Feb 28 2008

Integrity and Procrastination

Jamie Barrows

The above picture is one of my favorite demotivators. Mainly because it’s so true. We put off hard work that will lead to better things, in order to get immediate gratification.

I’ve been reading a book by John Maxwell called, Becoming a person of influence. The first chapter is on the importance of integrity. And one of the points in the chapter was that being reliable was an important aspect of integrity. And that’s something I’ve always worked towards. Having people count on me and know that I will do what I said I would, is really important to me.

But the book had an interesting quote that really struck me. It went like this, “Each day, do what you should do before what you want to do.” That is don’t procrastinate on your responsibilities. Finish what you need to do before playing.

Now being a person who cares a lot about accomplishing my responsibilities, I do put a lot of effort into making sure that I do things on time. If I told someone I was going to do something by a certain time or date, I do my best to have it done. But I have to say that procrastination is a serious problem with me. If I think I can put off working on something I don’t want to work on, I will. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still get it done on time, but I will wait until the last minute to do it.

And until reading that chapter, I never connected that tendency to procrastinate with integrity. But it really does fit. How can I be honest with myself about my responsibilities when I know I’m not working on them and should be? I’m only putting them off because I know I can get away with it. I know that no one will know that I didn’t work on the job until the last minute.

So my conclusion is that I’m going to put a lot more effort into finishing my responsibilities before the last minute. I’m going to try to not put things off that I know I can get away with doing just before they are required. I’m going to work on them when I should be.

Feb 25 2008

Changes Update

Jamie Barrows

joy.jpgI said last week that I was dealing with some changes. The changes are actually a shift in jobs.
I currently work for a company that writes banking software for check scanners. Mostly for remote deposit applications. My job consists of programming interfaces for the many different scanners on the market.
I’ve been doing it for almost three years, and I’ve really enjoyed working for the company and I’ve enjoyed the relationships that I’ve established with my coworkers and with the clients I deal with. But it’s time for a change.
So starting the 10th of March, I’ll be working for a new company. I can’t say a lot about the new job yet, but I can say it will involve a lot of travel and a lot less programming. So it will be a nice change from what I currently do.

Jan 10 2008

People are the issue

Jamie Barrows

I’ve been reading a programmers blog called Coding Horror recently. It can get pretty technical in some of it’s articles, so if you aren’t into programming I wouldn’t recommend it. If you are into programming, it really is a great blog and one you should start reading. Despite the programming focus, the latest article I think is one that applies to a lot of different industries. Not just IT based ones. So I thought I would post about it here.

The article is called, No Matter What They Tell You, It’s a People Problem. The gist of the article is that the main reason why software projects fail is a lack of a cohesive team. It’s not the only reason, but it is a big one. And it’s a reason that is hardly ever looked at or considered. No one wants to think that the reason their project isn’t going well, is because they don’t like or can’t get along with their coworkers.

Here is a quick excerpt from the article that I thought was really telling.

“Do you like the company of your teammates on a personal level? Do you respect your teammates professionally? If you were starting at another company, would you invite your coworkers along? Do you have spirited team discussions or knock-down, drag-out, last man standing filibuster team arguments? Are there any people on your team you’d ‘vote off the island’ if you could?”

So who would you vote off the team in your office?