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My day in brief:

  • Meetings 8:00 to 12:30, some of which were interrupted by three different people looking for me, all leaving tasks for me behind them.
  • Brief hour at my desk for email/IM and lunch.
  • Interview for a programmer position open from 1:30 to 2:30,
  • half-hour of post-interview review, then
  • a good hour of fire-putting-out on our online application for admission–with no resolution.
  • Back to email/tasks left behind.

No way I can answer all the email I got today, nor catch up on what I got previously and haven’t gotten to/resolved yet.

While today was mostly an exception, this sort of thing happens all the time, to one extent or another. And it’s frustrating.

And I know it’s not just me. Other people have similar workloads.

At some point, I’m going to have to call an embargo on meetings, or declare email bankruptcy, or not be on IM, or close and lock my door. Or all of the above. Something. Because otherwise, I can’t actually put into action the things I’m in those meetings for.

We’re down two content people in my office now, so that could be aggravating the problem. But man. Rough Friday.

The web obviously needs some man-hours, and not just in my office. If there are any web folks out there at Penn State twiddling their thumbs (not that I think there are), drop me a line. I sure could use the help.

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This post started after reading this blurb questioning the need for committees. And I have to say I agree.

My office excels at bringing together committees, or working groups, or what-have-you. In practice, though, the most effective use of everyone’s time that I’ve seen has been in bringing together the two or three people who will actually do the work for the project and having them keep up with each other.

In a lot of cases, this could be done online. Twitter could be used for up-to-the-minute updates. Or, of course, you could use a more normal project management package. A few of us used Backpack pretty extensively for awhile. The subject experts should only be pulled in as consultants to make a good project run.

But the point of committees in our office (often), unfortunately, and I see the need for it, is generally for buy-in. To keep people aware of how the project is coming.

And I really feel it’s a waste sometimes. But there’s a huge culture change that would need to take place to make it all work without them.

Has anyone else actually been in a place that has managed that change? Any tips you can share?

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