Zoals verwacht loopt alles anders

The goal of this blog was to post more things that interest me (hello 9 month hiatus 👋), improve my thinking process and write in English.

But the title is just too good in Dutch to leave it out. In English it would translate into something like:

As expected, everything turns out different

Plan 2016

At the end of 2016 I had a pretty good idea of what 2017 would have in store for me: the biggest personal project being our wedding (it was beyond awesome!). Work related I had a rebuild project of one of Elision’s oldest clients and had a pretty good idea of where I would like to go with my career within the company.

I didn’t have any other big goals in mind and would see where 2017 would take me. So far, 2017 is a year full of great surprises!

On a personal level

These things “just happened”:

  • joining a working group of ’t hART which is researching (symptoms of) burn-out within Generation Z (7-25 year olds now).
  • quit spinning/indoor cycling and replace it with crossfit. Yes, it’s as addicting as people say it is.
  • next to my weekly futsal game, I also joined a team that plays “cafévoetbal” on Sunday AM.

Career wise

I’m not entirely sure what’s different this year, but I guess I’m saying “yes” to even more stuff than I used to. This is creating awesome new opportunities.

A bit unexpected, I got in touch with the wonderful people at madewithlove. After talking and meeting with Andreas and his colleagues, it became clear that I shouldn’t let this opportunity slip. As of 16 August, I will join their team as a Product Manager! I’m super excited about this!

2017, I love you already, let’s make the rest of this year awesome as well!

Be the type of person you want to meet

I've had this screenshot on my desktop since 1 April 2016. It's taken from the Momentum extension for Chrome. Each day, it gives you another image and quote when you open a new tab.

So why this screenshot?

Last Friday I was talking to one of my best friends about how people seem to behave differently when you change job titles. Why is that? It's just a title, the person behind the title is still the same one you talked to yesterday. Yes, responsibilities might change and in a hierarchical organisation (yuk!) your relationship might change. But those aren't good reasons to behave in another way than you did before.

I take pride in being the same person day in, day out. I'm no different at work, than I am with family, friends, clients, strangers,... What you see is what you get! ;-)

To me this seems like the only way to stay true to your values and be authentic.

What person do I like to meet?

I like to hang out with people that:

  • are ambitious
  • are full of energy
  • radiate positive vibes
  • are happy
  • give back
  • keep their word

Next time you see me failing on any one of these, tell me, otherwise I'm not the kind of person I'd like to meet.

So how about you? What kind of person do you like meeting?

Taking time off work

 IMAGE BY  Szűcs László

I've been thinking a lot about work-life balance after seeing some close friends/colleagues burn out. As my former boss told me: "There's no such thing as work-life balance. Work is part of your life, work-private balance would be a better name."

With everything that's available to us, it's increasingly more difficult to define a clear boundary between work and private time. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but we should be aware of how we spend our time in order to live a (mentally) healthy life.

I read through some things I saved a while ago and these two resources really clicked for me, with regards to work-private balance.

Shawn Blanc - Concerning the Ebb and Flow of “Work”

There is no shame in taking time “off” of your work, in order to learn something, experience something, and be inspired. In fact, it’s our duty.
— Shawn Blanc

I can remember a time where I'd constantly check e-mail during the evenings/weekends/holidays. Just to be sure that I wouldn't miss anything and could reply as soon as possible. At times, I would already be stressing out on Saturday, about something I read in my mailbox.

Why? Think about it for a second. What's the worst that could happen if you didn't check your mail on Saturday?

From my own experience, only good things happen:

  • my mind is not constantly in racing mode
  • some of my best ideas for work related topics, came by taking time to rest and think
  • there's extra time to pursue other things in life

I follow some basic rules, to make sure I take time "off" work every single day:

  • no work e-mail checking between 7pm and 7am
  • no work e-mail checking during the weekends/holidays
  • no e-mail notifications. Ever.

Read Shawn's post here.

Merlin Mann - Back to Work 158: Merlin-Sized Hole

Merlin makes the analogy of receiving/reading e-mail at night vs having someone knock at your door at 9pm. You're not expecting it, you don't want to have someone at your door.

The following two quotes are the ones that resonated most with me:

There are very few circumstances where I would want somebody coming into my house after 9pm. Unless there’s a fire, or somebody was screaming,...

True.

Getting to a place where I’m not even wondering if there might be someone coming at 9pm.

Unless it's been a stressful day, I usually don't need much time to "switch off". My ride home (20m - 1h) with a podcast on, is usually enough. Not reading any work e-mail after work, helps keep me switched off. Stop wondering if X or Y has sent you an e-mail, there's another day tomorrow to respond.

If you want to hear it yourself, listen from 1h12m - 1h17m.

Stop complaining

You know that feeling of: "This looks like an interesting article, video,... I'll save it for later!" I'm pretty picky of what I want to save, but there's still too much to process it all (FOMO, right?).

This week I found myself looking at my Youtube "Watch later" list and found a talk with Tina Roth Eisenberg (Swiss Miss) from December 2013. That sounds like ages ago, but the entire video is still a great watch.

If you don't have 33 minutes to spare, let me help you out. Of all the ideas in the video, the quote below is an important one to live by:

If I find myself complaining about something I have two options: Do something about it or let it go.
— Tina Roth Eisenberg