There and back again: Work and play for the past 4 days

A QUICK UPDATE ON WHERE I WAS
My wife goes to a conference every year or two and I like to go with her to get a change of scenery. Last year, the conference was in Minneapolis and I sat in the hotel and worked and swam in the pool. This year, she was at a related conference in a resort, spa, and conference center in rural Manitoba. It’s a nice place — there’s a mineral spa and the food is really good and it’s billed as a 4 star resort — but their wifi was terrible. I got some work done but extremely little because I couldn’t get online for more than a few minutes. (It’s weird because they call themselves a “conference center” and they have conference facilities but perhaps their conference attendees don’t need a reliable wireless connection).

Having an inadequate connection gave a mixed result: I didn’t get a lot of my planned client work done: I couldn’t access their files or websites or research. And I’ve got a Countdown to the Olympics blog series that I couldn’t post!

I DID GET SOME WORK DONE
I couldn’t access the web but I had some other files on my laptop, along with some pen and paper, and I jammed out a whole bunch of work on other projects.

Productivity: There are a couple of bottlenecks in my workflow that I need to address, so I brought David Allen’s Getting Things Done book. I read the book a couple of years ago while doing related work for a client. At that time I tried to adopt his practices into my business but it didn’t fit exactly and ended up creating considerably more work than it solved: It’s not unusual for me to take on several projects in a day and complete them the same day. I found myself writing a number of things on my projects list, completing the projects, and crossing them off an hour or two later, creating a very messy and confusing project list that needed updating more frequently than his weekly reivew.

But recently I decided to re-read Allen’s book and see how I could take some of his ideas and augment them for myself. Part of the solution had to do with creating 3 project lists: “Daily activities” (which includes marketing work and overruns); “Open-ended projects” (which are projects that clients have on standing order that I just need to produce every day); and “On-demand projects” (which are one-time projects that have a clear finish-line).

My book: I’ve been thinking about a book for a while. I have the subject and a rough outline but there are a few steps that need to happen before I actually sit down and write. But those steps weren’t formalized until this week. That’s a good project crossed off my list!

Other projects: I also have a number of really big projects planned for my business in 2010 and they needed some thinking time to iron them out. And this week was good for that.

I ALSO GOT SOME PLAY TIME
My wife and I went with two other couples and we hung out a lot. Good times: Hot tub and some poker.

NOW I’M BACK TO WORK
I had big plans this week to get a lot of work done but the wifi set me back. Although I got some personal projects done — and important ones at that — I have a big list of client projects to take care of ASAP! (If you’re reading this and you’re my client, your name is likely on that list!).

Also, I have this set of Countdown blogs I’ve been writing and I’m 6 days behind! I thought about just starting from here and moving forward, and leaving a big gaping hole in my countdown, but my aesthetic sense couldn’t handle that. So I’m going to write and back-date the blogs so we have a nice clean countdown.

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