Saturday, November 10, 2012

On Saturday, I Ramble

It was an even 60 hours by the time I logged out of work Friday, which was a mostly unproductive and frustrating day. I made it a point to take most of today off just to give myself a chance to recover. I was mostly successful. 

Here is what the day looked like - I got up about seven this morning, after a long night sleep.  Breakfast with Tony and Ty at the Hickory Pit, then I zipped home for an hour long teleconference. When the teleconference wrapped up I dashed out and met the guys at AMC 14, where we saw "Skyfall", the new James Bond movie.  It was...excellent.  After we came out of the movie I made the comment that it has that one thing that all good Bond movies have to have - that ability to thrill you.  An excellent addition to the Bond canon.

From there, we had lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings.  Then, I came home and just relaxed - I did some work related email off the Blackberry, but mostly I watched "Carnage" on the DVR (based on the play "God of Carnage"). It was a strange and amusing movie, a good choice for easing through the afternoon.

After it ended, I curled up and took a nap for the better part of two hours.  I had set the alarm to wake me after an hour, and it did, but I needed the extra time so I simply stayed in bed. All of the hours I worked last week caught up with me and I needed to get the batteries recharged.

I am tired, all in all. I am on the borderline of being burnt out at work, so I need to be careful and "brush back" to a degree and make sure I don't let myself get unhealthily overloaded.  Part of the process of brushing back is to remember to take time for myself, in simple ways, and give my brain a rest. I keep letting the frustrating things at work get under my skin and make me short tempered, which is a wicked little loop to get caught it.  It becomes a feedback loop of frustration and I have a tough time breaking through it.

I do give a lot of credit to the counselor that I went to several years ago for work stress, in that I am putting a lot of the techniques to use and though my stress does occasionally peak, it rarely stays at the peak.  Generally, when I go through a peak period I start laughing about it - finding the humor in it, realizing that most of the stress and unreasonableness at work has nothing to do with me.

One of the key stress triggers I run into is when I am told to one thing, start work on that thing, and then get told to either do it differently or to do something else.  This stop, start, and rework has been one of the killers on this project - wasting a tremendous amount of time. I estimated at one point that some very routine and ordinary tasks were taking up to three times as long as normal to get done because of the constant rework.

That was part of what sent me into a stress loop on Friday.  I'd been asked to create 250 test scenarios, so I got the team working on it. It was slow going, as I had predicted, and we made some progress but not as much as project management would have liked.  I provided the feedback on the progress - and after a days worth of work, was told to do it a different way. Now, the different way is faster, but it was not what I was originally told to do, and it completely skips one of the purposes of the exercise.  It was very frustrating and I expressed that frustrating. (One of the key things I learned from the counseling was not to lock it up inside.)

No comments: