Friday, September 15, 2006

Friday Roundup

A very good week at work. Started off getting some recognition passed to my boss from a customer this week and then had several very good interactions on other support cases that led to very positive kudos landing in my inbox. Not one, but two coworkers commented to me that I seem to be very customer-focused these days. One buddy told me I seemed happier and much more relaxed of late. I told him about the new Rob 2.0 project that I'm working on and he got a kick out of that. Why am I doing better? Some good coaching from my bosses, HR, and peers. Some studying I've been doing (reviewing Crucial Conversations and listening to a book on Emotional Intelligence). Mainly it's just a refocusing of attention on what comes out of my mouth and my internal attitude. I do find that I think "be happy", then happy comes out. I'm not good at explaining this. Other factors include a more stable homelife. With Evelyn staying at home now and the kids being well situated in school... it let's me focus on other things. I was in a near panic about financial concerns when we cut our income in half, but somehow we're doing just fine. We've made significant lifestyle changes, but I'm surprised at how little I miss all the "extras".

Another good thing I did was telework one day this week. Company won't come up with an "official" policy but the bosses have both said that we can work from home once in a while if we need (want?) to. And... so I did. And it was truly great. The day was actually quite busy. But I got all my daily tasks done and actually made headway on a migration project that has been languishing. Quite frankly, I felt I was more productive working away from the office than I ever am in the office. Admittedly, this was my hypothesis going in. So, did I work extra hard to ensure that I met my "quota" of work? Or was it simply that I was more productive because I had less distraction? I think a little of both. I set different parameters for my workday when I was at home. I answered every phone call for instance. I rarely answer the phone in the office unless I can see who it is calling and I know I'm waiting on info from them. Everyone else can go into the voicemail and get queued behind other workflow (GTD paradigm -- minimize distraction). Similarly with email, rather than doing my Email Dashes hourly (GTD / Inbox Zero) I pretty much kept one eye on email all day long. Yet, it was nice to have a break from the office banter. Make no mistake, I enjoy the banter, but do recognize that it reduces my productivity and I don't like that aspect of it. I'm going to try to continue doing telework one day every other week I think. I'm hopeful other team members follow me in. I think this ties in nicely with the GTD concept of going up to 50,000 feet once in a while to survey and also my team lead's idea about having a Deep Thoughts Friday once a month.

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