There I was feeling the burn out. I mean seriously, it’s not just that I haven’t been blogging, I haven’t been much in the way of functional since about Dec 2. I showed up, worked diligently every day…but there was no fun in it, no joy, and certainly none of my usually sparking personality 🙂
I genuinely love working, problem solving and being productive usually. But I had hit a wall, between struggling students, projects which lagged behind thanklessly and never came to an end (or so it seemed). Coupled with economic pressures to work ever increasing hours and the usual holiday insanity around the Gregory household…well things were looking bleak.
So I took my own advice, or rather my colleague’s long standing advice, and I “took an exit.” I observed the holidays and the weekend both Christmas and New Year’s. All told in the last 14 days I was 5 days off, 2 on. Well almost. I ignored everything but students. I read 6 books, watched at least 36 hours of netflix, television and rented movies. I unplugged from almost all two way communication devices (phone, cell phone, ipad, computer).
The result was that I returned to work and got my geek back. This was witnessed by the verve with which I took over my new project looking for project management solutions for my boss. Not sure how a science teach was qualified to spearhead this one…but after trepidation and a discussion I took to the task of making our work flow smoothly like it was an aerodynamics problem…I love Bernoulli.
I evaluated a few products with a simple goal, give the boss what she needs in terms of oversight and timeline views without reinventing our existing processes completely. After looking at a number of options top two were Basecamp and Wrike. There is a nice summary comparison chart here.
I took both for a spin. Our organization is small on people and huge on projects. That said Wrike really made me happy. Like Geeked out Happy. It flows like social media, but with powerful project management timeline, nesting and connection creating. Basecamp was nice too, but it made me work rather than making my work flow.
Seriously I got so carried away with it that I found myself working again…late into the evening…Joie de vivre in tact again.
Was it truly the product? Was it the vacation and the new lease on life? Was it the alignment of the stars? I may never know. But I do know for the moment…I’m back.
You can review the products yourself if you have a need for project management solutions: