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  • Jimi Wikman
    Jimi Wikman

    2019 in retrospective

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    • Shocked 1

    2019 was not a very good year for me. It has been filled with stress and unexpected changes on all levels and I started to feel the signs of getting burned out. As a result I took some measures to counter that and it seems that this year will end on the positive side after all.

    I started my year at H&M, even though I did not think I should continue there. My work had been completed and it did not feel right to add another 6 months just to keep the work I was doing going. Working at H&M is good though and I got some new projects to manage, so I stayed on against my better judgement. This turned out to be a big mistake.

    The great atmosphere at H&M changed drastically and where there was a form of organized chaos before it now became just running blindly in all directions. Decisions was issued left and right with almost daily counter decisions from a management that never seemed to stop and process before taking decisions. Expert advice was dismissed and ignored pretty much everywhere and I started to feel the effect of the non-existing decision making process.

    I was just about to go talk to my manager and end my assignment when he called me and told me that my assignment was ending prematurely. It was a great feeling, but it did not last. Even letting me go turned out to be an exercise in frustration as the handover was changed multiple times with no communication or reason. It became so bad that I had to call in my boss because I was getting burned out from the constant changes and unreasonable demands from management.

    As I was let go other parts of the organization wanted my help to get their work processes in line with the bigger processes I had already designed. As they learned that i was getting burned out they reached out and asked how I was doing and if I was ok with continuing at H&M. This is so typical of H&M that no matter how chaotic and bad things are the people are just the best in the world.

    I ended up saying no to continue at H&M because I did not think it would be good for my health to stay. Not just for the crazy situation in management, that I am sure was just temporary, but also because of the effect the many renovations had on my SHR. it was a great time and I met some amazing people, but it was the right decision to move on I think.


    Checking my health

    I also started the year by doing a full physical checkup. I did a pretty extensive checkup and got a good result on pretty much all areas. Nothing strange with cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar or liver values and so on. My cardio was a bit poor however, which was to be expected as I spend almost 12 hours a day at work or in commute with little physical activity in my spare time.  So I went back to the gym at SATS Liljeholmen to work on that while I was working at H&M.

    I also did a test for SHR (Sensory HyperReaction) which confirmed that I do have SHR. It was a fun test where you inhale the active ingredient of Chili to see what your reaction is. Mine was not overly bad, but it was enough to put me out for a few days after the test. With this confirmed I invested in a breathing mask from Airinum that I use when in commute. This helps pretty good and you look like a ninja, which is always cool.

    My last check was dental and I fixed a chipped tooth and got my teeth cleaned up. As always it's a bit expensive and it hurt a bit, but it's all worth it and now I am back on track with dental as well. Next year I will focus on training and food.


    Switched back to Invision Community

    During the summer I took the decision to move from Wordpress to Invision Community. I had felt the need for something a bit more stable that I could build upon for some time and since I have been working with Invision Community since 2003 it felt like a natural step. Wordpress is nice, but it lack the structure and stability I want.

    The progress here on the site has been very much experimental this year, but I learned a few things here and there so now I can focus on building a bit more next year. I feel that I have more than enough at this point to build pretty much anything I want, so it's just a matter of deciding on what to build.

    Next year will be a bit more organized and I am going to use Jira and Confluence for many things. This will be a fun exercise to see how Jira and Confluence can be used in a bit different situation than just for software development.


    Returning to Elextrolux for a short assignment

    In the fall I took an assignment at Electrolux again, which took me to Moscow for a few days. This was amazing and I had a great time. Unfortunately the project itself was bit unclear and having two of the greatest architects I know on my team did not help when they were assigned only 75% in the project. This made time management much more stressful than it should have been and again I felt the sting of my time at H&M flare up again. Fortunately this project was short and I could hand it over in just a little over a month.


    Quit as Atlassian Group Leader

    As energy levels kept dropping I felt that the time and effort I put into organizing the Atlassian User Group only depleted me of energy even further. I was planning on handing over the group at the end of the year, but as the cost of Electrolux project was adding up I decided to quit right way. In doing so I had to cancel the last two events, which is regretful. I simply did not have the energy to actually pull those through without risking my own health.

    I will continue the work I have done to connect and discuss the Atlassian Suite here on the site. I do love discussing work processes and methodologies, especially in relation to Jira and Confluence. I also got some time with the Atlassian team to give feedback, which was nice. Hopefully I can plan some trips to Atlassian events in 2020 to meet more of the Atlassian team to discuss the future of their products.


    Changes at the company I work for

    Changes happen all the time and at the company I work for this has been very true this year. We changed name in the fall and we have seen some changes in management that I am not sure how I feel about yet. We have upgraded our offices and opened up a new office in Norway. Overall it feels like we are stepping up a bit as a company, which is amazing.


    Amazing Christmas break

    We have just returned from an amazing Christmas visit to my mother in law that gave much needed rest and refill of positive energy.  It's amazing what a house full of caring adults and toddlers can do for the spirit! My energy levels are renewed and as crappy as 2019 has been in many ways I look forward to 2020 and a new year filled with great things.

    Edited by Jimi Wikman

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      You will be ok.
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      Getting burned out is becoming more common these days as we sacrifice empathy on the altar of efficiency. So take care of yourself and balance those energy levels. Talk about it often with friends and family and reflect on your current state of mind regularly.
      No one will ever thank you for working yourself into the wall. Surprisingly enough most people will appreciate you for saying no if you have to much to do. Saying no takes courage and it has nothing to do with weakness.
      You are an amazing person and you deserve a wonderful life. So take care of yourself and make sure you never hit that wall.
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