Are we busier?

Today has been one of those days when you feel that there is not enough hours in the day to do all the things that need to get done. By the time one attends the meetings, and attends to the emails (in this instant world everyone expects an email reply pronto), there seems little other time left in the standard work day.

So what was today like:

The morning was full of meetings and email – when I look back now the meetings were actually very productive, and I did manage to get most of the emails responded to although the ‘a response needed file’ in the emails grew somewhat.

At lunch time we celebrated one of our staff members going off to the Masters World Games and I found myself saying to the staff member who had arranged the celebration – it’s great to be celebrating, but sadly sometimes in today’s busy world we need to ensure that we have plenty of people around who remind us to celebrate.

After lunch things went backwards I did manage to deal with one meeting on the phone rather than a face to face meeting freeing some time. But it was one of those afternoons where the technology and I were definitely not in sych, the computer was having a go slow day, I couldn’t get the library data bases to workfrom my computer – all I wanted was one article!, then I couldn’t figure out how to cut and paste some info into a table I was trying to complete (the usual methods didn’t work) etc etc.

But I think the biggest frustration of the day was that feeling that no matter how quickly I was working there were things I just wasn’t getting to, the lecture I have to write and give on Monday, the proposal due tomorrow, the timelines that need to be written and implemented for some key activities we have planned, a second proposal due next week, the monthly reporting etc.

So today’s questions are how do we work smarter?? and how do we look after ourselves to ensure work/life/ balance. As an occupational therapist I see that it is important to live it was well as talk it. So watch this space – I’m not sure of the answers but something is going to chance.

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5 responses to “Are we busier?

  1. No offense, But I feel so much better knowing the Head of school goes through the same menial technology issues as students.
    So refreshing!

  2. The worst choice I’ve made as a future OT is….
    Buying a laptop!! I should have known better.. Handy to carry around but at the end of the day everyone has to tilt their chin down to look at the screen to type and read etc and I’ve now developed a very sore C spine! I noticed the pain gets worse at midterms and end of year to the point I can now feel the pain in my lower back..

  3. occupationaltherapyotago

    It’s always interesting to hear others best and worst buys. I think one of my best buys has been a lap top!!!. But then I don’t tend to sit over my laptop for long periods, and if I was I would see a docking station (a full key board and monitor) as essential, plus the need to apply ergonomic principles because you are right laptops can be a recipe for disaster in terms of your physical health.

    For me a laptop is at its best when as its name states it is actually on my lap. I think that is because when it is I tend to work in short bursts, do little bits, move about a lot (i.e. watch the TV, stop to talk to others, and stop for tea etc.). I am waiting for the day when my work computer is a laptop (with a docking station and monitor) and then I think I will trade my home lap top in for one of the new little computers (that fit in your handbag and are very light) but would get a key board and monitor for home. I find that my laptop is still quite big and heavy when travelling and more and more I seem to want/need?? to take it with me. Perhaps as occupational therapists we could be offering more education in terms of ergonomics for computer uses.

    However in relation to this original post, I guess one of the things that is an essential in this age to assist with the busyness of life is a good computer and good support services. However as I write this I am very aware of that the computer and the email it brings is a double edged sword as it is the email that brings much of the busyness. So I am left considering what is the best way to manage email (and there is a lot of advice around on how to do this), but the key aspect for me is how do we build a organisation (and then a wider group) that establishes ‘guidelines’ for considerate email use that would cut the quantity of emails we need to firstly open and then deal with e.g. prudent use of the ‘reply to all’ button.

  4. I read this ages ago – only now on a late evening when I finally have got round to looking at some old blogs have I replied! Oh the irony…

    Im just re-looking at the art of GTD – Getting Things Done (see http://www.davidco.com/what_is_gtd.php ) and using online tools to do it – in particular Remember the Milk : http://www.rememberthemilk.com – so far so good. I have managed to keep on top of the million and one things going on in my work and homelife. I have it accessible on my phone (it texts me my tasks each morning) both ways via twitter. Oh and its free!

    Take a read of GTD and have a play with RTM. My best tip is: pick a method (whether its even using a notebook) and stick to it for at least 2 weeks. Throw yourself into using that tool. Then you will find out if that method works for you!

  5. occupationaltherapyotago

    Thanks Will, l have had a quick look at GTD and it sounds interesting- so thank you, I’ll follow up . I think you are right, having any system helps if you stick with it – and I often remember that old adage it takes six weeks for what ever you are doing to become a habit (unfortunately six weeks can be a long time!). I’ll let you know how it goes.

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