Another week, another inspirational nugget and (not so) technical article.
Inspirational Nugget of the Week
You might have heard about the "5 Whys". It's a technique to repeatedly ask "why?" to get to the root of an issue. You start by asking a "why?" question and answer it. Then, you turn the answer into another "why?" question and so on.
It might sound like a children's game (because children love to ask why over and over), but it's a very good way to get to the bottom of things. We can use this technique by ourselves to uncover things about ourselves that we didn't even know! We can also use it in a team during a retrospective to uncover actions to improve the team dynamics.
I suggest you try it out! Pick one of the "why?" questions below and apply it to something in your life and the go and repeatedly ask "why?". I'm sure it will uncover some insights you didn't know about!
Why am I doing this? Ask this question to scrutinize the meaning of what you or your team are doing. Not knowing why you're working on something can be demotivating or even debilitating and a prime reason for being unproductive. Go down the rabbit hole and ask why you're doing what you're doing until you come to the bottom of it. The answers will either motivate you again, or they might make it obvious that the work you're doing is the wrong work and allow you to change what you're doing.
Why don't I enjoy this? If there is something in your life that you have to do, but don't enjoy, ask yourself why you're not enjoying this. The answer might be that you don't know why you're doing that thing, in which case you can continue with the question from above: "why am I doing this?". Otherwise, asking "why?" repeatedly might reveal the reasons why you don't enjoy something and allow you to put them aside to make your work/life enjoyable again.
Why is this not working? This is the original intention of the "5 Whys" technique: finding the root cause to an issue. Use it when investigating an incident. "Why did our application have this error?". Asking why repeatedly will uncover the root causes and allow to fix them.
Why is this happening? If you are surprised by the behavior of someone in your team or family, take a couple of minutes and ask yourself why that person might have behaved that way. The answers you find might be surprising and help you deal with that person. In general, when you're surprised about an event, pause for a moment and ask why.
These are just a few "why?" questions as inspiration. I highly suggest making it a habit to ask why more often. Not just to yourself in a "5 Whys" scenario, but in general, especially at work. It will uncover reasons and opportunities for change you wouldn't have noticed otherwise. Every time you're surprised or unmotivated, take out pen and paper and start asking why.