Where do you spend your time?

For the last little bit I’ve been using a program called MyTime which tracks the programs you use and websites you visit while you use your computer. It’s an interesting little program that I’ve mostly forgotten about. At the end of last month, I decided to take a look what I’ve been up to while working. Here’s the breakdown:

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by how much time I spend in Mail. It certainly feels like that’s how my professional life is.

So, where do you spend most of your time at work?






For Christmas I gave myself nothing

I’ve been doing the GTD things for a few years and am a major fan of OmniFocus by the Omni Group (they got my money for my Mac, my iPhone, and iPad). A similar concept pertains to email and that is of Inbox Zero. The concept is basically keeping your email inbox empty by dealing with or deleting each message.

I’ve longed wanted to get down to an empty inbox. About a year ago, I went from a few hundred down to about 100 but getting past was more difficult than I would have imagined.

The last few weeks, I’ve renewed the effort and today successfully got both my personal and work mailboxes down to zero.

The trick, of course, is keeping it empty. I get enough mail both personally and professionally so I will continue to leverage the power of OmniFocus to capture anything I need to deal with but can’t at that moment.

I like finishing the year with nothing. Merry Christmas.

A handful of OmniFocus items

I’ve mentioned before how I use OmniFocus to manage everything in my life. It has been an essential tool for me for several years. So much so, I can’t say how excited I am about the pending iPad version which I believe will become very critical for keeping me sane. I check the App Store a couple times a day but so far, nuthin’.

If you’re not familiar with OmniFocus or David Allen‘s Getting Things Done methodology, please take the time to read ‘The Psychology of OmniFocus’ which is a better write-up than I would be able to put together on how GTD works and specifically

The last thought is that with this post (and the associated task ‘Write a blog post’), I will for the first time in longer than I can remember, be caught up with all of my overdue tasks. I’ve written about having challenges keeping up with tasks before and I have improved, but I seem forever behind. That’ll change when I wake up tomorrow and when I get to work on Monday, but if I can continue to keep due dates to a minimum, I may actually start getting to those things I’ve haven’t been able to get to. One can hope.

Do the due

Life has been busy for me at work. In fact, I can’t remember being this busy ever before. Sure, I have a position open that will help with the load but that has been proving hard to fill so things won’t be improving anytime soon. I also have been trying to keep myself organized so that I can manage all the tasks I have to worry about. David Allen‘s Getting Things Done method makes a lot of sense and I have been using The Omni Group’s OmniFocus which has kept me sane as I don’t have to sorry about forgetting things (if I’m good about capturing them).

The problem is that there is so much to do, too little time, and enough unexpected things that come up, my productivity is seriously disrupted. It gets so bad that the due dates I set on tasks to try and keep priorities set are becoming past due more and more often. What does one do? Do I simply keep pushing the due dates forwards until they start stacking up and becoming even more useless? Do I drop drop due dates from anything not truly essential and risk not ever getting to it?

There are several blog and forum posts on strategies that I’ve been meaning to read, but I’ve been so busy I haven’t made the time. Perhaps I have to take the time to make the time.

Did I say transition?

Almost six months to the day from when I started my transition from staff to manager, today marked my first official day as Manager, Information Technology. Four of my peers for the last three years are now my subordinates.

With some interesting timing, I was just down in San Diego yesterday at LISA 2008 taking two management classes (Management 101: Effective Communication Tools for Sysadmins and Management 201: Effective Team Management of System Administrators). As with any training, the test is in the application. In the hopes to make good education effective, I’m going to GTD a few of the better reference slides for regular review in the hopes that it becomes second-nature.

As I know at least a few of my “peeps” read my blog, I want to publicly thank you for your support and understanding. I hope and pray that I am able to be a manager you can trust and respect.