child version of yourself or your own kids are asking this question over and over. However, this blog is not about road trips. Instead, we will be talking about focusing on the journey rather than the destination.
We talk a lot in our blog about goals and you probably hear about them at work, in life, with family, etc. I know a lot of people who get so discouraged by goals that they never even make them. I get it though… goals can be daunting, especially if you become hyper focused on them.
Have you ever met someone who was so focused on a goal they would lose sight of the learnings, beautiful things, and moments around them? Well I have… because I often become this person. I am by nature very competitive and goal driven so it is easy for me to focus so heavily on where I am going that I no longer see the things around me. In doing this, we can become discouraged when the goals change or we don’t meet them in the timeframe we anticipated.
I remember a time when I was a Scrum Master at a large organization and I was so focused on getting my team’s work added to a particular project management tool. During this time, there was a lot of pressure from leadership to get everything in so they could start creating visualizations of the work (progress, timeliness, etc.). As stated earlier, I am very competitive and I wanted to be one of the first teams to have my work in.
Through this process I was stressed by the amount of work that didn’t come in through the “traditional way” (which means it was sent via email to a specific team member, through messaging applications, or simply someone stopping by a desk rather than telling me about the work first). Through this hyper focus, aka obsession, I lost sight of the fact that my team was communicating more and that they were pushing back on people who emailed them directly to inform them of our process. I lost sight of the fact that I was growing as a person in learning patience and growing as a Scrum Master in my communication skills.
During this time we were able to evaluate our goal and pivoted from just getting work into the system to working with the teams on the process improvement. We did this through a series of trainings. Additionally, I was celebrating the teams growth through happy hour sessions and gift cards for them. I forgot about all of this until my manager at the time reminded me… So please, pay attention to the journey and soak in the moments before they pass.
In closing, focusing on the journey rather than the destination is key… just like a road trip you will have many pit stops along the way. It is up to you to learn and celebrate during the ride.