How I Work

I saw this posted by Mike Perry on LibraryProject.Info, and then by Nicholas Schiller on his blog Information Games, and I liked the concept. It’s based on a Lifehacker series.

Current gig:
Head, Metadata Services Unit. I have eight direct reports.

Current mobile device:
Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HD

Current computer:
office: Dell Optiplex 990 w/Windows 7 Enterprise
office 2: Samsung Chromebook (for meetings, etc.)
home: Lenovo Edge 15 w/Windows 8.1 (shiny! new!)

One word that best describes how you work:
ummm…ADD/ADHD? I’m a multitasker by nature. I frequently shift gears and/or have multiple things going at once. I start running a report, while it runs I start processing a file of records, and while waiting on both, I review a few authority records. I’m also frequently interrupted with questions from my staff or other colleagues. And I am a slave to email.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Zotero,
Evernote,
Remember the Milk,
Delicious (yes, still),
Tweetdeck (there are lots of librarians on Twitter!),
Google products (we’re a Google enterprise institution so everything is in Drive, Calendar, Mail, etc. – it goes down and we’re dead in the water),
spellchecker (I have slight dyslexia),
Office suite (Word and Excel primarily, also PowerPoint)
MarcEdit,
Connexion client (desktop software)
ILS software (system reports, lists and more lists, etc.).

I use pretty much every one of those every single day to do my job.

I also use Feedly to manage various RSS feeds. But I’m perpetually behind on reading them. Just like I’m perpetually behind on work-related listservs.

What’s your workspace like?
I have a cubicle. I’m considering the Ikea standing desk hack or bringing in a balance ball so I’m not in my chair all day. Although with all the meetings I have I’m not there that often anyway.

2014-12-03 16.25.05
My cubicle. Ugly piles of things to do and all. My stress ball toy collection helps. 😉

2014-12-03 14.57.44
Meeting room – my “unofficial” office many days

What’s your best time-saving trick?
Frequent snacks. Yes, really. I break the day into chunks with goals and snack rewards as I meet a goal.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager?
I use several different methods (including Remember the Milk and Evernote), but still the most reliable is my paper journal.

2014-12-07 18.59.03
My mother sent me this. It’s so perfect for a work to-do list.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
My Nook Color. I commute via bus/subway on Metro so I never leave home without something to read.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
Planning and organizing meetings and events? Documenting workflows and procedures/processes? I’m not sure. I keep ending up as secretary in meetings and for organizations, so maybe note taking and/or report writing? I have a strength in being able to see the big picture and break it down into it’s parts or tasks.

What are you currently reading?
Fiction: Rules of Scoundrels Series by Sarah MacLean (romance novel series 🙂 )
Non-fiction: Running with the Mind of Meditation / Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche
Non-fiction: Let’s Pretend this Never Happened / Jenny Lawson (I ❤ the The Bloggess!)
Library/management related: Managing in the Middle / edited by Robert Farrell and Kenneth Schlesinger

I’m always reading multiple books at once. Which one I want to read depends on my mood at that moment.

What do you listen to while you work?
Nothing. Too distracting. I’m also frequently asked questions by my staff, so being accessible is necessary. For my staff, if I have headphones on, it’s because I’m either attending a webinar or on a conference call (GoToMeeting, ahoy!).

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?
I’m a “social introvert.” I do fine in social situations, and most people assume I’m an extrovert, but I need my recharge time at home alone. This post pretty much sums it up for me: 18 Struggles Of Having An Outgoing Personality But Actually Being Shy And Introverted

What’s your sleep routine like?
I try for 7 hours a night, but usually 6 is a good night for me. Insomnia and I go way back as I have a very hard time quieting my mind. Not to mention a dog and a cat also on the bed taking up space (all pet owners end up being contortionist sleepers with pets on the bed).

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see ______ answer these same questions.
All my fellow library middle managers and Troublesome Cataloger peeps.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Follow your instincts/trust your gut.

I blogged recently about some of the wisdom I’m also working at remembering every day: Learning to pause.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I found this to be a very interesting exercise in workflow analysis. It forced me to really think about how I do things. Even though there are several questions I answered with questions, it made me evaluate what could be improved, and do some self-reflection.

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About slmcdanold

I’m learning to laugh at myself on a daily basis. I’m a librarian (cataloger) and I love it. My job involves all things metadata related in any and all formats. I have been known to cause a ruckus when necessary (aka troublesome cataloger) and make no apologies for it. I have a passion for continuing education and teaching. I’m a newbie coder (still learning). I like to cook. I’m a fan of rugby (go Australian Wallabies!) and ice hockey (go Detroit Red Wings!). I’m car-free and bike/walk a lot. I’m learning to love running one stride at a time. I own (and love) a very mouthy cat with a punk attitude and a slightly neurotic rescue mutt.
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One Response to How I Work

  1. Anabel Marsh says:

    Reblogged this on 23 (more) Librarians and commented:
    I like this idea – and it has much in common with 23 Librarians.

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