08 Aug 2011
Productive or Responsive: Pick One
When people ask me what I do at my job, I often have a hard time explaining. ‘Developer Advocate’ isn’t exactly specific in the same way that ‘Software Engineer’, ‘Visual Designer’ or ‘Phone Support’ is. Truth be told, I’m not 100% sure what the true scope of my job is: It changes daily. I do app reviews, tech support, community management, and write blog posts. Sometimes I even write code.
A lot of my time is spent reading, researching, and responding to emails that I get from merchants and developers. People tend to get annoyed when you don’t respond to them, so I feel a certain responsibility to reply as soon as I can. Unfortunately this is often a black hole and if I’m not careful I can spend whole days doing it which would be great, except that support is only one of my many responsibilities.
Another thing I sink time into is development. Right now I’m working on a tool for feeding merchant ideas to developers, and it’s a lot of fun. I really enjoy sitting down, getting stuck into the code and finishing the day with a new feature. Unfortunately when I do this my inbox inevitably fills up and I feel guilty about not tending to it.
So that’s my dilemma: At any one time I can either be on top of my emails (responsive) or get ahead on my development (productive). Right now my strategy is to tackle my email in the morning, then switch to development after lunch regardless of whether I'm ‘done’ or not (I’m beginning to suspect you can never be ‘done’ with email). This leaves me with a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day which I quite enjoy, but does result in a mountain of mail in the morning which is somewhat less fun.
Thanks for reading! If you like my writing, you may be interested in my book: Healthy Webhook Consumption with Rails
David at 10:00