Learning Log 90 – Managing your Email Webinar

Number: 90

Significant Experience: A webinar focusing on better (in terms of time) email use

What Happened?: Our team (and some of the wider department) took part in a webinar on better email management that included hints and tips on how best to effectively manage your own inbox as well as team wide agreement on best practice regarding how we operate as a team in terms of emailing.

So What?: This was opportune as I have been reflecting a lot on how effectively I use my time – and emails can be a time-sink. In any of the scenarios brought up I was not the worst offender (mass emails or email checking out of hours for example) and there wasn’t much new learning – but it did refresh and remind me of some rules I have used in previous roles that could help me use my time better in this role. It was also handy to get a grip on how and why we email-operate as a team, as it has always felt a bit loose, and I didn’t rock the boat!

Now What?: I have added the rule that only emails either directly to me or cc’d me go into my inbox. All other emails are sent directly to a folder that shall be read less frequently. I have also stopped the notifications as I was receiving alerts for the group inbox which was a constant flow of distraction. These adaptations shall lessen the opportunity for distraction and enable me to be more effective and productive with the increased concentration.

When & Where?: 14th February 2018, Desk.



Learning Log 89 – Quality, Impact and Innovation Event

Number: 89

Significant Experience: Attendance at the Public Health England Event – Quality, Impact and Innovation Event (#QIIE2018)

What Happened?:I attended (as both a note-taker and participant) the Quality, Impact and Innovation 2018 Event hosted by Public Health England.  The keynote was David Filligham (AQUA Chief Executive) talking about Becoming Quality Improvement Leaders which was very inspiring. This was followed by workshop sessions reflecting on previous QIIE award nominees based around the themes of: Quality Teams and Leadership; Quality Innovation; and Quality Progress which highlighted quality excellence across the organisation. In the afternoon, I attended an interactive masterclass on ‘Incident Investigation’ and reporting that had parallels with wider knowledge collation and sharing.

So What?:  I found this event very inspirational and interesting. I learnt about lots of best practice. It was very interesting to discover about developing quality leaders and how it matches things I have learnt about leadership development and also how incident reporting/investigation protocols are linked to wider knowledge sharing principles.

However, this event did flag up the fact that there is no natural way to share knowledge and that it is often limited to your networks and relationships and you have to search out knowledge – which mirrors something I have found within my own personal sphere.

Now What?: I am going to think about how I as a leader, can facilitate and promote quality throughout my networks and relationships

When & Where?: 6th February 2018, Birmingham


Learning Log 87 – CILIP Health and Social Care Strategy Group

Number: 87

Significant Experience: I attended the CILIP Health and Social Care Strategy Group on behalf of my organisation

What Happened?:I was very fortunate to be asked to attend the CILIP Health and Social Care Strategy Group for my organisation – the first time I had attended this meeting. I am not going to go over the minute detail as the official minutes serve that purpose – but a wide range of topics were covered – including library provision for health in Greater Manchester (both public and health library sector), the positive impact local public library services have on health agenda (and the innovation used to do so), as well as the development of social prescribing excellence and roles libraries can play.

So What?:  This was a really fantastic learning opportunity! Often, I am happily within my health librarian (even public health librarian) bubble that I pay no attention to the wider library and health agenda – be that in independent libraries or even how public libraries make a direct impact on the public’s health and wellbeing

Now What?: I’m going to reflect on my learning to see if there are any areas I want to continue to develop my understanding.

When & Where?: 9th February 2018, Manchester.


Learning Log 86 – Coaching Session 2: Avoiding Self-Inflicted Crunch

Number: 86

Significant Experience: My second session proper – this time looking at my formed habit of putting myself under pressure by focusing on the deadline – or as I refer to it: self-inflicted crunch. (Crunch is something I have come across in gaming referring to the excess amount of work done by game developers in the lead up to a deadline – such as game release – this article is a really good examination of the concept)

What Happened?:   The conversation was about my use of time, and my desire to use it more effectively. My habit of leaving  tasks until close to the deadline leaves little room for error or flexibility so when other pressures – such as family illness or emergency requests come in put myself under an  unnecessary amount of pressure and often end up working later evenings/weekends to meet deadlines. This approach also limits room for mistakes so increases pressure in terms of delivering the quality I expect of myself.

We also discussed how I can suffer from mental/professional fatigue which sometimes affects concentration and how I use time, which may end up being a conversation for another day!

So What?: This was important to verbalise as I had felt it becoming more and more of an issue (in fact being a bit of an in joke between myself and a colleague) and as part of this conversation I was able to structure a workable solution for me as other attempts had been less successful (I’m talking to you false deadlines). It was good to look at it from a different perspective and examine why I focus so much on the end date rather than the start date – and this perhaps gives clues as to why I have let a couple of internal solo-projects drift for as long as I have.  I would like to address these projects in new approach.

Now What?: I have produced an action plan (below) on how to implement this and make it ‘habit’. On March 2nd, I shall reflect on how I have stuck to this and if it has helped

When & Where?: January 23rd, Home.

