Busy phase

I’ve entered into one of those busy phases at work where things keep piling on, no matter how much it seems that you get done. In the last couple of weeks, I finished up a significant project only two have two other projects hurled at me, both of which are, of course, on tight deadlines. And naturally, I have to continue with the other projects that I had going. It means that for most of this week, until I strike the right balance, I expect my days to be very fragmented: a few hours on project A, a short meeting on project B, a training session for project C, another hour or so back on project A, etc.

These circumstances make for a stressful time at work, and so I do what I can to counter that. Under these circumstances, I avoid at all costs staying any later than 4 PM. I do not work during lunch; I reclaim that time to have a quick bite to eat, and then spend the rest of the hour reading or napping. I don’t think about work after I go home.

My schedule today is typical for the week thus far:

  • My morning is relatively “free”, meaning I can spend the time doing real work, in order to stay up-to-speed on my various projects.
  • 11 AM: Code review meeting. For those of you who have never participated in code review, they are hard to describe. The closest I can come is that they are very much like watching grass grow.
  • 1:30 PM: An 1-1/2 hour long Application Staff meeting. These can be amusing, but on days when I am this busy, I tend to work through the meeting. (I have the advantage of being the only one in the D.C. office that participates in this meeting and I do so via phone. I can therefore mute my phone while everyone else talks and get some additional work done, at least until I hear my name called.)
  • 3:00 PM: Training session: I am leading an hour-long training session for an application I developed and that was moved into production a few weeks ago. I have not prepared for this at all, but that’s what happens when you get this busy. I can improvise so I’ll wing it, but I will be glad when it is all over.

In additional to all of this, our performance review cycle is about to begin, which means I’m going to be asked to do my self-evaluation soon, yet another thing that takes up my ever-diminishing supply of time. At this point, my one anodyne throughout the day are these blog entries, which I squeeze in between stray thoughts of database architecture, web server performance, and search algorithm efficiency.