My Career, Sans Ladder

March 19, 2006

How to work smarter

This article on how to Program Yourself caught me a bit by surprise (in a good way). Although most of it's content is geared toward programmers, I think it can apply to just about anyone who's looking to work smarter.

The author discusses how less smart people go about doing their job:
They rarely do any "meta-thinking", instead they focus on the base level of how to get things done without stepping out and thinking about the plan or work itself, and it's place in the grander scheme of things.

Boy, did that ever hit home. Trying to break out of the less smart group, I've been wondering at what point can I start to do more "meta-thinking"? It seems like I constantly get hung up at the base level and I'm not sure how to get past only solution so far is to continue to try and get really good at the basics and then take a step back when the opportunity presents itself (which is another post entirely - what happens if the environment you're in isn't big-picture friendly, ie - lots of fire drills, ad-hoc requests, etc).

Other highlights from the article include:
I find that smart people are always wondering why they're doing what they're doing, and they always have a good grasp on the size, scope, goals, and direction of their efforts.

Unsmart people not only haven't ever thought about these things, they're usually quite surprised, if not openly hostile, about being asked. They evidently think of themselves as cogs in a machine, one that's being piloted by someone else.

Alright...I'm gonna go try and fight the good fight and hopefully overcome this lack of "thinking while working". Wish me luck!


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