Resolutions 2018: More mindfulness, leisure and focus

There is no doubt that the year 2017 was a chal­leng­ing one. Although my new mot­to “Rebel with­out a pause” was only meant as an allu­sion to the James Dean clas­sic “Rebel with­out a cause”, it is a good sum­ma­ry of the past year. Pause­less­ly (and some­times breath­less­ly) in action for the fam­i­ly with our two for­tu­nate­ly very live­ly girls on the one hand and the agile trans­for­ma­tion of BMW Group IT on the oth­er hand, briefly inter­rupt­ed by the post­ing here in the blog (yes, this can also be done on the smart­phone while you are wait­ing for the daugh­ter to fall asleep) and the dis­cus­sions on Twit­ter, LinkedIn (and this is also pos­si­ble in the mean­time) and our inter­nal Enter­prise Social Net­work (also inci­den­tal­ly, of course). Rain­er Janssen recent­ly remarked on LinkedIn that “with­out a pause” is thought-pro­vok­ing, because “it takes time to keep one’s own mind agile, cre­ative and empa­thet­ic”. I can only agree with that and I will strive for more mind­ful­ness, leisure and focus for the year 2018.

The­o­ret­i­cal­ly, like most oth­ers, I real­ize that mul­ti­task­ing is inef­fec­tive and only means “screw­ing up a lot of things at the same time” (Erwin Koch). And yet all too often I fall into the pat­tern of busy­ness, sit­ting in poor­ly pre­pared meet­ings where I nei­ther con­tribute nor learn any­thing. Instead of leav­ing them con­se­quent­ly or bet­ter yet ques­tion­ing them before­hand, I do my e‑mails or social media. Ot at home I let Twit­ter and LinkedIn dis­turb read­i­ly the scarce time with my family.

There are more impor­tant things in life than con­stant­ly increas­ing its speed.
Mahat­ma Gandhi

There’s a time for every­thing and every­thing needs its time. To con­front the per­ceived accel­er­a­tion by mutlti­task­ing is there­fore not part of the solu­tion, but part of the prob­lem. I will pay even more atten­tion to mind­ful­ness and focus in 2018. I only par­tic­i­pate in meet­ings if it makes sense, which means to me that I can con­tribute or learn some­thing. And if I par­tic­i­pate, then prop­er­ly and with­out calls or e‑mails, but pre­pared for it. When I write e‑mails, I write e‑mails. When I write arti­cles, I write arti­cles and when I dis­cuss in social media, I dis­cuss. Noth­ing else.

And then you have to have time to just sit there and look at yourself!
Astrid Lind­gren

For this, how­ev­er, there is a need for free­dom, i. e. an appoint­ment must not chase the next one or at least not too many of them should be lined up with­out a break. But this free­dom is only giv­en to those who con­sis­tent­ly say “no”. This, in turn, requires clar­i­ty as to what one wants to say “yes”, in oth­er words it requires a feel­ing for the impor­tance of the almost infi­nite pos­si­bil­i­ties. But the rest­less activ­i­ty of mul­ti­task­ing pre­vents this clar­i­ty. So it real­ly takes time to break out of this vicious cir­cle and keep the mind clear, focused and cre­ative and thus to take effec­tive action. With this in mind, and with the inspir­ing words of War­ren Buf­fet, I look for­ward to a mind­ful 2018 in which we will expe­ri­ence and move a lot jointly!

Sur­round your­self with peo­ple that push you to do and be bet­ter. No dra­ma or neg­a­tiv­i­ty. Just high­er goals and high­er moti­va­tion. Good times and pos­i­tive ener­gy. No jeal­ousy or hate. Sim­ply bring­ing out the absolute best in each other.
War­ren Buf­fet via Twit­ter

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