This has been a very involved week at work.  I was promoted to manager a few months ago, and I have felt under the wave for a while.  We have been completing the testing on a product that I am responsible for and we need to be able to hit a certain date and everything is production ready.  On top of this I am interviewing people for my old position and working customer enhancement requests.

This is a lot, and just seeing it all written out makes me realize that.  The only thing that is getting me through is constant prioritization of what is to be done now.  The top thing for me was getting the product release out the door.  This release needs to be stable and support the new features that have been requested by the various groups.  At the same time I identify the next priority and try to push it along a little bit.  I do that on down the line pushing things along as I see opportunities.

Pretty soon the effort required for my top priority goes down and I am able to shift and expand my focus.  My goal is to have a more balanced focus across what I am responsible for instead of trying to focus all energy on one single priority for a long haul.  It is a constant re-prioritization, but it should always start in the now.  Determine the immediate need, and address that.  Then feed and care for the rest.

if you follow the paintbrush with your eyes while not moving your head, it forces you to use emdr which is a therapeutic technique to calm anxiety/panic. watching fish swim causes the same effect.

One of my priorities was hiring for my old position.  This involved me going through internal and external candidates.  Through the interviews I see pieces of my job that I think I can perform.  I don’t know if some of it is identification with the candidate and feeling things from their side or what.  I feel that I am pretty competent in my job.  I tend to slack off a lot and do things in bursts near the deadline.  I relax and then rush at the end.  I have posted on this before.

So I have to interview many talented candidates and one of them is a former teammate, whose wife had just died of cancer.  Since the position was open we have been wanting him to join the team, but it wasn’t appropriate to discuss that with him at that time.  In the meantime, I had to interview candidates for the position to show that we were trying to fill it.  There was one guy who hated his current position and was really looking for a change that would allow him to spend more time with his family.  Another was a very skilled architect, but he had an extremely huge ego to match.  And another was a pretty stellar standout that would be able to come in and really fill the role I need.

By the time I interview the old team member, I have had a cast of people that are tugging me in different directions for different reasons.  This is where I have to step back and let go of what I think I need in a technical developer, and do what is right for someone beyond myself.  And even then there were two that I really identified with.  I of course went with my old teammate.  I informed the other prospects of the decision and in some cases gave more explicit feedback on what we might want in a applicant for a future position.