Bruce Jack's blog

A stream-of-my-thoughts blog. Whatever pops into my mind. I'm starting out in the world of (project) management, so there might be some posts about that too.

Monday, June 12, 2006

big brother might be watching

Don't forget that someone might look up your myspace or friendster account before they try to hire you. Could schools start doing this for applicants too?

This might be something to think about before posting that you like to get really drunk, or perhaps something worse.

It's not surprising that this is happening, but how many people going to get looked over because they like the Arctic Monkeys?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

wanted: a rubber duck

I've noticed a few times in the past that I tend to find the solutions to my own problems when I describe them aloud (before the person I'm speaking to has time to answer). So, after reading this post from Kenneth W. Davis, I might just try experimenting with my own rubber duck.

The principle is simple. Get a rubber duck. When you're stuck, tell the duck what's wrong. The act of talking to the duck will get you to look at your problem from another angle, and you'll probably discover that you knew the solution all along.

Although in his post, he describes this as a method for getting over writer's block, I can imagine this idea as being very helpful in a multitude of situations.

Does anyone have a rubber duck to spare?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

kind of like a bubble

Here's an interesting post from Nicholas Carr.

Don't get me wrong, I see the use of the Web 2.0 (I have a blog after all, don't I?), but we don't have to turn everything into something similar with comments and trackbacks. Maybe it's just me... but people who want everything to work like the Web 2.0 remind me all too much of the dot com bubble of the late 90s, whereby everything can be improved if we Web 2.0-ize it.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

yesterday, i had 84 problems.

How very fitting... just yesterday I was complaining that I had more problems than everyone else. Seth Godin puts a link to a 'fable' of a discussion between two people. One tells the other that everyone on the planet has 83 problems. After you solve a problem, another arrives, and you still have 83. There are, however, people that have 84 problems. Those people think they're the only people with 83 problems.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

don't let email run your life

I just read an interesting article about how to better handle your email. Thank you Jay. Jay's article links to 43 folders' article about keeping your inbox at zero.
Now, my email inbox isn't empty, but I'd say I'm not too bad at it.
Here are the rules I try to live by:
  1. It's amazing how much time it takes to keep switching between working/emailing/working/emailing. Stop wasting time. Disable all notification that you have new messages.
  2. Since you'll no longer be notified you have new email, read your email a few times per day. I generally do when I arrive in the morning and after lunch (sometimes also before going home).
  3. When you read your email, try to apply the 5 D's:
    1. Delete it (a lot of email can be deleted)
    2. Do it. If it takes less than 2 minutes, do it now.
    3. Delay it. If it takes more than 5 minutes, put it off, schedule some time, and do it later.
    4. Delegate it. Lots of things you are asked to do shouldn't be done by you, but by someone else. Send it to the right person.
Now, I realise these guidelines don't necessarily apply to everyone. People doing urgent customer support can't necessarily wait until after lunch to read their email.
We have a habit of thinking that all of our email is urgent. So you really have to think about it quite seriously, is your email really urgent? Is it so urgent that you should lose overall productivity because the effect of not answering it immediately is that important? It's hard to come to that realisation, but chances are, your email isn't that urgent.