Time Management: WAS Criticizing Writers - What Would You Have Done?

Subject: Time Management: WAS Criticizing Writers - What Would You Have Done?
From: Amanda_Abelove -at- toyota -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005 13:27:44 -0800

Nichols wrote:

> everyone else in the process. The biggest problems were talking,
> surfing the web, and writing personal email, to the point that
> deadlines were missed on more than one occasion.

Hmmm... I should probably stop doing that then! Kidding. The last company
I was at had a couple of people that did all the behaviors you describe
and they were canned.

The hardest part about staying on task for me is that I usually work
alone, writing, more or less isolated from the team! I HATE that. I have
such a hard time staying on task sometimes because there's just no respite
from staring at the screen. I think I might go nuts! I like assignments
where I facilitate a large group analysis, do detailed work that involves
a bunch of engineers, do training or fix a process. Assignments where I
do nothing but write KILLS me... More than 2-3 mo contracts writing a
manual or other deliverable in iso and I'm practically ready for
full-scale depression.

I manage to make all my deadlines, but I'm always staying late right
before they're due to get it done so everything gets in on time, and it is
sooooooo hard! I totally miss out on going out with friends, team
practices, night hikes etc. because I don't get everything done.

Thing is, the total and constant need to talk to people is one of my
strengths. I get more info on the product, the developers LOVE me and come
by to visit all the time so I get a ton of info on everything without
working hard to get it. Plus I actually like tech writing. I like writing
training materials and then teaching people stuff. I like learning new
stuff and then writing about it. I like testing my brain power with really
hard stuff. But the iso gets to me sometimes.

At my current company it's a lot better because I'm doing RUP-style system
documentation so I support QA and the system analysts, plus there's a
couple of people to chill and talk to and theoretically I get another
writer soon. This time I'm not only on task most of the time, but I also
am right where I should be according to the project plan. So basically
I'm getting it all done and with good quality, but I'm sure there's a
better method.

Anyone have pointers? I'm a total social creature... Everyone at the gym
knows me, I belong to a ton of clubs, throw parties 2-3x a month, know all
my neighbors for three blocks at home... I can always count on at least 3
friends in my house doing something or other almost all the time. I am
doing culinary arts training, but that is for fun and to meet new
people... I'm not looking to trade careers anytime soon.

Advice and whining welcomed.


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Criticizing Writers - What Would You Have Done?: From: Steve Nichols

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