Office 2007 – so far so good…

Well, I installed Office 2007 on Monday, and so far everything is working really well. Since 95% of my work day is spent inside Office, and not a compiler, I figured this would be a good test.

At first things seemed to run a bit slow, but it sped up after maybe ten minutes and I haven’t had any performance issues since then. And I really like the ribon. Things seem to be laid out really nicely. A couple of features took a little bit to find — like how to do a fill in Excel, or change image properties in Word, but these instances have been the exception. I’m sold! And, with my handy, dandy MSDN subscription I can, and will, install this at home.

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Political wasteland

I’ve have come to realize, more and more lately, that my own personal convictions don’t align easily with either of the two political parties we have to chose between here in the states. I use to think that I was in line with one, but actions on their part over the last few years have left me extremely disillusioned. However, there are some issues on the other side that I also disagree with strongly. It becomes impossible to agree completely with any one candidate – so you are left choosing the better of the two. Deciding which this is can be very tough. I’ve become disgusted by those currently in power and decided to vote for change. Change is exactly what we got – we’ll see where things go from here. Things have got to change.

Updates and Time Management

It has been way too long since I have posted anything. Things have been a little crazy here. First of all, I have been going through the transition to EDS routine and getting familiar with my new company (first impressions are very, very good). Secondly, I have been transferring to the new team and getting reacquainted with it (things have changed a lot since I was here 6 months ago). Things are starting to get ramped up on the new project I am working on, so I have been going through hundreds of pages of design documents and requirements trying to nail down estimates and begin specifications. I have also been training for the 5K Tulsa Run — my first try at something like this — which is going to be this Saturday (keep your fingers crossed that I survive!). Still teaching 1st Grade Sunday School — this month’s unit is God is Powerful! Just got involved in a study of the book Putting a Face on Grace by Richard Blackaby that looks to be very good. And, most importantly, spending as much time as I can hanging out with my girls.

Which leads me into the subject of today’s post: Time Management. I remember, back in college thinking — man, as soon as I graduate and I don’t have classes, paper, exams, work, etc. I’m going to have a sooo much free time! Well, this may have been the case my first year out of college, before I got married and involved in other activities besides work, but it definitely has not been the case since then. In fact, it seems like each year I have more and more things competing for my time, and yet I still only have the same number of hours per day to devote for them. So, effective management of my time has become critical.

There are a couple great books out there on this subject that I’d recommend. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey is a classic. The Power of Focus, by Jack Canfield, etc. And I’ve read a lot about Getting Things Done, by David Allen, although I have not read it yet — it’s on my list!!

My personal time management organization system consists of a compact Franklin Covey planner with the 2 page per day format (I have tried PDA’s in the past and much prefer old-fashioned pen and paper). That gives me a lot of space for organizing my day, creating a task list, and making notes. I have a separate section in it for projects where I keep task lists and milestone dates for each project. I have another section for my goals. I make yearly, monthly, and weekly goals. At the beginning of each week, I look at my monthly goals and schedule activities to help me accomplish them. At the beginning of each month I look at my yearly goals and see what I need to accomplish this month to meet thing. At the beginning of each year I spend a couple weeks hashing out my goals for that year. This system has really driven me to accomplish things that would have otherwise drown in the sea of procrastination.

Some websites that I recommend on the subject of time management and organization are LifeHack.org, DiyPlanner.com, 43Folders.com, and PocketMod.com.

Remember that your time is the greatest resource you have — and the most limited. Try to become very deliberate about how you spend it.