I left the police service in 2007. Since then I have worked for the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme. I work as Director of Public Affairs. As a not for profit organisation we devote some of the revenue from professional motorcycle sports – at the World Championship Level – to defending the interests of street riding motorcyclists as well as sports men and women.
This involves a wide range of activities on international traffic laws, EU regulations and UN regulations on the technical standards for motorcycles, protective clothing, helmets and many other issues. A current hot topic is the interests of motorcyclists (and other road users) now that we see the arrival of semi-automated cars on the roads.
I am one of two members of staff in FIM not based at our HQ in Switzerland. As with a colleague in Ireland I work from an office at my home. I also travel a great deal on business.
I was finding that my working life was becoming inefficient. The symptoms included:
• The daily “to do” list had morphed from being my friend to a self-imposed tyranny of too much to do…
• A tendency to write emails as if I was composing handwritten letters
• A scattergun approach to all tasks going from one thing to another
• A habit of “instant response” to incoming emails – generating yet more emails
• Loss of control over working hours – something I am sure others who have the privilege of
working from an office at home will recognise!
• No time for personal reflection
• No time for doing things outside work that I want to do – for example years of ineffective
attempts to learn another language
What the course has delivered so far:
I have completed the weekend but only just commenced the follow-up modules and mentoring.
The main effect is having much more time. Junking the bad habits and planning the next day (and weekly overview) makes a huge difference.
The mysteries of mind maps have been revealed. Even a simple plain one in pencil as a replacement for the “to do” list works wonders. The same thing done in a different way and (for me) it works.
For those who have tried mind maps before and failed -maybe through using a computer system before learning how they really work – do give it another go.
Doing more with pencils and pens and colours is great fun. It is nice to get back into touch with things that were fun when we were young! – They still are fun.
At a more philosophical level:
It is important to be open-minded with this course. – Especially if you have a background like mine with very traditional education. I struggled on the Friday evening at the start of the course and thought I might give up there and then. One of the mentors spotted this. Once I relaxed and gave it a go, things changed.
In this course you meet a lot of interesting people and learn about how to make today more effective. It is good to change the situation where today is only the tomorrow you worried about yesterday…
The atmosphere is positive and light. It is certainly the most enjoyable education that I have ever been involved with!
It is a safe environment. Nobody will be made ever to feel that they have “failed” within this course.