What do you do when there's nothing to do?

Subject: What do you do when there's nothing to do?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: techwr-l List <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, Sarah L Blake <sarah -dot- blake -at- exony -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 07 Mar 2008 11:06:33 -0500

Sarah Blake wondered: <<I'm sure it's happened to us all at some

Really? Lucky you! <g>

<<That moment when the hectic work for the last release is just a
distant memory, and the next release is just a sparkle in R&D's eye.
You've updated all the documentation according to the spec, done that
re-indexing you were always intending to get around to, created a new
version of the training course, read the more useful or interesting
of the books and manuals lying around... What do you do next?>>

It's never happened to me. There's always some loose end to tie up,
some cleanup to do, some new trick to learn, something I know the
reviewers didn't review properly, and so on.

In the unlikely even this ever happens, spend a few moments on
relationship management. Get into a nerf-gun fight with the
developers, go out to lunch with your editor, sit down with your
manager and ask what things they plan to ding you about at your next
performance appraisal (so you can work on them now and avoid any
unpleasant surprises), find out if anyone else needs help with their
work, and so on. In short, find out what other people think of you
and spend some time repairing any damage that arose under the
deadline pressures. Put some goodwill in the bank so you'll have some
to withdraw during the next crisis period.

-- Geoff Hart
ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca / geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com
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RE: What do you do when there's nothing to do?: From: Sarah L Blake

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