Blogging What I Do, Day 1

I am trying to be more productive, and also find ways to better articulate what I do all day beyond “oh…a mess of stuff.” I always enjoy the rounds of “Day on the Life” blogging that happen around library work and digital humanities  a few times a year, but also never know about them til the day of and don’t feel ready to participate. So: on this random day, I’m going to give it a go, and hope that the semi-public nature of this entry  keeps me accountable (I say semi-public because, well, I don’t blog much and I imagine the readership, if it exists, is quite narrowly focussed).

8:00 AM – I am lucky enough to have a husband who gets up early, which encourages me to get up early, which means I can get to work at a nice hour most mornings. I have a pretty empty calendar today, so I work through my inbox  until I come to a non-spam warning that my mailbox is almost full. I read everything, but I’m not good at deleting the non-essentials. A 2013 local folder is born, and about 5000 conversations moved. There are an unfortunate number of emails about sick days and Doodle polls making the transfer.

8:30 AM – I’m a guest editor for DH+Lib this week, which means trolling the internet for interesting blog posts, presentations, and opportunities, and then sending them to the editors. I am also trying to spend less time wandering aimelessly around Twitter (obviously a great source for DH news and works in progress), so I looked through a few news feeds and sent off a slide deck on digital curation I thought would be of interest.

9:00 AM – Starbucks is open. See ya!

10:00 AM – I’m working on a few big projects right now, one of which is a large-scale cloud storage. We have a lot of different schools pouring money and people-power in to this project, but much of the actual day-to-day business is so far happening right in our office. Making sure everyone knows what’s going on here, and what’s ahead, is something myself and a couple of others are trying to do. This often means writing short, perky announcements, translating the back-end systems work into language that makes sense for any library staff. Why should they care about the kinds of servers we’ve bought? What, exactly, are we testing right now?  Today I’m editing a few presentations and loading them on to the wiki so they can be shared a bit more widely.

11:00 AM – Troubleshooting a proxy issue, scheduling a meeting, posting some webinar details, and then I spend some time on conference planning. I’m one of the planners for the technology division (OLITA) of the Ontario Library Association, which hosts a very large (some might even say Super) conference every February. We’ve got a fantastic group of session lined up, and are now just making suggestions for tweaks to titles and abstracts, so they’ll sound as interesting as they’ll actually be.

11:30 AM – Lunch. And this is me being restrained.

12:00 PM – I noticed some weird behaviour on one of our search platforms this morning, so wrote up an email documenting that for someone smarter than me to take a look at. Next up: I’m working on a wiki for a major software transition we’re planning for in the next year. It’s going to take a lot of co-ordination across schools, but they’ll also have the opportunity to learn from each other throughout the process, so the space needs to be flexible and easy to understand how to edit by anyone involved.

12:30 PM – We’re hosting a bunch of webinars in the next week, which means we need to do a bunch of testing for presenters now- do their microphones work as expected? Do they understand how to share their desktop, and who will be in charge of the audience questions? Today we’re having quite a few issues with testing – laptops possessed, plug-ins not installed, and some inexplicable echoes – and it’s taking longer than expected.

1:00 PM – Testing done, and it all worked in the end! Mikes were mic’ed and speakers spoke. I have a book review due for Spacing in a couple of weeks, so I’m going to grab a freezie and sit outside and read for 20 minutes. I’m reviewing On Looking.

1:45 PM – I hope I’m going to co-teach a version of 10 Days of Twitter for graduate students in the fall. Spent a bit of time considering the ways that the Graduate Professional Skills program here will necessitate changes to the format–and if there are any other pieces we’d like to do differently.

Trello, where I keep all my to-do lists, is down, so I float, lost for a little while, and then write an email I’ve been avoiding re: a busted laptop.

3:15 PM – Tech support, tech support, tech support. Lots of troubleshooting on my own machine, a few pleas to those who may know better, and some promises to worries users that it will all be all right in the end.

4:20 PM – That’s it for me, office-wise.

On the one hand, this seems like a silly exercise…stopping every hour to write down a few words about something that won’t make it in to my activity report anyway. Perhaps this seems like a way to procrastinate, rather than be productive. But I liked it! Every time my mind wandered to Facebook or the news (the dreadful, dreadful news), the reminder that I needed to be reporting my work kicked in, and I got back to the to-do list pretty quick. I’m no productivity fetishist, but thinking about how one spend’s one time really does have a huge effect on how it actually gets spent. I think I’ll do this again.

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