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Is it Hopeless?

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  • Is it Hopeless?

    I am an IT professional for a large company. About a year ago my company reclassified me as hourly. I get a lot more overtime now which is nice but I do not have the kind of free time I had before for GTD. I am so swamped right now with extra work and because of budget cannot have overtime approved. I need to restart, recollect, and reporcess everything in an uninterrupted setting, the problem is that nature of my job is fast and furious interruptions. When I needed to do this as a salaried employee I came in on the weekend but now that I am hourly I do no have tis option (and this office is really strict about unpaid overtime) GTD was the best thing that ever happened to me. Am I doomed now?
    Last edited by 12hourhalfday; 09-12-2006, 06:18 AM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by 12hourhalfday
    I am so swamped right now with extra work and because of budget cannot have overtime approved. I need to restart, recollect, and reporcess everything in an uninterrupted setting, the problem is that nature of my job is fast and furious interruptions.
    Why not try a strategy of collecting and processing new stuff as it comes in, so that at least some of your stuff is getting into the system? Then, in small chunks, you could start to review your old stuff and bring it into your system. Having been in an interrupt-driven environment before (I worked for three years as a system administrator, managing a cluster of about 90 servers and 700 workstations), I know how hard it can be to get uninterrupted time for big projects.

    In that environment, I'd tend to think that getting some control over your stuff -- and increasing your level of control over time -- is still better than having no control. I think implementing GTD in the "take a day or two and process everything" mode is perhaps ideal, but a piecemeal implementation is better than no implementation, I think.

    -- Tammy

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    • #3
      handling interruptions

      I understand where you are coming from. However, you have more control than you think.

      Can you close your door? Can you schedule a meeting with yourself in a conference room for an hour? For two hours? Can you let your phone roll to voice mail? Can you tell walk-ins that you are in the middle of an important project and ask them to email their request to you and let them know that you'll get to it as soon as you can?

      My guess is you can probably do all of these things, except for possibly closing your door in the event you are in a cube (or worse yet a pod...a pod aspires to become a cube when it grows up.).

      You can do this if you choose.

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      • #4
        That is totally right, I can make an appointment with myself. My office does have a door. Getting permission to close it is hard, we have an open door policy. I can usually close it after 16:00 so I can schedule myself a later day (which I can do, then close the door at 16:00) The only problem I have with that though is my energy levels will be gone by the time 16:00 comes around.

        No excuses though, I can tough it out. Thanks for the advice.

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        • #5
          Do anything you need to--bring your NA list into the bathroom if you can't get some privacy to think any other way.

          The time you spend figuring out which things to do will be more than repaid.

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          • #6
            Let's see: your company made you an hourly employee, has an open door policy, and refuses to allow overtime. You don't mention where your supervisor fits into this, which is a bad sign in itself. I'd say do your work as best you can, discuss the issues with your supervisor, document any and all problems in writing, and look for a new job. I'm not kidding.

            Oh yeah, and find a buddy you can "have a meeting with" so you can both get your work organized.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mcogilvie
              Let's see: your company made you an hourly employee, has an open door policy, and refuses to allow overtime. You don't mention where your supervisor fits into this, which is a bad sign in itself. I'd say do your work as best you can, discuss the issues with your supervisor, document any and all problems in writing, and look for a new job. I'm not kidding.

              Oh yeah, and find a buddy you can "have a meeting with" so you can both get your work organized.
              I love it here! My boss treats me very well. It is just tough times right now and I am trying to figure out how to manage the work load better. I love GTD it is tough to stay organized. I guess I should have asked, how do I make more GTD review time for work related material without unpaid overtime.
              I love the suggestions i got. I am aloud to shut my door when in a conference call so I guess a few fake conference calls couldn't hurt.
              Thanks again, I really don't want to leave here, I just want to make it easier for me to do my job and to be a better employee under these conditions. Once costs go down, OT will increase and things will get better, I just need to be more organized in the mean time.

              Comment


              • #8
                Suggestion: Look over your calendar for the coming week, and find an empty half-hour slot. Create a meeting for yourself, in which you'll do some processing, identify some Projects, write down some Next Actions, etc. Repeat as often as possible.

                Would that help?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Brent
                  Suggestion: Look over your calendar for the coming week, and find an empty half-hour slot. Create a meeting for yourself, in which you'll do some processing, identify some Projects, write down some Next Actions, etc. Repeat as often as possible.

                  Would that help?
                  I think it would. That is a very organized way of doing it in sections, I will try it and let you know how it works out. My mind is definitely not like water righ tnow, I remember what it was like though and I want it back - Desperately. !

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                  • #10
                    Another Option

                    why not leave the door open and put on some headphones with some music on it...or better yet...no music, then you can hear if someone comes in your office.

                    I did this when I was in a cubicle farm, but now I have an office with two doors to close.

                    Michael

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                    • #11
                      Why not tell your boss what you're trying to do. You put it very eloquently in the post where you say your boss treats you very well. Knowing that you are trying to improve your ability to deal with the work is likely to get a sympathetic hearing. Your boss may give you permission to block out sometime to get up to speed. Worth a try?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mramm
                        why not leave the door open and put on some headphones with some music on it...or better yet...no music, then you can hear if someone comes in your office.

                        I did this when I was in a cubicle farm, but now I have an office with two doors to close.

                        Michael
                        I'm thinking about adding more doors to my office.

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                        • #13
                          I have 3 doors to my office. It get's a little overwhelming.

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                          • #14
                            Done that, been there

                            At times, jobs in the IT industry get like that. The load can get quite heavy.

                            However, I have found that GTD got me through better than anything I tried before. I found out that repetetive requests or uncleared outcomes contributed a lot of the "I am being overwhelmed" feeling.

                            That is, repetitive requests by clients or my boss which I did not know being repetitive. So if someone asked me to do thing X five times, it would feel like I was being asked to do 5 things. Getting my GTD together helped a lot, it reduced the stress and made me more responsive and prepared. Having the projects and NAs in writing also made it easier to spot unclear outcomes and get those back on track.

                            You said:
                            "how do I make more GTD review time for work related material without unpaid overtime"

                            To which I have to reply that I never had that problem. My GTD is work and life rolled into one. So when the weekly review comes around, everything is being reviewed.
                            I found out that the weekly review does not get much longer with work - related stuff in the same system, but much longer with 2 seperate systems. This is especially true if you are prone to get work-related ideas outside of work and vice versa.

                            To collect the next actions or even projects during work, I used a stack of old printouts, folded in half. I'd enter these notes into Outlook (my GTD base) at the weekly or before, if I felt like it and had 5 minutes. If not, I'd scratch out / add to those lists on paper. Yes, that includes outside-work projects as well.

                            I hope that helps a bit,
                            ::emp::

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                            • #15
                              I did add a door to my office...

                              I did add a door to my office, and it has really helped me to manage the number of drop-in visitors I get, and visitors who stick around a little too long.

                              It's a trap door.

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