Working Up

Working Up in Project Management, Systems Engineering, Technology, and Writing

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But This Worked Before!

December 18th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Nothing is so cruel as to learn that the system we built doesn’t do what we thought it would. We are good, smart, caring people. We work diligently to build good systems that serve others. We test. We really test—no kidding, no fooling around. We really test. Then one day, someone walks […]

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Tags: Breathe · Learning · Reframe · Systems · Testing · Thinking

Don’t Try Too Hard

October 30th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Sometimes we simply try too hard when applying what we already know in small doses suffices. It happened again the other day at work… I needed to know something that I didn’t know. I rushed about frantically screaming to the moon, which is hard to do in the middle of a sunny […]

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Tags: Adults · Breathe · Group · Health · Thinking

Important Nonsense

May 22nd, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips When an otherwise rational person starts speaking nonsense—pay attention as something important is happening. People tell me how important a topic is to them by how they speak to me. Rational, logical, focused—nope. Not those adjectives. I am writing about important topics. When something is important, something burns inside. The heart quickens, […]

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Tags: Breathe · Communication · Consulting · People

Don’t Try So Hard

February 4th, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips One of the worst things to do in many situations is to try really, really hard. One of the best pieces of advice I received from author and consultant Jerry Weinberg is: Don’t try so hard I have to force myself to remember this when I find myself staring at something and […]

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Tags: Breathe · Observation · Work

The Most Important Five Minutes of My Day

December 3rd, 2015 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Five minutes of quiet thought. Each morning, at the end of Internet viewing and blogging and before I “go to work,” I sit for five quiet minutes and drink coffee. I stare into space. I am not wasting time. It is an investment, one of the sharpening-the-saw moments from a self-help best-selling […]

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Tags: Breathe · Clarity · Meetings · Process

Adults Coloring, Yes Coloring Books

October 22nd, 2015 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips In an attempt to go back to reality, adults are returning to coloring books. Everyone has a smartphone, a tablet, a computer, or all of these. You move the mouse, the cursor moves, and lines and colors and all that appear on the screen. Press control-P and the printer produces the paper […]

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Tags: Adults · Authentic · Breathe · Writing

If We Tell Him, He’ll Get Mad

October 8th, 2015 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips People are free to choose their reactions to events. I am included in “people.” We all are. I don’t know how many times I have heard the phrase that is the title of this post. There are countless variations: You tell him that! That’s easy to say when s/he isn’t around. The […]

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Tags: Adults · Breathe · Choose · Communication

How to Breathe

May 4th, 2015 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips A crucial skill to working and working with others is breathing. Working and working with others can be frustrating. We can replace “frustrating” with just about any word that expresses a feeling that we don’t like. The result is the same. If those fill-in-the-blank people don’t start doing what I want, I […]

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Tags: Breathe

Don’t Try so Hard

January 26th, 2015 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips I try hard at everything. Sometimes I try hard too much. <start advice> Slow down. Back away. Breathe. Drink a cup of coffee. Relax. Take a nap. Find your own little zen thing that helps you to not try so hard. <end advice>

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Tags: Breathe · Choose · Coffee · Health · Problems · Process · Thinking · Time

Mental Concentration and Awkwardness

August 14th, 2014 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Looks are often deceiving. Especially how you look when you are concentrating. Many years ago, a college professor told a calculus class I was in something like, “People think you are wandering the campus absentmindedly when the opposite is true. You are in deep concentration.” I often find myself standing to walk […]

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Tags: Breathe · Thinking