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Thread: In a rut (again)

  1. #1
    maudit anglais
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    In a rut (again)

    arrgh.

    For some reason, I can't seem to get myself motivated this week to get much work done. As much as I want to tackle the piles of files stacked in my office, I really really don't feel much motivated to do anything more than doodle and surf.

    I think my problem is the lack of "gotta get it down by yesterday" projects currently on my plate. That was last week - had no problem staying focused then, but now it's a bit of different story.

    I really like my job - working for the City has been the realization of a major goal for me. It's not a job satisfaction problem, more of a "me-being-a-lazy-bastard" problem.

    How do other planners out there keep themselves motivated? Or are we all just sitting on are arses out there waiting for the next post to Cyburbia to appear?

  2. #2
    Member Glomer's avatar
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    I hear ya!!!!

    I have scheduled meetings with people all afternoon and haven't done my homework on a few of the issues. I just can't get myself motivated.

    I too love my job and my lack of motivation has nothing to do with job disatisfaction. when you find a cure, send it my way, meanwhile I'll just wait for the next cyburbia post.

  3. #3
    maudit anglais
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    Well...at least I'm not alone. I feel better already.

  4. #4
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Moods...

    Most times I can look at my list, realize what needs doing right away, and get it done. Of course, that means I can also tell at a glance what I can put off!

    I'd say I try and get all the "right aways" done, and then put in some time on the long term stuff every day.

    But... there are also those times when a mood hits that almost makes it impossible to function properly. I suppose I've had some that run a few days, and term that a "funk".

    Having a citizen scream out that I'm a pinko commie just makes me chuckle inside. Having the City Council side with the citizen after they directed me to write the ordinance... would put me in a funk.

    It's at that point that you want to throw up your hands and say, "FINE! Enjoy your little 'burg with cars up on blocks, billboards everywhere, no trees... sidewalks... parks... I am OUT of here." (I suppose that's almost what I did at my last job.)

    I guess you just suck it up and grind it out, or find a new place or new job!

    <End of rant>
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    C'mon and get me you twist of fate
    I'm standing right here Mr. Destiny
    If you want to talk well then I'll relate
    If you don't so what cause you don't scare me

  5. #5
          Downtown's avatar
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    YES!!!!

    Tran, I'm with you. Again, love my job, and am so grateful to be here, but there are definitely days where I'm checking cyburbia every hour. I've always been a procrastinator, and a little on the manic depressive side. So when I'm slacking, I'm big time slacking. However, when I'm up, like today, I'm just a hotbed of productivity. My advice is on days when you are not feeling quite so fiery productive, set aside smaller goals, such as ok, i will file everything in this handfull here, and then i'll go make myself some coffee. Maybe we should start a support group, Procrastinating Planners Anonymos.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    I too absolutely love my job, but lately I have been SO unproductive. I get done what I *need* to get done, but am finding it hard to get motivated for the rest. My daily planner (go figure) is covered in arrows pointing to the following days where I promise myself I will do items A, B, and C.

    I'm in same boat, so if you figure it out....let me know!

  7. #7

    Are you fu**ing kidding me?

    I'm sorry, but I cannot hold back my anger any longer. I know you're not the only one in this situation, but I'm not going to sympathize with you like the other liberals will.

    God almighty! You wouldn't last 2 weeks in the private sector (real world). I admire your candor, but you really exposed yourself as a stereotypical lazy ass government worker. You've got a pile of shit to do, right? Well do it! And planners wonder why government workers are carry a stigma of laziness with them. You're living proof. The citizens of your town pay alot a fricking taxes for you to screw off all day.

  8. #8
    maudit anglais
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    I wasn't asking for your sympathy dickhead - I was merely asking how other planners dealt with periods where they feel less than productive or motivated.

    I have worked in the private sector, and the workers there aren't any more dedicated to their jobs than they are in the public sector - in fact most the work I see done by private consultants is a pile of crap that was likely put together at the last minute (and likely copied from other studies).

    I didn't say I wasn't getting any work done, just that the lack of pressure of "deadline" projects is making it difficult for me to focus on the more mundane tasks. I don't have secretaries or admin staff like most private sector people do to do all that for me.

