Research, Training, and Time Management

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I severely underestimated the amount of work that goes into being a lone arranger.  I have been constantly on the move in the past couple of weeks.   With this comes with the certain acknowledgement that my previous methods of time management need to be adjusted and improved.

I am tired.  my weekend schedule involves sleeping about 8 hours a night, getting up on time, doing errands and going for a jog or two.  This weekend, I slept 14 hours straight on Saturday night after homecoming.  Previously, I worked on 1 major project at a time.  Now I work on 15 projects of varying size at a time, sometimes as the lead, sometimes as a worker.  That’s fine and interesting and keeps me out of trouble.

But this means that my time management skills need to improve so I don’t end up as tired as I was this weekend and I don’t end up working my life away.

I am using a combination of things right now:  A to-do list to keep track of miscellaneous things that need doing or writing down things quickly so I don’t forget to put them on the master list and a calendar.

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The Master list AKA: Excel spreadsheet.  This sheet is saved to my computer with a month and year as the title.  Everything that gets done gets crossed off.  Things that aren’t finished by the end of the month because it got bumped down the list of priorities, I didn’t have the information/time/skills to complete.  These items also say who asked for them, documents that relate to those requests, next steps, steps taken and if/when I contacted the requestor.  At the end of the month, things get transferred to the next month’s to-do list, and everything else gets saved for annual review.

Stolen from the Week:  Things that are on my calendar :  Current projects, a day to day accounting of what needs to be done that day, hour by hour.  I don’t completely block my calendar, but it keeps me more on task than previously. I know what I need to do, day by day, hour by hour.  I keep these as available hours so someone can grab me, but I like the comfort of my calendar yelling at me.

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This was yesterday (Names redacted to protect the innocent).  Did I do all this?  No, but I did a lot of it.  I got sidetracked by a few drop ins, quick meetings, and your general miscellaneous things.  The general gist is that I know what I doing when I am at work.  But in the last few days after homecoming, I completed three projects and started a few more that had been on my plate for later in the semester.  Granted, this makes things a bit difficult if anyone is struggling to keep up, but I’d rather be the special sparklepony and be able to help my institution and leaving everyone in the dust than feel frustrated and tired.

I’ll keep y’all updated with how well this works.

Nota bene:  Now, granted, my attitude of keep up or get out of my way is probably a weakness as well as a strength, but it’s a way that I am comfortable with.  It keeps me busy, productive and happy, which means I’m a better employee and co-worker.

On that note, if you need my time, please schedule me in somewhere.  I don’t want to forget because you had an email saying we should “talk sometime”.  Sometime means nothing to me.

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Long time posting, finally digital preservation resources!

After my whirlwind tour across the middle of the United States via I-35,  I have landed at my parent’s house in Minneapolis where it is about 10-20 degrees cooler than Texas and a heckuvalot* wetter.   Never fear, Digital Projects cat is still present and enjoying his new territory that he’s wrested from the dog.  Cats rule, dogs and cats both drool in this house.

In more relevant news, Digital Preservation Resources!  I got some suggestions from the audience and went to a session about the preservation life cycle and tested some new and interesting things that I am excited to share with y’all!^

Resources!

  • Want to know about other people’s experiences with tools?  Check out the  Openplanetsfoundation blog.  Lots of good experiential reports about tools and critiques. 
  • In addition to the National Archives of Australia and New Zealand’s tools, have a look  at the National Archives in the UK.  They have DROID which is Xena and Manifest Maker combined.
  •  The Metaarchive initative has a library of technical documents for your perusal. I would specifically recommend their documentation on life cycle management tools.
  • The University of Minnesota seems to be working on a very interesting and large scale digital preservation effort.  Keep your eyes out for that in the near future. 

I have a few other posts in the works, and now that life has settled a bit more, I plan on posting on a more regular basis.  Let this be a lesson to you:  Never start a blog two weeks out from losing your job and moving across the country if you plan to have a good  initial posting schedule. 

*An Upper-Midwest term for an excessive amount of whatever you have a heckuvalot of. In this case, rain.  It has rained for a week out here.  Also, there are a heckuvalot of lakes in Minnesota.  

^You can take the Librarian/Archivist from Texas, but you can’t get the Texas out of the Librarian/Archivist.  At least not completely.

Busy, busy,

I am moving across the country for the 3rd time in about 7 years.  I’ve been a little busy packing and getting things cleared up here.

The following posts are on deck:

  • More digital preservation resources and tools!
  • Data, Open Data, probably a small rant on why the term big data sort of bugs me.
  • Perhaps something about efficient box packing (Probably not).