Self-Imposed Crunch – Avoiding by more effective time management

  • As part of ‘project plan’ (see Golden Rules) factor in how long a piece of work may take and then decide on a start date that factors this in, allows for time ‘slippage’ with goal of removing ‘crunch’ *new notebook needed* 
  • This start date shall be put into the bullet journal task list and entered on the date as a ‘scheduled item’.
  • If piece of work has several parts – start dates should be done for each section – with each part put in bullet journal.
  •  This will only work if I stick to it. Stick to it!!

Learning Log 85 – #Fellowship5 Meeting 9

Number: 85

Significant Experience: The 9th meeting of our Fellowship group – sans a member *sad emoji face*

What Happened?: As usual, no details,  but at the last meeting we discussed moving from a mentor-mentee group approach to a more peer-support and challenge approach and I think this meeting was the first stage in the evolution of that relationship. I felt there was also a renewed focus on Fellowship throughout the room – with my approach (rightfully) challenged and others in room working through issues around evidence.

So What?: This was an important meeting because it has re-ignited my desire to complete Fellowship.

Now What?: I have several actions for the next meeting, all of which I shall have done.

When & Where?: January 22nd 2018, Manchester


Gaming in 2017

I don’t play many ‘new’ games as time and money are things. These, however are a couple of lists of my favourite games I played in 2017 – some new, some not so new – although they were new to me in 2017

2017 Favourite Games

  • Persona 5 – My favourite PS4 game and one of my favourite games ever.  Picked it up a bit later – in June and was seemingly only playing this until Christmas. The world just envelopes you and you can think of little else. Am happily going to sink another 100 hours into my next playthrough.
  • Horizon Zero Dawn – This game is near perfect. I loved everything about it!
  • What Remains of Edith Finch? – I have only gotten into ‘Walking Sims’ last couple of years as they have come over to consoles (PC’s are for emails and Championship Manager 01/02) but this was one of the best single sitting games I have ever played. It seemed to break up the walking better than simialr games with little mini-games that differed from each other. Brilliant.
  • Undertale – not new for 2017, but new for Vita for 2017. This game is brilliant. Don’t want to give anything away so I would just play it. Play it!
  • Prey – Actually not Prey. With its Skyrim-esq loading screens that you spend most of last hour watching as you just run between points (why no fast travel) and game killing bugs and stupid ending and pointless threads throughout game due to stupid ending.

Non 2017 Favourite Games (played in 2017)

  • Freedom Wars – A game I briefly played when it first came on playstation plus. Perfect for my regular commute. I didn’t finish, I hit a level of difficulty I couldn’t surpass so stopped. Which I am OK with.
  • Dear Esther – A lovely, if very sad walking sim. A few years old now. All I would say  is that if it had been a long cut scene it wouldn’t have felt much different.
  • The Vanishing of Ethan Carter – Another walking sim that I really enjoyed.
  • Killzone: Mercanaries – Another Vita game I had barely touched until 2017 as i found it much better with a trigger grip for my fat hands. I am bad at first person shooters and it showed with this but I still enjoyed it.
  • Darkest Dungeon – This was one of my favourite games I had ever played until I got over-confident and lost my main crew on a dungeon crawl and the perma-death system left me basically back at level 1. So i rage quit and even uninstalled it on the vita (without cloud save enabled). Big regret.
  • Rise of the Tombraider – This game was great, but I made a mistake as I played it between replaying Arkham Aslyum and playing Horizon: Zero Dawn so in my mind it pales in comparison when in fact it was a wonderful game to play (if a little long)

2017 Games I hope to get to:

  • Danganropa 3
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
  • Mafia 3
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda
  • Nier: Automata
  • Nioh
  • Resident Evil 7
  • Stardew Valley (if it comes to vita)
  • Steamworld Dig 2
  • Uncharted: Lost Legacy



Learning Log 84 – Coaching: the start

Number: 84

Significant Experience: My first meeting (proper) with my Coach

What Happened?:  I’m not going to discuss the actual content of what was said (as that feels quite self-reductive at this stage although I reserve the right to change my mind!) but more about how I and why I’ve started this journey. I’ve been thinking about coaching for a while, mainly based on the positive reflections and experiences of people who use coaching. I have been informally coached before – my Chartership mentor (and mentor generally) Gil used/uses coaching techniques. I had gone as far to sign up for my organisational coaching scheme, but I didn’t feel any of the  potential candidates were appropriate so I cooled on it. Then a mutually beneficial opportunity  (though I suspect weighted in my favour) came up which felt a much more suitable fit.

So What?: I feel this is an important step in my professional development as it makes more explicit  the commitment to develop from within, to challenge my self-perceptions and self limiting beliefs, to choose a course of action and to follow it. This feels more subtle than identifying a learning or developmental need and doing a course/reading etc.

Also it is a continuation of the departure from the mean for me that began with the Leadership Course and continued with the #fellowshipfive in that it is an approach that is focused upon the individual and is intense, at times emotive and discusses feelings and stuff like that…

Now What?: Get cracking.

When & Where?: January 9th 2018, Home.