Missing the messes

I stole this one from James Clear’s newsletter:

What has been your favorite period of the last decade? How can you recreate some of that magic over the next year?

James Clear

I’ll bite.

In my personal and family life, that’s easy: I’m living my favorite period right now. Trail running plus not having a baby at home (my youngest is now three years old) has made all the difference.

In my work life, my favorite period was when I was the resident team debugger. I like being dropped into a team that’s having non-technical issues and being told to untangle them.

When I switched from an agency to a product company a year ago, one of the things I was most excited about was being able to work with the same team for years. Long term jelling, right? I was tired of watching teams be dismantled right as they got into a groove.

But now I’m discovering that I miss that initial phase when everything is a mess. I miss the people messes and the culture messes and the process messes. Functioning teams don’t have as many. When things are running smoothly, I stop feeling useful and start feeling guilty that I’m not doing enough.

So how do I “recreate some of that magic”? I guess I need to find some more messes to clean up.

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