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Planning My Work, Working My Plan

posted Dec 2, 2011, 9:11 PM by Greg Smith   [ updated Dec 15, 2011, 5:29 PM ]
I've just ended a very busy week of work. I begin every week with a plan--one that usually includes 7-10 projects, tasks, and/or significant meetings. My planning process usually pays off, at least to an extent: I manage to get a majority of the items done, but something typically carries over to the next week. This week was unusual in that I think I accomplished every planned item (there were 9 on my list), plus was able to take care of some things that came up on the fly.

I'm fascinated by the diverse range of activity that can be packed into a single week:
  • evaluating a prospective colleague's application portfolio
  • reviewing the latest architectural drawings for the new library that my institution plans to build
  • deliberating on several dimensions of my library's Web presence
  • coordinating the work of the Management Information Services Team for which I'm responsible
  • analyzing book spine measurement data in an effort to determine bin sizes needed for the automated retrieval collection that is slated for deployment in the new library facility
  • engaging in the various routines associated with managing a substantial library budget--approving purchases, verifying availability of funding for desired purchases, preparing documents to support a request for additional funding, etc.
As I look back, I'm grateful for what I accomplished. As I look to the week ahead, I acknowledge that there are challenges ahead. Drawing on one of the sources I'm reading right now, Peter Drucker's The Effective Executive, I surmise that if my team and I are to stand up to the challenges, we'll have to demonstrate uncommon focus and discipline.