Jon fired up the meme machine and asked folks about their work ‘n stuff. Here are my responses…
What do you do?
Ala Seth, in eight words or less: I help make other people’s work easier (seven words!). The long version: I run the technical side of a university financial aid office. I stand between my office and the IT department. I give my people what they need to do their jobs better–reports, technology, comfy chairs, total office reorganization, whatever.
What are the challenges?
My own tendency to work on what’s easy/fun rather than what’s important. Software that doesn’t do what I want. People who don’t understand software (looking in the mirror here). Donuts in the breakroom.
How do you overcome them?
Just doing it. And when I don’t, I begin, again. And again. Sometimes it’s simple patience–I can generally afford to wait longer than the problem can stay alive. And sometimes I just eat all the donuts I want.
What is a typical day like?
5:00am: wake up, read a bit, maybe write a bit.
6:00am: running or raquetball (barring those, sitting and staring at the wall with coffee in hand)
7:45am: walk to the office, stopping by the coffeeshop on the way
11:00am: grab a bite in the student union building, or walk home for lunch
5:30pm: walk home, maybe listening to a new podcast on the way, maybe some music.
All those working-hours inbetween times are filled with emails, MBWA, drinking lots of water, going to the bathroom, troubleshooting, meetings that are sometimes productive, joke making, spec gathering, stair climbing, report writing, staring out the window. And donuts. Sometimes donuts are involved.
How do you manage information? (Email, Blogs, etc)
Gmail, Outlook, RSS reader (bloglines at the moment), lots of 8.5×11 blank paper, lots of manila folders, moleskine, Palm Tungsten|C, a wiki at work.
What are your 3 or 5 favorite books?
Oh boy, here we go…I don’t think I’ll be able to stop at 5…
Celebration of Discipline
The Fifth Discipline
The Divine Conspiracy
Getting Things Done
Somebody stop me….
What tools/technology do you use?
Palm Tungsten|C, PC and laptop at work, another PC and laptop at home, moleskine, space pen, harmonica (gotta get my groove on during the walk to work), TypePad, Mambo, WordPress, Query Tool, FreeMind, ActiveWords, Excel, IFAS, CrimsonEditor,
What´s your favorite quote?
Found in some little book of zen quotes a few years ago: "Be like a damp stone." Inscrutable, eh? I love it. Actually, it’s not so inscrutable to me anymore. But I’m not spilling the beans–go find your own answer.
What is your "secret to success"?
It’s encapsulated in this one phrase: I don’t need to know if I know where to go. Basically, I don’t need to know the answer, if I know where to find the answer. I swear I should get that tattooed across my stomach.