I was talking to someone the other week and he looked at me and said "working from home doesn't work - everyone needs a proper job too". I smiled. I guess that we live above the training centre, rather than working from home these days. It's inside out but really the same thing - rather like PHP
is a scripting language within a web page, whereas the Perl language
can be used to wrap a web page (i.e. the opposite way around).
Set me thinking - what does make us "tick" - what are the facets of how we work that leave us steadily heading where we want year upon year as other companies seem to come and go. And then someone asked how to plan and manage time. I came up with this list - a little wider ranging
1. Set yourself a long term strategy - the shorter term tactical decisions then become obvious.
2. Ensure you have the backing of your SO.
3. Draw up a list of urgent jobs and a list of important jobs, and ensure that at least some of the important ones get done.
4. Learn the 80 / 20 rule, and see where you're spending too much time.
5. Set up your work so that you enjoy it. FIND a way to enjoy the nasty bits. That will encourage you to work well and long.
6. Consider all aspects of your business from marketing right through to debt collection.
7. Allow yourself at least a few hours each week to think, read, learn and relax.
8. Do a bit of informal "critical path" analysis so that you don't suddenly find you're short on supplies on long lead.
9. Take time to service your customers - they're your ambassadors for future business. This goes further for us. We say "come as a trainee leave as a friend" and it really happens
10. Set up systems that will cope with your strategy - this allows for reuse; avoid special cases if you possibly can.
11. If you want a specialist job doing in a skill that's not yours, consider paying a specialist to do it.
12. Set up a web site that tells people everything they could possibly want to know, and tell Google about it.
12a. Consider advise carefully, encourage and learn from suggestions - but don't follow them without question.
I see similar notes on the walls of training rooms quite regularly and I make a point of applying points 7a, 7b and 7c to those note. (written 2005-02-03, updated 2006-06-05)
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