One thing that improves your personal life – and makes you a better value creator

As a high-performing tech professional, it’s useful to constantly fine-tune your ability to add value.

For example, you might ask yourself at work:

What is the one thing we can change in our product, service or in the way we work together that can bring more value to our customers or the team?

This philosophy of looking for things that can add value can also be used for your personal and professional development.

To give you some inspiration, here are some of the real life small changes and habits that our team members at Crisp have made that have added tremendous value to our personal and work lives.

What we do to bring great value into our personal and work lives

Jan Grape’s One thing: Admitting lack of knowledge

“By saying ’I don’t know’ and asking for help and clarification when I don’t quite understand, accelerates my learning. When I was a lot younger, I thought lack of knowledge was a weakness that I shouldn’t show. Now, I know better, and I’m honest about the limits of my knowledge. As a consultant, it’s also a matter of setting the right expectations, not giving the impression of knowing something that I don’t. I also tell people that the person who asks the most questions will learn the fastest.”
Jan Grape, Crisp consultant, agile coach, developer and mentor

Michael Göthe’s One thing: Bath reflection time

“Every Friday or Saturday night, I have 30 minutes of reflection time in the bath. I call this my ‘golden time’, a moment to align with my inner compass, making sure that I work with the right things and live my life according to my values. You might prefer to have a walk in the forest or go for a run instead, but I enjoy a bath. I often feel very satisfied with what I have accomplished during the week, and I truly feel I live my purpose.”
Michael Göthe, Agile coach

Yassal Sundman’s One thing: Saying no

“I used to try to give 150% of myself all the time. If someone needed help, I would say yes. If there was a task that needed doing, I would take it on. If there was a problem that needed to be addressed, I would deal with it. Eventually, I realized that the pressure I placed on myself to always over deliver wasn’t sustainable. I also realized that I wasn’t happy anymore. I still work hard, but I’ve stopped saying yes to everything. I feel better, and I actually get more done this way.”
Yassal Sundman, team coach, mentor and developer at Crisp

Magnus Axelqvist’s One thing: Leaving my car at home

“About a year ago, I realized that I needed to find a way to get some physical exercise into my daily routine somehow. I decided to leave my car at home and walk to work instead. I have been doing that for a year now. That adds 12 000 steps a day to my life. Yes, it’s slower than driving, but the time difference isn’t that significant. I enjoy spending my walking time listening to podcasts and reading books on my Kindle.”
– Magnus Axelqvist, scrum master, developer

Jimmy Janlén’s One thing: Recording YouTube videos

“I learned early on that in order to get more exciting assignment opportunities, I needed to share my experience and ideas in blog posts and YouTube videos. Now, several years later, I reap the rewards of that. People recognize me now and that opens more doors for me. However, this constant urge to be present and visible can be stressful too. My head is always spinning. To unwind my brain, I make sure to relax a few nights per week, for example by playing computer games.”
Jimmy Janlén, Lean & Agile coach, trainer, and Scrum master at Crisp

Mia Kolmodin´s One thing: Easy Access to visualization tools on my desk

“I keep a short stack of A3 papers under my keyboard. When I’m faced with a challenging problem that I need to work through I use one of the sheets and jot down my ideas and questions. This helps me visualize the issue from different perspectives, and I usually iterate several times, often I involve others when I have done some “visual thinking”. Thinking on paper is an efficient and effective way for me to see the problem and find solutions faster and more clearly.”
– Mia Kolmodin, consultant and teacher of Agile, Lean UX and Product Ownership

Now it’s your turn. What is your one thing?

What is the one thing that you can do that has the potential of adding value to your personal or professional life?

Give that question some thought. And keep asking until you get the answer. The deeper you dig, the more your mind will tune into value creation overall.

4 responses on “One thing that improves your personal life – and makes you a better value creator

  1. “Using my external knowledge… the awesome people around me. By involving others who have other skill and think differently than me, I´m able to solve harder problems faster than I would have on my own. By working more of the time above out of my skillset I constantly learn new things. Better yet, those I involve experience the same thing and start doing this as well. As a bonus, solutions found this way are an easier sell and more time can be spent where it matter.”

  2. One thing: Be fit

    I realized that being a techie, it was much easier to spend time solving difficult problems instead of looking after oneself. It can become a habit. As I grew to leading people, I had to set goals for my people – but I had no personal goals. So, my personal goal is to run at least 20 kilometers a week. As we work in multiple timezones, finding time for oneself is difficult, what with working long hours and meeting project deadlines. 20Ks seems to work for me and it also seems to have rubbed off on my teams!

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