Thinking the wrong thing

IBM Research has recently started “Think Fridays”. On Fridays, instead of the usual routine of meeting, teleconference, meeting, teleconference, meeting, we’re urged to avoid meetings and think.

To be honest, thinking isn’t all they want us to do — they want us to write, too. Code, patents, papers…all those things which get pushed aside when your calendar is full.

Many people have “Think Fridays” projects; mine is a Java-learning exercise which, when I finish it, will improve some of the ways I deal with Lotus Notes (in particular, it’ll help me visualize the people on a note or in a calendar item). I’ve already written a Python version, but it requires firing off an external process — it should be possible to use the Notes Java bindings to accomplish my task, and some day, I’ll get it done.

Not today, though. Instead, I had three meetings — only one of which probably violated the “Think Fridays” spirit. That one was on an ongoing project which will be presented to a bunch of people bright and early Monday morning — and I left the meeting with my brand-new d3 GTD TiddlyWiki crammed full of action items (some of which I dealt with later in the day — seeing crossed-out items is a good feeling!).

So I spent the rest of the morning dealing with that project (and even doing a tiny bit of coding in the process); then lunchtime arrived, along with my second meeting. This one was scheduled at my instigation — I spent lunch talking with one of our new RSMs and learning about his project (which I want to use!). Then it was back to my office to work on my project…except that I’d gotten e-mail from a colleague back East that they’d fixed up their system so I could tie it into the thing I was readying for Monday. So I spent the next couple of hours doing that.

Then it was time for my last meeting, where I served as an experimental subject for some of the Activities work being done at Almaden. That took me to the end of the day — again, it was interesting and possibly useful, but I never touched my Friday project. Maybe I’ll sneak some time for it on Monday….