Ralph Melton (ralphmelton) wrote,
Ralph Melton
ralphmelton

Productivity

Hola, amigos. Been a while since I rapped at ya.

My big focus of the last few weeks has been work. I've had some slow days from time to time, but in general, I've been *extremely* productive. In the last week alone, I've fixed over a dozen bugs. I always have trouble judging how good my performance really is, but I'm pretty sure this rate is just splendid.

One reason for this outstanding productivity is that there are multiple levels of cherry-picking going on. The guy assigning me bugs has been cherry-picking bugs that could be done by a relatively new person without deep understanding of the whole system. And then I've been looking at those bugs he's assigned to me and picking the ones most amenable to my efforts. So my productivity may decline somewhat as I get into not-quite-as-juicy tasks.

It is also true that I've been trying to push myself to work a bit harder, because of all the benefits of early impressions:
- If I impress my supervisors (and co-workers) with how productive I am, they'll give me good, interesting stuff to do, and it'll be easier for me to stay productive.
- Moreover, if I create an impression of massive productivity, I'll be afforded more slack if my productivity slips at times.
- Most importantly, though, starting in this groove of hard work will let me establish for myself that Apple is a place where I get lots of productive work done--and it will be far easier for me to stay in that groove than it would be to find that groove once I had wandered from it.
(I think my supervisors understand and approve of all three of those reasons, and are trying to help me start super-productively for the same reasons. I've been very pleased with the level of support and advice I've gotten at Apple.)

So I've been trying to crank my productivity knob up to 11, and trying to see just how much I can get done without reducing the quality of my work. (I've made a few mistakes at times. I'm sure they're trivial to my supervisors, but I feel keenly embarrassed by each of them.)

I have a lot of trouble finding a middle ground of adequate productivity. I tend to be somewhat bipolar, swinging between periods of lethargic non-productivity and periods of intense super-productivity. I'd rather have the super-productivity, certainly, but it comes with its own problems--I come home from work too drained of energy to do much but watch TV. My creative output particularly suffers--which is part of why I haven't written much in LJ recently. And I certainly have not done as much preparation for next week's D&D as had been doing recently.

(My non-work creativity also suffers when I'm in the lethargic non-productivity mode--the rarely-achieved middle ground of work productivity seems to be the best for my non-work productivity.)
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