March 21, 2002

The last poll’s only been up for two days, but I’m already changing it. Here are the results:

Do you think Arthur Andersen acted unethically in its dealings with Enron?
Yes. (40%)
No. (0%)
I don’t know. (0%)
Why had I never even heard of Enron before all of this? (60%)

Awhile ago, I read an article on Joel On Software in which Joel admitted that he really isn’t all that productive at the office, though honestly he’d like to be more productive (if only to assuage his feelings of guilt). He wrote that he really only gets a few hours’ worth of actual work done per day, and when he worked at Microsoft, one of the most productive interns confided that he really only worked for five hours a day, minus lunch.

I’ve been thinking about this, and I’ll be honest: I don’t get eight hours’ worth of work in every day. In fact, I’m lucky if I get in five hours’ worth normally. And yet, I can honestly say that I’m about as productive as everyone else I work with, if not more so.

(Caveat: I’ve been much more productive than usual during this week of contracting at Intersect.)

No matter. I’d still like to be more productive. So, how can I improve this track record?

I’m experimenting. Yesterday, I tried working for 45 minutes, then resting for 15. That didn’t work. I kept getting into a work “groove” that lasted for longer than 45 minutes, and 15 minutes of rest isn’t enough to properly recharge my batteries.

So, today, I’m working for roughly an hour and a half at a stretch, then will take a break for half an hour. That will give me six hours of honest-to-goodness productive work per day, which I figure is a lot better than normal. We’ll see how it goes.

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