ER&L: Evolving Organizational Structures — are we keeping up?

Speaker: Glenn Bunton

He’s not a eresource person, and he doesn’t have the answers, but he hopes this will provoke some thinking. Users drive the libraries, not the other way around.

Organizations can’t change on a dime. You have to plan long term.

We are changing from the keeper of the materials to a service organization. Our organizational structure needs to change to match that. We still have the same old technical services and public services. [I disagree. The titles may be the same, but what we do is vastly different in many ways. He did not appear to have looked very closely at functions beyond titles.]

The paradigm is shifting. First with the advent of the iPhone, and now with the increase in ebook readers. Paper books are going away, like it or not.

He definitely doesn’t know anything about what he’s talking about. He’s observing the changes, but doesn’t understand or respect them.

simplifying and organizing, one t-shirt at a time

Monday night I finally put together the cheap bookshelf I bought for temporary storage and organization. Living in a one-bedroom apartment with limited closet space has taught me how to stack, organize, and reduce the clutter of nostalgia and maybe-somedays. This bookshelf is the latest edition to my never-ending quest to maintain clean and organized surface spaces.

In the process of rearranging that corner of my bedroom, I ran across a small box that was the start of a “remove one thing every day” project a while back that never went anywhere. I seized upon this opportunity and inspiration to sort through my ever-expanding t-shirt collection (curses upon you, shirt.woot!) and withdraw a few from the “don’t fit and probably won’t wear again” section. I added a few unused kitchen utensils and promised myself that as soon as I returned from Internet Librarian, I would take it to the local charity shop.

We’ll see.

still tweaking

One thing that I’ve learned about myself over the years is that I am an inherently lazy person.

A few weeks ago I wrote about changing some habits and workflow. Today, as I tweaked my daily tasklist process yet again, I thought I’d post an update/continuation.

One thing that I’ve learned about myself over the years is that I am an inherently lazy person, so I need to set short goals and rewards in order to not let the laziness and procrastination take over. I managed to go five weeks with the 10/15 split method of organizing my day, but when I found myself not doing the things on my schedule, I realized I needed to change it up a bit to keep at it.

Yesterday in my end-of-day wrap-up and planning for today session, I took a sticky note square and began listing attainable goals for the projects I’m currently working on. By attainable goals, I mean things I could do in a 1-2 hour stretch. That’s about how long I can work on any single project without getting burnt-out and distracted, which is why I try to always have several projects in the works at any given time.

Rather than scheduling specific times to work on specific things, I let it flow a little more organically, checking the time only to make sure I wasn’t getting too sluggish. Guess what? It worked. When I’d start to slack off a bit, I’d glance at the list again and I could see the endpoint looming, which encouraged me to delve back into the work.

I thrive and fail in structure, but mostly thrive. Big, long-term projects frequently overwhelm me because I am still learning how to structure my time to work on them, particularly when they have squishy end dates. By setting smaller goals and continuing to trudge towards completion, I will be much happier because as soon as the project is finished, it means I can start working on the next one. And the next project is always more exciting that the one I’m working on right now.

tweaking my workflow

Over the past year, I’ve become a Lifehacker fanatic. I read the site regularly, and sometimes I even use it as a reward for finishing some unpleasant task. While I don’t do every lifehack suggested or install every app suggested, I have been making incremental changes in the way I approach things. Here are a few:

  • Earlier this year, I used HabitForge to get into a routine of going to bed by 11pm and getting up at 6am, which I’ve mostly continued to do. I’ve not done so well at the other routine of eating breakfast at home, but that is partially due to not being dilligent about having breakfast items on hand (i.e. I’ve been out of milk for almost a week now and I still haven’t remembered to pick up some when I had the chance).
  • Numerous ideas of how to process/manage email and tasks have led to my current system that is a hybrid of flags and search filters in Outlook, and the daily planning that defines my dayjob workflow.
  • I have a growing collection of DIY gift ideas for next Christmas, should my family decide to go the “make it yourself” gift route again. I’ll be better prepared this time.

I’m certain there are more things I could point out, but all I can remember right now are the relatively new ones. Everything else has either fallen away or has become so integrated that I don’t remember why or when I started doing it.

One more thing: I’m regularly inspired to clean my physical desktop when I see yet another need and cleverly organized featured workspace.