    Excuse me for being human.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Hey Tran,
    Try creating your own arbitrary deadlines and goals. My problem is often the opposite of yours: when I don't feel like focusing on a major project, I work on the mundane (revising application forms is less stressful than fighting the city engineer over transportation plans). But eventually the transportation element has to get done--just not today. Today I will think about cleaning my desk...but I probably won't have time. It is Friday, you know: I came in late and intend to leave early. Oh, before the real world gets in a tizzie, I have had three evening meetings already this week and took work home every night.

  10. #10

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    .

    "I have worked in the private sector, and the workers there aren't any more dedicated to their jobs than they are in the public sector - in fact most the work I see done by private consultants is a pile of crap that was likely put together at the last minute (and likely copied from other studies). "

    Amen! Tell me the difference between the stereotypical post office worker and the average clerk at Wal Mart. There may be more of a pasted on smile-but, real attitude, not in today's chain store hell! The only difference is that private contractors are subject to a little more "fear for their jobs," but frankly, I don't like to be chewed out by my supervisors, either. Many of the "slow periods" I do face come because the private consultants are taking forever to do THEIR jobs.

    My problem is lack of focus. I have to admit the last couple weeks I do my work like this: Finish a page./ staff report-check out Cyburbia. Finish another page. Check out the Urbanphoto.org bulletin board. Finish another page. etc. And, when you are working counter and keep getting interrupted, the problem is even worse.

    Admittedly, the projects I am working on now are not the most fascinating, but still.

  11. #11
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Re: Are you fu**ing kidding me? No, I'm not...

    mugbub wrote:
    I'm sorry, but I cannot hold back my anger any longer. I know you're not the only one in this situation, but I'm not going to sympathize with you like the other liberals will.
    Ah, I see... Only liberal minded folk can be sympathetic? And if you want to be angry, try a few of the lazy asses in federal positions... say, the I.R.S. Don't forget to leave your full name and social security number.

    God almighty! You wouldn't last 2 weeks in the private sector (real world). I admire your candor, but you really exposed yourself as a stereotypical lazy ass government worker.
    Beauty... I don't admire your choice of language, nor your absurd notion that only the "private sector" is the real world. I've worked both, and you know not of what you speak. And, for your edification, the "lazy ass" worker stigma often comes from "real world" nitwits who wait until the last moment to come to government agencies for things they needed weeks ago, and wonder why we can't wave a wand and have things done for them on the spot!

    You've got a pile of shit to do, right? Well do it! And planners wonder why government workers are carry a stigma of laziness with them. You're living proof. The citizens of your town pay alot a fricking taxes for you to screw off all day.
    No, I have TEN piles of excrement to do. And before I get those down, a half-dozen more will appear. I worked for a large engineering firm, fella, and you talk about goofing off... I know people who did nothing but shoot rubber bands around all damn day. As far as my job goes, I have to be self motivated. That takes more effort than having some boss chewing on you to get things done...

    Oh, and by the way, I also have to answer the phone about a dozen times a day to answer incredibly dumb questions from the "real world" people, such as yourself, who do not posses the intelligence to open a book or webpage (not to mention the damned phone book) to find an answer for themselves.

    When the fit hits the shan, I'm the guy who stays up half the night to make sure some important city business is accomplished... and hence, the people of my town who pay "alot [sic] a [sic] fricking taxes", get more than their money's worth.

    But I wouldn't expect a member of the "confederacy" to understand.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    C'mon and get me you twist of fate
    I'm standing right here Mr. Destiny
    If you want to talk well then I'll relate
    If you don't so what cause you don't scare me

  12. #12
          Downtown's avatar
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    Hmm, Of course I would have JUST said to my husband this morning that one of the cool things about Cyburbia's message boards is that they are so friendly and supportive, and that even despite the inevitable diffences of opinion, people are really constructive. Thanks, Mugbub for proving me wrong.

    I did my stint in consulting and hated it. The first 5 months they didn't have enough work for me to do, yet still expected me to be 98% billable. The following 7 months were miserable, as I was working on projects that had ALL gone over budget, and I had to do the crappiest half assed job to get it done quick.

