It breaks my heart when I see a talented person doing stupid work. It’s a shame, really.
A while ago I was visiting one my clients. We spend some time talking about what needs to be done next. Then we’ve got back to an office to get some spatial data, It was in the old version of some well known GIS software.
I was watching him go on a “click frenzy”. It was just like watching a competitive sport. His hand was precisely moving mouse from one place to another. He was trying to mark each item from a long list He was exporting vector layers.
I was watching this spectacle for a few minutes. I finally asked: “Can you just get them all at once?” He was pretty surprised. “It’s impossible” he told me.
It took him like twenty minutes to finish. I know that he cares a lot about his job. You could see it from the way he speaks about it. He looked glad. Mission was accomplished.
But I couldn’t stop thinking about those twenty minutes. I know that he’s also a talented urban planner. Can he spend this time better?
I guess this problem is long gone in the newest version of the software. But we have a lot of those around.
Imagine what you can do instead of doing all those clicks,
Can we somehow make us more aware of those habits? I think we can. And the simplest way of doing it is simply taking short breaks. Often. Look out of the window. Take a deep breath.
Do you feel like that about some of the stuff you’re doing everyday? Tell me in your comment below.
I often ask myself those two simple questions to make my work more fun and productive. If you first relax and then ponder them for a while, you will find yourself reenergized with new possibilites. I know. We techies don’t usually do that. Try it. I’m sure that after thinking about it for a while you will find a lot more fun and energy in your work.
Why do you like doing your work?
How does it impact the lives of people that use it every day?
Don’t be afraid to go deeper. Get more general. Expand the context.
It’s easy to say that you’re just working with a data or a system. It’s also very boring. Each piece of data has a meaning and every system is a tool. Define it in your own terms, find a new possibilites.
You will discover all those small details that you can improve. Little things that makes huge difference.
Sometimes it’s as small as choosing just the right color in the right place. Looking at a data from a diffrent perspective. Discovering that you can make something easier to understand.
I just love the whole process of creating something. Figuring out how to put pieces together. Learning and discovering problems and solutions.
I like the other part too. Getting to know my users. Learning how do they work and how can I make it easier.
If you understand your work a little bit more every day, you will make it more valuable to YOU and to others.
Leave me a comment below and tell me why do you enjoy doing the work and how is it useful for others?