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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

12 New Rules of Working you should Embrace

From Zen Habits, with my thoughts in brackets.

1. Online applications and the cloud beat the desktop and hard drive
2. Collaborate on documentation [online], don't email [Don't collaborate on paper, either. If needed, make screenshots of prototypes to share with the group. ]
3. Collaboration is the new productivity [not necessarily true, if you've ever been on a dysfunctional committee or project group that can't get anything done, sometimes the one person who takes charge saves the day; however, groups can be highly productive, see #6)
4. People don't have to be in the office [hear, hear! I am very productive working offsite and I think most people are. I know there are some companies and institutions that truly support telecommuting, but it seems like a lot of places use telecommuting as a way of shoring up sick leave; i.e., staff are allowed to telecommute when they are too sick to physically come to work.]
5. Archive, don't file. [I would also add collaboratively archive! If all of the important documentation is stuck on one person's harddrive and it fails, it may be nearly impossible to retrieve it.]
6. Small teams are better than large teams.
7. Communication is a stream. [F}ind what interests you, search for what you need, and pick and choose the things that matter most to you. Can you answer every email? No — so answer the important ones, and archive the rest. Can you know everything going on in your field or industry? No — so monitor what interests you, and when things really matter you’ll find out from your network of friends or blogs you read.
8. Fewer tasks are better than many.
9. Meetings (usually) suck. [My advice: THINK BEFORE YOU SCHEDULE THAT MEETING. Meetings serve a lot of different purposes which have little to do with the task or goal at hand. For collaborative, visual or auditory learners (workers), they get some of the reinforcement, feedback, and interaction, they need. Meetings also play into the institutional or corporate social culture. They present networking and team building opportunities and provide a human face to the project. Good meetings are invaluable; bad meetings are a huge waste of time and energy.]
10. Opensource is better than closed source. [I know many of the arguments against opensource, but I'm still a huge advocate of opensource.]
11. Rest is as important as work.
12. Focus don't crank [multi-tasking isn't all it's cracked up to be]

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