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  • Design time in a big chunk... mmmmmm.

    Today I 'accidentally' had the whole department to myself, AND the phone and most e-mails were dead. In fact, I had about 8 uninterrupted hours, to myself to complete a onerous reformatting of seventy pages of complex academic text into 13 pages. I do this every four months of so, as part of creating a course calendar. It normally takes me about a full day and a half to do. This time -- it took four hours.

    AND another big thing: this is a task I don't really look forward to, but because I was able to do it uninterrupted, and 'out loud' I actually felt great at the end of it. I say 'out loud' because I have always been in the habit of talking to myself loudly as I design and work. Or singing. But, ever since they made us give up our offices for cubicles, I've obviously had to give up that approach. Today, though -- was a huge exception.

    All this made me think of that Paul Graham essay about 'maker vs. manager' time. And also how productive mono-tasking can really be.

    Where was everybody? Attending a 'Divisional Retreat' where everyone from the department, and all departments under our division, go off site for a kind of team-building, meet your co-worker kind of get together. Probably about sixty people or so would be there. In the afternoon they split up groups to discuss real problems and solutions. I went last year and enjoyed most of it -- except for the part where our department and another got together to discuss why (once again) our department rated the lowest in the organization for employee satisfaction on the survey they do. It turns out that everyone else knows that we're over-worked and under-staffed too. I didn't feel any better for discussing it though.

    Oh... why didn't I go today? Um... they overbooked me and I couldn't spare losing a day from a critical design schedule. Hmm.

    But it was great to rediscover how much better it is to work in peace and uninterrupted quiet. Mmmm.

  • #2
    I know what you mean about designing out loud. If I've got something that takes up a lot of formatting brain power, I like to work out loud too.

    Are you going to share this info with your higher ups?
    It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" Winnie the Pooh

    Comment


    • #3
      Broacher, that's one of the reasons I go to work as early as I do, at 6:30 a.m. I get 2-3 uninterrupted hours every morning. I do not however work "out loud" even when I'm alone in the office.

      (Another reason I go so early is that I can cowboy around in our live databases without worrying about someone having records open.)
      This post is brought to you by the letter E and the number 9. Those are the buttons I push to get a Twix out of the candy machine.
      "I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process."

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      • #4
        Getting uninterrupted work done is great! Good for you!

        I've been forwarding my phone and turning off my IM - I have to leave email open because I need to get into files - but then people just call our front desk and they ask if I know my phone is forwarded. Or they IM my neighbors who interrupt me anyway. There's no such thing as disconnect in my office unless I go to another room, which doesn't work because then I can't access my files.
        "It's not that I don't want to trust people. It's that they give me reasons not to." ~ Me

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        • #5
          I'm more impressed that you're allowed to do much editing to academic texts. More often than not we end up hamstrung because the copy is too precious to them. --Especially when it comes to that kind of course description stuff.

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          • #6
            Yea I get into work at 7 and most of the rest of the office doesn't come in till 9:30 or 10am - meaning I get that all too precious uninterrupted time as well - i don't think i could do the job without it actually.
            - Jen

            "You cannot soar with eagles if you surround yourself with turkeys"

            My blog

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            • #7
              Ah, the small luxuries we get every now and then

              Unfortunately, my office doesn't work that way. It's a strict 8 - 4:30 thing, no starting early, no working late (unless you want to do it for free that is). Fortunately, me and the other designer get left alone most of the time. And generally the only "interruptions" we get are from the editor coming in to talk about an article that we're either working on, or will be working on shortly. Every now and then we get interrupted to talk hockey or local news, but not often. It's quite nice actually. And neither me, nor the other designer, are really talkative so it's pretty quiet in our office.

              Until the sales reps come in....then they like to waste our time.
              Art is always and everywhere the secret confession, and at the same time the immortal movement of its time.
              | Karl Marx |


              A desperate disease requires a dangerous remedy.
              | Guy Fawkes |


              | flickr |

              Comment


              • #8
                Yeh worked with a guy before that talked to himself when he worked. It'd be like this "Heading style, body style, Heading, Quote, What feck happened that, oh yeh, heading, indent, bullet, bullet, bullet, footnote, Eugene why is this happening, oh nevermind got it, heading, bullet etc. " all day long.

                The guy was great craic but it got irritating from time to time. Brilliant typesetter but couldn't use photoshop either. So I had to do all his photoshop stuff for him, which I didn't mind. As he taught me typesetting and helped me out. So it was a win win. Only wish I could have turned that "bullet" into a real one at times

                I was notorious, when I worked in a place that allowed music to be played, to end conversions with a song from usher. I'd have it all setup and ready to go by pressing space bar, and at the end of a conversation about a job it came up "Peace UP A-TOWN" and we went to work on what we were talking about.

                It was a great laugh.

                But anyway, I have nobody annoying me today they're all off at a conference that I spent the last month preparing print work for. And I'm enjoing the silence and the peace and quiet and that nobody is hovering around me.

                I could get loads of work done, but it's Friday

                "May your hats fly as high as your dreams"Michael Scott

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by budafist View Post
                  I know what you mean about designing out loud. If I've got something that takes up a lot of formatting brain power, I like to work out loud too.?
                  I am so happy to read this , I always thought I was a mental case by doing just that, talking to myself while designing...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I know a lot of people who talk to themselves (myself included). i think it's when you start having a full conversation with yourself, including arguing with yourself, that you become a mental case *LOL*
                    Art is always and everywhere the secret confession, and at the same time the immortal movement of its time.
                    | Karl Marx |


                    A desperate disease requires a dangerous remedy.
                    | Guy Fawkes |


                    | flickr |

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      wait, WHAT?! You mean YOU don't argue with yourself?!

                      I don't do that, wait yes I do , no i don't...

                      YES I DOOOOOOO!.... hehe.
                      - Jen

                      "You cannot soar with eagles if you surround yourself with turkeys"

                      My blog

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        empty office time is the best!! i can zone out and think about stuff without hearing someone yelling about inventory or other random stuff people feel the need to talk about when im thinking if i close my eyes or stare at something without moving for too long i catch glances or people ask me what i'm doing. if i could have my own space i'd get so much more stuff done.

                        "There's something about turning the pages of a book or magazine and the felling of rubbing your hands across the words."

                        This is my pen tool. There are many like it, but this one is MINE. My pen tool is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. My pen tool without me is useless. Without my pen tool, I am useless.

                        there is no grey area when it comes to 1 color logos.

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                        • #13
                          My dad always said it's ok to talk to yourself, but when you start answering yourself that's when you need to start worrying.

                          "May your hats fly as high as your dreams"Michael Scott

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