This week, I’ve begun doing a rotation with our support team at Automattic. Every Automattician does this as part of their on-boarding, as this helps to learn the systems, tools and users we’re interacting with every day. For me, this additionally helps to learn more about the users we’re building products for, which is a huge added bonus towards our user-centric approach to product development. Through this week, my work time demands 100% of my focus to be on the support rotation. I take this very seriously and am 110% focussed on learning as much as I can. This means, of course, postponing or moving any meetings I have on my calendar. This brought about some interesting and exciting results, which I’ll be exploring further here.
The new normal
For the next three weeks, there is a new normal. As someone who spends time each day in our help desk (although not all day, I spend at least 30 minutes per day), this isn’t too unfamiliar and is more a shift of focus. Focussing one’s mind elsewhere ensures a new set of neural pathways can be formed, while also giving the “original normal” pathways a chance for some roadworks and upkeep.
A new state of mind
Shifting tasks so radically (from meetings, strategy and road-mapping over to customer support) has resulted in a very interesting new state of mind. I feel a new kind of relaxed (I’m quite a relaxed person in general). My mind is still whizzing about product strategy, team structures and team happiness during my non-rotation hours, yet because of the focus shift, my mind is able to absorb these topics from a different (fresh) perspective.
Having a “No Meetings” zone
I feel this concept is one I’ll be taking forward with me after this rotation with support is complete; having a space where I have no meetings scheduled, on purpose. A space where I’m able to focus purely on my strategic and team-related tasks without jumping into a few meetings per day. Even if just for one week every month or two, I feel this idea carries significant weight towards increasing productivity, freshening the mind and encouraging new pathways and perspectives on current discussion topics in the day to day workplace.
I’m excited to trial this and to hear if anyone else has tried something similar.