49: The Rules of Enough #LifeWideLearning16

Doing my job used to mean arriving far before children arrived at school and staying far after for grading and guitar club. After that it meant setting up a half-dozen computers to edit HTML files in online courses for hours at a time. After that it meant traveling to conferences and standing in booths or facilitating sessions. After that, it meant making screencasts of wireframes of apps. After that, it meant meeting 6-10 times a day. All of those things are “doing my job”, but in each transition to a new role, I revised the rules for what was “enough.”

Enough effort, enough passion, enough change, enough capacity building, enough learning, or even just enough so that I feel good about my contribution to the world.

I revise my “rules of enough” every time I tackle a new body of work. I negotiate with myself for just how many hours I need to wake up before the children get out of bed. I try to parcel out the number of days in hotel rooms in another state it will require. I build up my resolve for making the change I want to see, ensuring I have enough in reserve for difficult arguments among would-be advocates.

Even thought they shift multiple times a year, my rules of enough are worth writing down. They provide a snapshot of my internal struggle with creating something that makes a difference.

The Rules of Enough:

  1. Wake up with enough time to do one thing you can be truly proud of each morning.
  2. Reply to enough email to sustain important conversations and for others to not assume you are dead.
  3. Communicate your work enough so that others can see their own entry points.
  4. Call enough meetings to build a coalition for change.
  5. Read enough blog posts, tweets, and white papers to stay informed and to inform others.
  6. Write enough to understand what you believe.
  7. Think out loud enough to understand what you have learned.
  8. Listen enough to understand what you don’t yet know.
  9. Play with your kids enough that they will have memories of their childhood with you.
  10. Stay awake with your wife enough to be truly together.

Those will change, maybe even tomorrow. But, for right now, those are the rules.

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