Rob’s Been a Busy Fool – A Slap in the Face and a Rethink on My Strategy

Recently, I seem to have been really busy. Lots going on at work, learning new things doing some interesting stuff, reading lots at home for study. All sounds great right?

Being honest, what have I achieved? Not a lot. And I am pissed.

I always take my personal productivity really seriously. Its so important. I want to get things done, after some personal crap where I fell into a bit of a rut over the past few years (yeah that’s years - they were tough) I vowed I would never allow myself to come off the track again. Now,  I am not suggesting its that serious, but I just feel like my pace has slowed. Not good enough.

So over the past few days I have been trying to dedicate some time to think and reflect on the pass month or so. What’s been going right/wrong? How do I think I can improve?

What’s been going right/wrong?

I think its important to always way up the positives as well as the negatives. However, it is sometimes REALLY hard to see the positives, since its generally the negatives that grab your attention. It’s like the classic “a quiet customer is a happy customer” people generally don’t take action if they are happy – yet as soon as something isn’t quite right, they try to unleash hell on you.

The Good

  • I am still learning stacks of stuff at work. My brain is constantly being challenged with new stuff (since I am now working on web, and it’s all new to me).
  • I have no major issues distracting me. I am genuinely reasonably happy and content with my life.
  • I have had some great comments on my blog as well as other forms of communication, validating my thoughts that my experiencing is growing. It has been awesome to get some of the feedback from people reading this, it truly does make a difference so I thank you. It really does mean a lot to me.

The Bad

  • I’ve been reading lots of stuff towards my 70-315 certification but I am not so sure if its all sinking in to my thick skull. I generally don’t feel as confident as I want to with some of the material.
  • I still have some major things on my personal ToDo list that I haven’t even started properly yet. By properly I mean actually working towards getting it “done and dusted”. I’ll post my list later to get the items out there so you can see some of the things I am aiming to get done this year.
  • I am losing some motivation with the MCAD course because it is being binned in March next year.
  • And yes, I have to admit, this geek is feeling kind of lonely. Everyone else around me seems to be hooking up. Yet, I sometimes struggle to find time for myself, let alone get out and meet new people - I am pretty sure if I was fortunate enough to hook up with a lovely young lady, she would hate me within a couple of weeks for being a workaholic.
  • Some days I come in from work tired and get too easily distracted from the things I need/should be doing by World of Warcraft, TV, etc.

Fine – So How Can I Improve?

Well, this is always a tough one, identifying problems can often be easy, overcoming them is a whole different kettle of fish. Here’s a summary of the things I have decided to do to:

  • Get uber-organised. I have always thought I am reasonably well organised. I always make sure I make notes of things I am supposed to do. But I need to really, really keep on the ball. I do have several things on my list to get done, and I need to make sure I break them down in to manageable chunks and processes them,  one at a time, ALL the time. This will mean I will give my ”Getting Things Done” (GTD)  methodology a complete review/overhaul. RememberTheMilk and utilising it more will become a major part of this! I love RTM!
  • Stay focused. No “if’s”, no “but’s”. I need to get my “wannabe Marine” attitude back on. So what if I am tired. If I want to get things done, I should god damn do it. I can cry about being tired later, after I have done it. The organisation will really help with this, if I have RTM yelling at me to get things done, and they start to stack it will help keep me on the “straight and narrow”.
  • Complacency is great, it’s nice to not have tons of stress, but it can also quickly lead to lack of drive, as I have noticed. With all the extra projects/work I will be dealing with – and ultimately staying on top of, that should give me plenty to worry about :)
  • It sucks that my certification is being binned next year. But the simple fact is, the quicker I complete it, the quicker I can move on. There are so many things I am itching to “play” with. The sooner I get there, the sooner I get to “kick back” a bit and have some fun with the tech.
  • Definitely blog more. The more I talk about my progress & failures, the more likely I am to deal with them and move on. I really enjoy interacting with more people and the more I help drive the discussion with this blog, the better.

All of this sounds pretty much common sense right? But it’s so easy to sway away from all this, almost “forget”. Just sitting there and thinking about what to write here today has really help focused my attitude and I have already begun making changes to my working practices, as well as getting the ball rolling on some of my ToDo items.

I’ll get another post up soon covering my list.

As always, feel free to comment! Do you ever feel like you are doing a lot, but not getting a lot done? Have you needed to work smarter rather than harder? How did you pull it off?

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  1. The MCAD cert will still be valid, it's just the exams that are retiring, you will always be a MCAD and you can place it on your CV permanently.

    Keep at it, once you have your MCAD you can always update to the latest cert. Typically it is only one or two exams to upgrade.


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