Timing is everything

It’s nearly Christmas and New Year again.  If you’re at all like me, then sometimes these times of year seem to sneak up rather quickly.   The advent of Christmas trees in public places before Halloween still seems a bit startling. 

For the Psychological Professions Network (PPN), 2018 has been a good time with lots of interest in building similar networks in the South West, Yorkshire and Humber and the Midlands and East of England.   There is an enthusiasm about working collaboratively to build a PPN identity and have a voice for psychological professions collectively.  The PPN in Kent, Surrey and Sussex had their launch event in October which was a great opportunity for people to come together to build the network.    This is a good time to build on what we have achieved in the North West.

In our work, timing is often really important.  The timing of things at work can be challenging– how often do you get urgent requests for information, reports, data?  Sometimes, getting somewhere on time can be challenging when traffic is busy or trains are delayed and there are no options other than to sit and wait. Sometimes, we may request something that someone else needs to make a decision about and that can take time – perhaps longer and more frustratingly than we want.  Sometimes, we find a decision is made by someone else and we have to wait before we can have a conversation about this to understand more.  The impact of other people’s timing on our priorities and plans can be challenging.

Within our clinical work, sometimes it is not the right time for people to use our services because there are other challenges going on in their lives.  Sometimes, what we offer clinically may not be a good fit for the person who has come to see us.  This can be difficult for the person who comes to our service as they may have waited a long time for an appointment.  They may have hoped that we can help them with their difficulties.   The impact of our timing (or our service’s timing) can be challenging.

Supporting the wellbeing of our workforce with the pressures in the system and workforce shortages continues to be difficult.  These factors can make it difficult to deliver good psychological interventions in the time allocated.     This can have an impact on the time we have to do a good job for the people who use our services, our colleagues and ourselves.

Timing is not always bad and being able to help someone at something like the right time is often very rewarding.   Sometimes people who see us describe feeling very stuck in their lives and for them being able to change their lives can help time be experienced in a more positive way.  Having and being able to make time to reflect on our work is also helpful for our wellbeing.  Doing this regularly is important. 

Some time can be managed by us and some times are part of the framework in which we live and work, and some times are fixed points in the calendar.  Managing our time at least some of the time is important for our wellbeing.  I hope despite the busyness of approaching public holidays, we can all find a little bit of time for ourselves (even if it is in a timetable organised around meals, kitchen timers and visitors).

With all good wishes for the festive season.

Happy New Year and now for the Long Term Plan
World Mental Health Day


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