Working (again)

Hit and Miss #176

When I first started at the Canadian Digital Service (in May 2018!!), I (unintentionally) wrote a mini-series on working.

And, though unconventionally named, issue 41 argued for adopting an historical perspective on the records we produce at work.

Well, the story continues. This was my first more-or-less full week back at CDS this year. (Last week, I took time off to help deliver abandoned Christmas trees to goats.)

It was a bit of a tough return, but predictably so. As I told a few folks, there’ll never be enough time off to recover from 2020. I’m fortunate that I could take time off—so many can’t, forced to work long hours in close proximity, crushing workers and no doubt exacerbating already dangerous levels of COVID spread.

This return is to full-time work after a stint of part-time. In some ways, that shift is glorious! My calendar is an open canvas! But also, can it ever be exhausting to fill that time. I’m grateful for the colleague who kindly reminded me this week that it’s totally normal to need a slow ramp up after time away.

Back at it, I’m trying to better focus my attention, carving out certain days for certain projects and protecting heads-down time.

To that end, I’ve extended my time tracking system to categorize work time. Time is either heads-down or a meeting, and meetings can be small (1:1), medium (2–10ish), or large (10ish+).

I’ll review the data in a few weeks time, seeing how the “time type” corresponds to different projects. But simply recording it has me rethinking my scheduling. Matt Jukes linked to some pieces on remote working cultures, prompting more reflection on how to better facilitate focused time.

A few links:

Okay, that’s it from me today. All the best for the week ahead!