How I feel at work these days…

I’ve had a heck of a time staying productive this week. I don’t think that it’s been helping that I’ve been trying to do a lot things on the side. But something about this week felt different. I have clearly defined tasks but I’ve been procrastinating an awful lot more than usual. I tend to have 25 things to do and continually shuffle the top 5 things. I finish them and instead of hitting things farther down the list I substitute the most interesting next 5 things that I can do. So a backlog is typical. My problem is that recently I’ve been feeling guilty about tasks way down in the 20’s and spend a lot of my “free” time trying to focus on that.  So instead of knocking out high-priority tasks, I’ve been ineffectively working on low-priority things.

I tend to mix my personal goals, chores, continuing education, and regular  work all into the same priority pile. I find it hard to segment it any other way. Unfortunately that means that at the office sometimes I’ll blow time on things that aren’t work related meaning that now I have to work evenings, stay late, take vacation, etc. This would ideal if I was working as a consultant and could make my own hours. I’ve never felt like I needed a boss to motivate me and enjoyed the shorter-term goals of contract work and the variety of experience that they innevitably demand.

Here’s a list of things that I’d like out of work:

  1. I’d really like to be able to work with companies and individuals that need services that I can offer.
  2. I’d like to be able to excel in providing these services to the point that my value is clearly seen.
  3. I’d like my work to offer me the opportunity to be creative — not simply implementing known entities.
  4. I’d like to be location-agnostic for much of my work (i.e. telecommuting should be an option for 90% of the time).
  5. I’d like the project sizes to be such that I can cycle to new projects or new clients every 6 months.

As a software engineer, I feel much more like a [traditional brick-and-mortar] architect than a manufacturer or general contractor. What I do should be bigger than simply implementing a known solution — it should be validating, improving, and refining a requirement and then implementing an innovative solution that may be somewhat unexpected. I know that’s a lot of buzz-words, but it seems accurate. I don’t want to help people install Microsoft Word on their computers, I want to help them think about the problems of word processing, document management, collaborative editing, world-wide publishing, and the myriad of associated goals and put whatever solution in place that makes sense for them (hopefully it’s not Microsoft Word).

Anyway, enough angst-filled longing for today.

…Back to the ever-fun-and-exciting C++ experience…

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  1. #1 by CoderGuy on November 20, 2008 - 7:38 pm

    Sounds like you’re really enjoying the new move (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).

    I like your five wish-list items. They clearly define a scenario where you have your own consulting company and work for yourself, or that you are working on a contract basis for someone. I don’t think a single company can provide all or even most of the items (maybe only #1 and #2).


  2. #2 by James on November 24, 2008 - 1:23 pm

    You’re a cool older brother 🙂

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