I’ve struggled to write this last post of 2012. I’m never lost or short for words, but this time I have been. The title sums it up; why use 10 words when one will do?

2012 was always going to be a great year, lots to look forward to and celebrate as a family, which we thankfully did. Big projects at work would also be delivered and they were. The good things were great; significant birthdays, anniversaries, exam successes, Olympics and Paralympics, Ryder Cup etc. It was actually the best of years in that respect. I so wanted to end the year reminiscing about the good times, however this year has seen sad times too, including this Christmas when we lost a loved one, meaning this is not the post I wanted to write but one I needed to.

At that time of year when I see others looking back on their year and looking forward, making predictions; something which I usually do, I’m struggling a bit on the predictions front. I have a job that is fundamentally about explaining things and making stuff happen. And this job stuff usually helps when life’s curved balls come along. But not this time; a sudden family bereavement, with no identified cause of passing, has left us searching and no doubt will prolong the hurt. Fact; people die; there’s usually a reason but not this time. Something that cannot be explained is not how it is supposed to work and that’s the tough part. But people have been great. I’ve especially appreciated all the support from the blogging world and twitter so thank you all. Death is a dodgy subject to read and write about, you just cover it as respectfully as possible.

I’ve learnt this year that we can spend too much time on trivial nonsense, going through the motions and weekly grind to actually appreciate the special things and people in life and provide the quality performance or that special time for people at the time they need it. We have looked back at our year and it made us smile and cry again.

I’ve read all my blog posts over. The one thing that poignantly stood out came from a blog I referenced by Carolyne Mitchell (@cal444). In I can fly again she mentions Alan Brodie who suggested ‘the quality of our thinking affects the quality of our performance’. That does it for me, and needs to be the thing I take into 2013.

Next year is going to be a really tough year in local government. The numbers just don’t add up. My concern for 2013 is that too much will continue to be put on fewer people to try and maintain the status quo when actually the done thing would be to stop doing what isn’t making a real difference. I’ve said for a few years that you can’t do more with less. You can be smarter with less and do less better, but more for less just won’t go. Thing is, if you keep piling it on there is less doing time, but more importantly less thinking time; mistakes are made, things get forgotten, stuff won’t happen. I work best when I think best and at a time when we are being asked to be more creative then thinking time is crucial.

So recent sad events, combined with work closedown for the Christmas break have fortuitously provided much needed thinking time. Fact is I’ve realised I have too much going on which is affecting the quality of what I can deliver and the time I can give to people. Before Christmas I was overstretched and missing things and that’s not me. Life can be so nose to tail that we sometimes try to be jack of all trades when actually we need to be master of some.  We all need to come up for air; for ourselves and for others.

2013 needs to be the year we all breathe, take stock and then do the things that matter – and that may actually need to be less. This may just be the most important post I will write.

So here’s to fewer great things instead of more good things.

Have a great 2013.