Organization Programming

How Not To Get Things Done

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Credit: Flickr / programwitch

I have had a pretty appalling week in terms of the difference between what I wanted to achieve, and what I did achieve.

Things outside my control:

  • Re-aggravating shoulder injury. So much pain. Increased sleeping due to pain killers. Two trips to chiro (feeling a lot better now – finally).
  • Car is broken and needs a bunch of work, so we have to decide – do we buy a new one?
  • Server issue on something I was working on sent me down a rabbit hole where I assumed it was my fault.
  • Hotel sent me away with someone else’s bill (turns out, you can’t use that to do your expense report).
Things I planned/did badly:
  • Did not plan for a 4-day week (supposed to be on holiday today. Instead I will try and do a couple of hours work whilst packing).
  • Did not plan for sorting things out in order to go away. Including – checking everything for an event we’re running the week I return.
  • Did not plan for coming back after a week away.
  • Agreed – in fact, suggested – that I should go back to New York for two days, the week I get back.
  • Got overwhelmed and panicked.
  • Did not break what I was doing up well.
  • Did not say no. The biggest stress has come from working on something for my old team. A series of events have meant that I wasn’t able to make much progress on this until Monday afternoon. I’ve been stressed by and resenting that what I’m doing is some way away from the circumstances I agreed to. Could also have postponed a couple of meetings.
  • Prioritized that over the one thing that I really hoped to achieve for myself and my new team this week – getting readability.
  • Broke my email once a day as I tried to get through the backlog before I go away. Probably necessary, but could have structured it better rather than just going to email “between” things or instead of thinking about what to do next.
Things that worked well:
  • Broke things up better once it was apparently that someone else was going to have to finish what I started.
  • Was transparent about what I wasn’t going to get done to my new team.
  • Have amazing colleagues who are taking control of the event stuff whilst I’m gone.
  • Spoke to another amazing colleague so she can finish the feature I’ve been working on. Outlining what was happening and how it was working made me feel more capable of doing it myself in the short amount of time left!
  • Very lucky that my chiro was willing to be flexible and fit me in.
  • When working through the evening, (9pm Wednesday, 11pm Thursday) took a break for dinner. Wednesday was just a sandwich and some time with my book, Thursday I went out with work colleagues. Reminded me how much I love my job and how awesome most of the people I work with are.


2 replies on “How Not To Get Things Done”

Ah, the week before vacation – always squished and crazy. Feeling like there is never enough time to tie up loose ends. 

Yay for a great team!

Enjoy the break.

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