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03 Oct 2016

Change is exhausting

by Melanie Franklin

I am part of a large-scale transformation and even I have woken up this morning dreading more change. It’s Monday morning so we have yet another new system going live and we are applying our newly designed processes.

Catching up from last week

The problem is there were changes to documents last week and a new forum started. The week before we had more system and process changes. Already this morning I have failed to login to an existing system because we were all asked to strengthen our passwords last week for the cyber security initiative and I cannot remember where the bit of paper is that I wrote my new password on, even though I wasn’t supposed to but there is only so much I can remember.

As the architect of a lot of this change, with a very strong belief in the need for these changes and their business benefits you would think I could cope better. But we are all human and unrelenting change is exhausting.

Tricks to help you cope

So if you are suffering to, here are a few quick tricks to make things feel better:

  • Make a list of all the things that are the same – this is a very powerful coping mechanism as it reminds us of all the things we can still do. As they are familiar these are things that we can do with confidence which makes us feel more in control.
  • Be honest to yourself about all of the things that will be new or unfamiliar today (only do this one day at a time). This is empowering because it stops the feeling of unrelenting difficulty that surprises you. Instead you are clear about all the things that will need your concentration and bringing this list into your conscious mind reduces the chances that you will over commit to too much work whilst you are slowly learning new ways of working
  • Grade the difficulty of the changes and consciously decide to tackle the more involved ones when you have the most time and tackle the smaller changes one at a time throughout the day. This brings order to the chaos and by introducing your own schedule you don’t feel ambushed by all the new things. You are adapting them according to your schedule. This control creates a feeling that the new is achievable.
  • At the end of the day run through your schedule and take a moment to congratulate yourself for all of the progress you have made Whatever doesn’t get done today can be put into the list for tomorrow so you can go home tonight with a clear conscious.

I hope this helps you. Now I am off to make my own list of all the new ways of working I have to try today.

Melanie Franklin
3rd October 2016