What is Learning on the Go?
As the name suggests, simply learning on the go! But, this blog is about documenting small and big learnings as I lead the path ahead, to reflect and relearn.
Throughout my career, in the past 8 years, I have had the privileges to work on multiple projects, areas, and to work with multiple inspiring and talented people. The exposure that this has given me has been great so far, and will continue being that way, I hope!
While I jumped from job to job, took a shot at running organisations, tried my hand at creative writing and arts management, I learnt many things that have shaped the way I think or operate. What I’ll be doing, is reflecting upon these learnings, topic by topic, concept by concept with this blog.
Learning on the Go: 01
Work Breakdown Structure
While studying at SPJIMR, Prof Prabhakaran taught us a simple technique in the Project Management class, called Work Breakdown Structure.
Here’s my understanding of it:
You take a Milestone or a major task
You divide it into steps
Next, you divide each step into smaller tasks and give it deadlines or timelines.
It’s such a simple approach, and we may be already using it in our daily lives. But, following this as a system has been beneficial in daily work life and also personal life.
Work Breakdown Structure for Smaller Wins
We often look for achievements and validation on an everyday basis. Well, at least I do! And, I think sometimes (maybe, only sometimes) it’s also healthy in a way for getting direction for growth in our individual paths.
Here’s what this approach has helped in:
Smaller Wins for Bigger Ideas
One of the biggest advantages of this is that it encourages smaller wins. My mind being over ambitious (sometimes too much for my own good), often decides to do embark on big ideas and decides a timeline to it.
I have an hyperactive mind and I tend to burn myself out by working at a faster and in larger quantum. This structure has helped me breakdown the work on any idea into smaller ideas. How this helps productivity wise, is that it helps see the picture through instead of the idea being an imaginary scenario. This not only helps see the bigger picture through, and steadily craft its story, but also create a healthy pace for working. Accomplishing these smaller tasks also helps in seeing smaller wins on a daily basis.
Personally, it helps me being in the moment and focus on the quality of micro tasks and details, which often tend to get ignored while seeing the bigger picture. Bigger picture, however has always been the goal, the drive for anything I do. This method helps maintain that as a goal and drive rather than making it into merely a task.
Smaller Wins for Better Mental Health
Two years ago, when I was diagnosed with depression, and started therapy, it seemed like a long road to getting better. I used to put a timeline to the bigger picture of ‘going back to normal’. Nothing of that sort happened! Six months down the line, I figured it’s probably too long a road, and the road itself is my goal.
Therapy, as against popular belief that it’s just talking, is a lot of constructive work. My therapist would give me homework, tasks to work on and reading material. Here, instead of getting overwhelmed with the idea of myself as a project, I tried using this method of work breakdown. The smaller accomplishments is one of the reasons why I’m better today.
Working ahead with Work Breakdown
This work breakdown structure has now become my go-to thought process. My brain automatically starts breaking down tasks when life presents a challenge ahead. In times where anxiety does float around way too often, this simple method has been quite an anchor, I carry it ahead with me working towards a better version of myself.