This article at Wired describes a feeling I have came to think about lately, too – technology, work load and productivity. Many people consider me to be well organised and a person that “gets things done”. However, I don’t feel the same way. I find it increasingly difficult to define my own success, i.e. a state such that I can say have I achieved something.
A friend asked yesterday, why it is that we go in to the office on a bank holiday or weekend, why can’t it wait? I answered twofold: (a) these are days where new issues hardly come in, so I can concentrate on what’s on my plate already and (b) that the rest of the week is already planned out (but 10h) and I thus feel I need the extra day to be ahead of the game again.
I don’t think I had this kind of constant pressure as a researcher or lecturer despite the fact that I was dealing with more people most of the time. It seems that students respected my time much more than most of my customers (or even colleagues). With ‘respect’ I also mean that I didn’t receive mass emails about their coursework or whatever they were working on – but I receive such emails today. Why do most people think that I need to know every little problem – most of my students tried to solve their problems on their own and then presented the solution and the problem solving process.
Maybe I make the mistake by being there too much. The students I told “go ahead, solve it on your own”, because it was part of their learning. Now I often solve the problems a.s.a.p., reducing the chance of learning for the problem holder. Maybe I am in the conflict that I believe that I have to solve the problems as a manager but good managers teach their staff to solve problems on their own. However, teaching typically takes more time initially and I’m back at the beginning, that I feel I don’t have the time… any ideas?