Documentation is the process of writing down and cataloging critical information for the purpose of transparency and to ensure that information is preserved and made available to more people.
Documentation can seem a low priority and beyond reach to time-strapped harm reduction leaders constantly navigating what can feel like a crisis rollercoaster. But NOT doing it will cost the agency even more time and energy in the long run. Without documentation, critical information gets lost. Not having access to key information can be literally catastrophic in the event of an unplanned succession.
So, how does a busy leader find time for something they really do not even want to do? To begin…
Documentation is a love letter that you write to your future self.
Leaders identified the following areas requiring essential documentation for transitions. The Tools section offers spreadsheets to help track them.
Do not overwhelm yourself by deciding that you are going to do nothing but documentation for a full day or a week. For some lucky few this may be a relaxing idea but for most of us, especially those of us who thrive on the chaos of harm reduction, it is akin to watching paint dry. And, if we’re being honest, tantamount to admitting we will never do it.
Instead, pick an incremental, and sustainable, amount of time – maybe 30 minutes – and commit to doing it on a schedule such as daily, weekly, etc. If 30 minutes sounds like a lot, try for ten. As with all things harm reduction, BETTER IS BETTER and some change is better than none. Like any habit change, over time it will get less overwhelming and, best yet, there will become less and less to do.
For nothing is fixed, forever and forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock.