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Shame - Day 1 results

I was going to post this yesterday. Yesterday I was mildly ashamed of what I was going to post about, but today I no longer care. And to cut the suspense, I am going to write about my work lifestyle, so nothing risque (don't worry mom!).

I recently took a small personal trip and the book I choose for casual reading was "The 4-Hour Workweek" by Timothy Ferris. If you look through it and the associated website, it comes off like an infomercial on crack. But the one thing that actually convinced me was this posting from the author's website: From Geek to Freak: How I Gained 34 lbs. of muscle in 4 weeks. So call me easily impressed, call me whatever, you can not deny that this man is capable of change. And I haven't seen too many sterling examples of empowerment around me lately.

The premise of book is that we can all live better lifestyles, and the means to accomplishing that is to trim the fat by becoming more effective at our work and income generation. So I have been trying to implement the initial stages of becoming more effective at work, through the following actions:

Focus on what is important:
Every morning I note down the two work actions that would leave me satisfied if they were the only things I accomplished that day. This worked really well the first day. I accomplished my two actions. They were important and took more time than I had expected. Defining the vital items allowed me to appropriately ignore all the other work requests that came in. I've also stopped attending or minimized attendance at meetings that don't directly require my participation for the entire meeting. This has worked out pretty nicely except for a couple of meetings that I haven't managed to convince my management that I don't need to be present for. This is a future action item.

Check e-mail twice a day:
This was hard on the first day. I used to check my mail constantly which allowed me to tangent off constantly. Day 2 is much better. Plus when I stopped instantly responding to ALL requests, people stopped expecting instant results on THEIR priority issues. If it is really important, they will find a way to bring it to my attention.

Stop inventing things to avoid the important:
As per the book recommendation, I put an Outlook reminder to go off three times a day to remind me to stay on track. This is working well so far and not actually annoying the hell out of me as I expected. I have stopped reading news webpages like cnn.com and removed myself from the work IM.

Learn to Eye-gaze:
This is part of the book that is attempts to extend your comfort bubble. So far I have only managed to perform a three minute eye-gaze with the loml, and he kept giggling. I am supposed to be doing this with strangers, making sure to blink so that I don't come off as a total psycho.

So what did I actually accomplish? This is the part that was mildly embarrassing for me. On Day 1, I came into work at 10am. I went to lunch from 12 to 1. I left work at 4:30. I then went off an did some personal errands and hung out with my sister. I spent 5.5 hours at work and still maintained my usual level of performance. Since I didn't waste the extra time screwing around at work, making up tasks to extend the work day and tiring myself out, I had a great time outside of work as well. eeeeeeee. let's see how the next few days go. My next big goal is to work from home on Mondays and Fridays. I am testing this out by taking this Friday from home.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 9, 2007 11:05 AM.

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