Monday, March 13, 2017

Business and busy-ness

A friend and I do peer-coaching with each other, every few weeks. If you don't practice peer coaching, you should find someone you trust (and ideally outside your organization) and just talk for half an hour or an hour every month. Practice your coaching and mentoring with each other. Challenge each other. And help each other out. I find that these peer coaching sessions help provide clarify and allow me to refocus on my priorities.

This last session is a great example. In our last session, I related how things seem very busy right now, so my friend asked me what was going on. As I started to iterate the different things I was working on, I suddenly realized that I have over-stretched myself.

Here's a quick list of what I'm doing now:

  1. My day job (CIO)
  2. Founder and coordinator of the FreeDOS Project
    • Several projects associated with FreeDOS
  3. Director on the GNOME Foundation's Board of Directors
    • A few side projects for the Board
  4. Adjunct professor for an online class
  5. Writing articles for several different journals/magazines
  6. Writing a book about leadership
  7. Planning to write a book about usability in open source software
  8. Planning to write a book about management

Basically, I think my problem is I said "yes" to too many things. Someone asked me to take on a new responsibility, and I agreed to it before I really thought about how much free time I had available, and how much of that time I could realistically commit.

Take this as your reminder to stop and reflect on what extra things you've taken on. Have you tried to tackle too much? What can you do about it?

In my case, I'm planning to step down from the non-profit board when my tenure is up, in May. I'm also going to avoid teaching again, at least for a few years. And my book will have to wait until I have a little more free time to commit to it, while the future books will be put on "hold" until the first book is done.

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