Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Life as an engineering problem

Have you ever felt that your workday, maybe even your life, was experienced in small fragments? Worse yet, every time you try to "get something done", someone or something interrupts you?

As a professional computer geek, I get this feeling all the time. I'm trying to do some research for a project, and email dings. While I'm reading the email, the phone rings. While talking on the phone and trying to read the email, someone shows up at my door. Waving to them to take a seat, I try to finish the email and the phone conversation at the same time to so I give my visitor a time slice.

Sound familiar to anyone?

How about this--You have to work late. Your spouse takes your son to ball practice and your daughter to dance, but then has to go to their evening class. You leave work and pick up daughter at dance, then run to your favorite big-box retailer to pick up some stuff. Spouse gets the son after her class is over (but he had to kill 15 minutes waiting for them to arrive, and everyone meets somewhere for supper, which is at 8:30. Then you run home, get the kids through the bath routine and off to bed. Then you VPN into the office to finish a few things while your spouse does homework.

Nah, none of us ever have these problems.

While perusing the latest Infoworld, I ran across a mention of an article published in the New Your Times Magazine, "Meet the Life Hackers." A quick Google turns it up on the web.

Go read this article. I'm not going to try to summarize it for you; I think you need to read the whole thing, mentally digest it, then read it again later. That's what I plan on doing, then seeing if I can apply some of it to my life and see if it really makes a difference, or if it's just different. It should be an interesting experiment.

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