In this episode, I am speaking with Chris Marshall, P.E., Regional Geotechnical Engineer at Professional Services Inc. (PSI) in Houston, Texas. We talk about the strategies he uses when dealing with everyday distractions in his engineering career and we discuss the difference between a maker’s and manager’s schedule, and how you might utilize these different schedules in your engineering career.
Most engineers I know are interested in achieving a relatively high level of productivity in their professional and work activities. Since most are working long hours, they aren’t interested in spending time on none-value added activities. Those who are successful in optimizing their productive time, do so through focusing on developing a plan of action.
Productivity is associated with creating value. While you can feel productive attending project meetings, reviewing designs, or obtaining closure on a long-standing issue, it may or may not result in value beyond making you feel productive. In my mind, productivity (a.k.a. creating value) comes only in achieving movement towards the accomplishment of a defined goal.
With this concept in mind, let’s unpack how to get from focus to productivity in your engineering career.
This is a guest post by Patrick Sweet, P.Eng.
When she was about one year old, my daughter, Charlotte, started mimicking what my wife and I did in a big way. If we did it, she wanted to do it. If I stirred my coffee, she wanted to stir her milk. If my wife went to play the piano, Charlotte wanted to play the piano. If I changed the channel on the TV, Charlotte wanted to try to do it, too. It was adorable, and I almost always got a chuckle out of it. Monkey see, monkey do.
Charlotte’s favorite thing to do, though, was to clean. This kid was a neat freak. The problem though, was that she was terrible at cleaning. After all, she was a one-year-old. She’d smear milk all over the table. She’d wipe her stuffed animals’ paws with a dirty dishcloth she stole from the counter. She’d use the carpet to wipe off her boots… you get the idea. The world was a much cleaner place when Charlotte wasn’t trying to clean it.