Monday, December 23, 2013

I Live in Iowa: Week 137

This was a really satisfying week, in several regards. Work went well. I touched on the drama last week  about promoting a particular part through the stages to production and getting that straightened out Monday was a big relief for me. Huge, it came up two or three times a day the rest of the week to completely positive feedback from others.

My job as a design engineer is in large part about project management. I have responsibly for something like 20 projects, yet so many of the details of those are done by other people that I am more of a motivator and persuader of priority than actually making design changes. Something I learned from my old position was that the person who inquired the most about their project, got their project done first. It's pretty simple really, you can just drop off a project and expect it to come back in a month or you can drop it off and ask every day or every other day how it is progressing, and I guarantee it will get done faster.

I took this concept to a new level of directness recently by asking every day, but only once per day, how someone was progressing on finishing a project. It worked out well, the project finished this week, from his end at least. These requests are always difficult because in one sense, one group is waiting on another group to finish their work. On the other hand, we don't want to come across as jerks because there is a reason projects are usually not finished: more important projects are being worked on. Business and prioritization of business activities is a huge deal, it is different for most everyone and matters a significant amount when it comes to finishing projects on time.

Ran a whopping 76 miles including a 14 mile run and a 4 mile tempo which was just over 10 hours of running. Much of that was on slick snow and ice covered roads, so effort wise, it was probably a mid 80s mileage week. It's a nice boost from the 40s and 50s of the last few weeks. I am returning! This recovery is seeming to happen slower than previous buildups. I think Chicago really took it out of me, physically, mentally and emotionally. So much goes into a marathon that to come out the other side knowing I made mistakes is humbling and disheartening. Never the less I want to chase a 5k PR and I know I need to be in great shape for Everest.

Friday I drove home to my parents in Wisconsin. It has been pretty quiet ever since. I am just into 16 consecutive days of vacation and still unwinding a bit from work. Not 100% sure where this little vacation will take me, but there will be some adrenaline pumping moments to be sure!

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