Corrections to My Annual Review

Dear Human Resources Representative:

I recently submitted my self-assessment portion of the college’s annual work review through the online Employee General Overview worksheet as required. However, upon further review, I have come to realize that there were some factual errors and misreported details included in the E.G.O. worksheet I submitted.

I request that you please append the following corrections:

  • When I estimated the amount of time I spend responding to emails, I was including the time spent on the many emotionally-charged responses I craft in my mind before an actual response is sent. The more accurate time should be 10 hours per week, not 50 hours.
  • Among my accomplishments for the year, I mentioned completing a major web content audit for our chemistry department in only one week. However, the actual work only took me about four days, and the rest of that time was spent watching videos of chemistry experiments and explosions on YouTube.
  • Under professional development, it should read “growing expertise in user experience” instead of usher experience. I’m already pretty confident in ability to usher, and almost none of it is useful in my current position at this college.
  • I was not honest when I said my “power animal” is a tiger—I was just trying to seem impressive. My actual “power animal” is a flying squirrel, and I’m not ashamed about it. Flying squirrels are awesome.
  • In my list of goals for the year ahead, it is accessibility that I hope to improve, not our excess ability. I fully support the improvement of any excess abilities if we have them, but feel strongly that accessibility is far more valuable for our community.
  • I don’t know what I was thinking when I included Phil Collins’ “Sussudio” on my desert island music list. Please replace it with Madonna’s “Borderline” instead. It’s a classic, and again, I am not ashamed.
  • I was wrong—it is *not* currently possible to patent or copyright a hashtag.
  • My correct Myers-Briggs profile type is “ENFP” not “R2D2” — I aplogize for the mixup.

Revised

This blog post has been revised at least eight times over the past week. Today is Friday, and I’ve been trying to maintain the discipline of posting every Friday whenever possible. But sometimes the thoughts I think I have to share at the beginning of the week revise themselves.

This started out completely different; a bigger, more complex idea with links to examples and images to embed and some kind of vaguely witty structure to link it all together. Sometimes it’s hard to think small.

But the more I write, the more I discover what it is I’m really trying to say, and all of a sudden I’m writing something very different than what I initially set out to do.

So this post has been revised. Updated in a lot of little ways, mostly deletions or small changes in the word usements I structure. Most of them you’ll never see unless I point them out.

But it’s a post. It’s some new content, something out of my brain and onto your screen. And more importantly, I shipped on time. I overcame the resistance, figured out how to not overthink it in the midst of so much else going on with my life, with my job, with my plans for the future.

I shipped. I met my goal. In the end, the only one who really cares about that goal is me. And sometimes the goal is revised.

Just like this post.

Do More Less

I had a really unproductive Monday this week. There were a few big things I really needed to get done that day, some important pieces of a project that were my responsibility, and some tasks other people were waiting on me to finish so they could then complete what they had to do.

Yet no matter how many times I attempted to get started on the important tasks of the day, I kept trying to pay attention to too many things at once, getting distracted by unimportant “shiny” stuff, and before I knew it my time for completing work was gone for the day.

Basically, I was terrible at my job on Monday, and it cost me. I lost some reliability points from my teammates, lost some faith in my ability to be disciplined about how I work, and worst of all I lost several hours of productive time I couldn’t really afford to lose.

But I bounced back the next day, and each day after that I got more work done and met all the important deadlines I had. I didn’t become a productivity machine, and I still couldn’t do everything I wanted to in the midst of multiple meetings and random interruptions. But I made up for the time I had wasted on Monday, and all it took was a small change in perspective:

I stopped trying to do more work, and that enabled me to get more done.

Continue reading →

Deflated

Super Bowl game balls waiting to be laced and inflated

Via NFL on Instagram

I’ve been finding it really hard to get my productivity mojo going this month, and it’s affecting me more than usual. Maybe it’s just all the gossip about underinflated footballs in the news right now, but the current buzzword certainly sums up my mood this week: I feel deflated.

I know that I had things down, I was moving along pretty well right before the holiday break, and I had even planned out where I would pick things up again in the new year. But I had lost more than I realized when I came back to work, forgotten a lot of the nuances of projects I was working on, and what was important and what could wait. And I forgot about how easy it is to get interrupted or distracted by the needs of others.

It’s as if somewhere during those ten days off, all the projects I had been working on left my head, and all my work day routines went with them–woosh! Great for my vacation time, but not so great when I’m back at work and trying to get stuff done. Continue reading →