Message from Mary Ann Masson, Vice-Chair of the Network
This month, we hosted our first 'proper' session - the first meeting of our Book Group. It felt really good to get things up and running. The book under the spotlight was 'Getting Things Done' by David Allen, a time management book. We hadn't all read the book cover-to-cover and we were delighted that not having read it at all didn't stop others from joining us - we're not that kind of book group! We discussed the process advocated in the book:
- Capture everything that needs done, not distinguishing between 'job stuff' and 'personal chores'. Everything is just another task. It could be something huge: 'implement new finance system' or something small: 'buy a stamp' - if it's playing on your mind as something you need to do, then it needs to be captured in a reliable system of your choosing.
- Clarify what each task is. Are you the best person to do it? If not, delegate. If it is for you, what needs done with it? If it will take less than 2 minutes, then do it now! If it will take longer, identify the next action you need to take to move things along and capture this in your system.
- Review actions and reflect on next steps regularly.
We agreed that this approach could have you doing and planning all the hours of every day. It wouldn't suit everyone. However, we all agreed there was something we could take away from the advice in the book. Personally I like the 'if you can do it in less than 2 minutes, do it now' thing and have been making an effort to adopt it.
One of the attendees had heard about an app intended to help with organising work and personal life. It's called SavvyMum and I'm going to give it a shot to see if it helps. If you have any good time management tips, let us know. We may run something else on this in the future.
In other news, it's Chriiiiiiiistmas. Well nearly. We have a lovely festive event coming up later in the month which we are putting on in partnership with the RACE team. See the Events section for more details.
Mary Ann Masson
Drop in to our 'Festive Top Tips' event which we are running in partnership with the RACE team. Meet colleagues, talk festive highs and lows and most of all, eat mince pies. Unless of course you think they are really not that nice with their little bits of lemon and orange peel in them. (Actual peel, in something called mince-meat.) In which case, have a (handful of) chocolate instead. Yup - there will be festive refreshments.
As you might have seen, we are planning a series of coaching sessions. The first of these is on building confidence and we will run it twice. The first session got booked up right away when we advertised it in the Corporate Bulletin a couple of weeks ago. It had been planned for early December but unfortunately we've had to delay it until 16 January. Those of you who were booked should have received an update from the SPLearning system - if not, please let us know. Thanks for bearing with us. The session will be repeated in February.
Further coaching sessions on different topics are also planned and will be advertised nearer the time. Watch this space!
Ideas for future events
Here is a list of topics that people have told us they think we should cover. We would appreciate your views on these. Please email Lisanne and/or Mary Ann and let us know what you think.
- Women's health - yes, that includes periods and the menopause, folks
- Meet the women who attended the Women in Leadership programme, perhaps in a social setting, to hear informally what they got out of the programme and what they can share
- Something on the arts - poetry perhaps?
- A budget group to support learning in this area
- Walking group - for short and longer walks in the vicinity of the Parliament
We would also like to hear about any other ideas, particularly topics for more 'top tips' sharing sessions.
A couple of network members let us know they had been discussing unconscious bias and forwarded on links to two articles which you might be interested in reading. Thanks for sharing. Please do feel free to pass on anything you think would be of interest to the network.
What is Unconscious Bias? - Information from ACAS
How Unconscious Bias Holds Us Back - The Guardian article
Parliament Advent Calendar!
A bit of fun - the Web and Social Media team have launched the first interactive Scottish Parliament advent calendar.
...festive good wishes from us all and we'll be back with more news in the New Year