(Click to go to the Source) Courtesy of http://2359media.com
We here at tall ship studio, have been silent for a bit... and this is mostly because we are now in the throes of finals; Most of us are Students after all. This is not so much an excuse, as an explanation, we have some progress being done but, unfortunately it is less than the glamorous or striking stuff.
One of the things that annoys me the most, is trying to explain, or show progress I have made, to people who are not developers, or to people who don’t really have a reasonable understanding of the project. For instance:
I could work for 15hrs on a single method call, and say: “I spent the day and a half making the descriptor call reflect the database state tables.” And unless you had a good idea what the database schema is, or where the Descriptor call was being used and for what end, that would mean nothing to you.
So what can you do? Since this is not meant as a complaint, this is the next logical question.
The way I see there are a number of options.
1. Just don’t talk to people. Lack of communication is crippling, so this is not a viable option.
2. Explain things in the simplest terms. This can work, if people have some previous knowledge of the project/task… but you have to be wary, this may feel to many people that you are patronizing them, or constantly talking down to them. This can lead to awkward interpersonal relationships, at best.
3. The last option I will discuss is to explain everything and take your time filling in the person you are talking with. As a whole people are intelligent and able to understand what information they are told, assuming they are interested in knowing it, and that it is presented in a reasonable non-condescending way.
So which is best? Well really none of them is best, they all have pluses and minuses… for instance, if people think you are constantly talking down to them they won’t want to work with you… making any chance of advancement go out the window. Or, if you try to explain everything to people, they may avoid you because you take up too much of their time, or they may not listen/ignore what you say; which is really a waste of time for both of you.
Generally, what I do is answer questions they ask. If they ask you a vague question, respond with a more general response… if they ask a very specific question, give them specifics; however in both cases, be observant, if their eyes glaze over it is likely that they got lost along the way. If they look distracted or uninterested, make your answer more concise.
I should probably comment, that I am by no means the most of personable people… nor am I great at dealing with people… I am a nerd, and have been my whole life, so my social skills are questionable at times, so I invite you to voice your opinions if you feel you have a better solution. Comment below, and let us know.
Juggling Courtesy of ceffect.com
i have been contemplating this post for a while, mostly because it is on my mind everyday... this post is a little long so please bear with me on this...
While at Google I/O 12 last this year i had the opportunity to attend a great panel on International start-ups, and there I learned an interesting factoid. The average Marriage in Israel lasts 5.3 years, while the average time to profitability of an Israeli start-up is 6.8 years. So, if I Lived in Israel I would have to be more committed to my Company than my Spouse... not a good position to be in...
I think the at least part of the Stress on Home-life comes from working in a Start-up, and having your name/reputation on the line; so what do you do about it? I would like to offer a few tips that might help balance things a little.
1) Set Work/Home Hours. Setting a schedule and sticking to it is the best way to balance out where you spend your time; be Realistic, choose a schedule that will work. If you have too many requirements on your time, at home or work, the other will suffer without a realistic schedule.
2) Lists, Lists and More lists. I have found keeping an ordered list to significantly improve my productivity. Making it easier to track what needs to be done, and what is already taken care of. Using a good List and calendar can significantly reduce the stress and the proverbial weight on your shoulders.
3) Dating. If you have a spouse, you really should think about your dating activities ... look at it this way; suppose you were single and you were seeing this person you like, but you have not gone out for 2 weeks or a month, would you still be dating that person? Probably not. It isn't really that different with your spouse, it is important to make time for them whether for dates or watching a movie together... or what have you.
4) Crunch time. I feel that the best approach is to work efficiently and at a steady pace from the beginning, thus avoiding the last minute Rush and hurry but, that isn't always possible… sometimes you have to cram a week( or two) worth of work into a weekend... sometimes it is a last minute change or a show-stopping bug, but it happens. When it happens i have found it best to just focus on the current task, not the 40 more hanging over your head. make a checklist and do them one at a time, multitasking is a myth, and should be avoided. i would also like to mention here that after long hours you often reach a point of diminishing returns, it is better to take a break for an hour or two and then resume work.
What do you do to balance home/work/school etc.?
Let us know in the comments below.
Tall Ship Team
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