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.Â 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 regularÂ 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:
- I’d really like to be able to work with companies and individuals that need services that I can offer.
- I’d like to be able to excel in providing these services to the point that my value is clearly seen.
- I’d like my work to offer me the opportunity to be creative — not simply implementing known entities.
- I’d like to be location-agnostic for much of my work (i.e. telecommuting should be an option for 90% of the time).
- 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…