    I'm now extemely happy to be working for a public employer that prides itself on not making its workers miserable, paying a decent wage and allowing for family time to be a priority. In my experience Consulting is not the real world. It's hell. And if I choose to spend my day researching comp plans instead of attacking the pile of filing that needs doing for no other reason than I don't feel like filing today, so be it.

    Blargh. Why did I let myself get cranky over this?

  13. #13
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Since the beginning of the year, I've felt as if I've been spinning my wheels. I'm getting some things out of the way, but ...

    Right now, I'm about three weeks into a code enforcement sweep. (This is pretty much a "detox" for the town; get rid of EVERYTHING, and then, hopefully, preventative maintenance will be the norm.) I've been sending out about five to ten violation notices a day. Consider the amount of time it takes in the field to catalog a violation, type the letter, create a file, send out the violation via certified mail (a real PIA), and then deal with the angry property owner when they get the bad news. I've also got to go out and revisit the violations, and instruct the tow company to remove certain cars, or set up Code Enforcement Board meetings.

    (I had to interrupt this message because I got two phone calls and a visitor)

    Public contact -- try about 20 to 40 unscheduled incoming phone calls and visitiors a day as of late, msot scattered evenly throughout the day. Each pf those contacts lasts from about three to 15 minutes; much longer if it's an appraiser (at least two a day) or a potential property buyer performing due diligence. About a third of the calls result in an "assignment" of some sort -- someone wanting me to compile a list of something, and fax it thier way.

    Meanwhile, every day, a few items get stacked on my "pile." Note the quotes. A notice about a meeting I have to attend later this month. Some assignment from the Town Manager. A file the Town Clerk found that might be relevant.

    (Another resident call.)

    (Town Manager wants network support.)

    Right now, I'm about three days behind with returning phone calls - my voice mail box holds 40 messages, and it fills in two days, even with my retrieval of messages. I perform triage; in recent days I've had to blow off some messages. Bad customer service, I know, but I have no choice; if I responded to every call, I'd be here 60 or 80 hours a week, instead of the 50 I've been working recently. Of those 50 hours, I feel "productive" maybe 10% of the time. The rest of the time, I'm performing damage control. A lot of "productive" work is done at home, sadly, where I have solid blocks of time that will not be interrupted by calls from God-knows-who.

    (Phone call -- builder wondering abot the status of their inspection. I failed 'em.)

    In the 30 minutes I've been trying to get this one message out, I had four phone calls, one resident visitor, and one visit from Town staff, all wanting SOMETHING. I feel unproductive not because I'm not helping these folks out, but because long-term projects -- comprehensive plan, land development code, office organization -- are going by the wayside.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  14. #14
    maudit anglais
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    Meanwhile, I'm feeling much better I got a new pile of work to get through (with some nasty deadlines attached).

    Thanks to all who replied - even mugbub. If nothing else, he got me fired up a bit (and a few others too it seems).

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    Im having one of those blah days myself. If I have to look at this Post Office plan anymore Ill scream.

    We all get the blahs from time to time, this week seems to be mine big time. Im disgusted with work, dating, laundry, parental units, the weather and lots of other stuff.

    D
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  16. #16
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    PlannerGirl wrote:
    Im having one of those blah days myself.
    When I have those I go out and drive around looking or code violators to harass. Writing threatening letters does wonders for one's pent up aggression.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    Well I dont get to leave my little cube hell so Im going slowly crazy in here. Lol I know what mood Im in by my choice of music, today is Dead Can Dance

    D
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  18. #18
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Try preparing reports as you look out the window and see it snowing in May. Thats my day today. BLAH

  19. #19
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Baby got Back!

    I got to the point this week where I blocked Cyburbia at the Firewall so I could some serious work done. It worked. My citizens pay 1.3 cents per person per year to see me work. I really want to avoid the "Lazy Ass" label and I want to work my way back up to "Fat Assed" Government worker. I owe my citizens that much. Some day If I keep my sholder to the axel I'll be a "Punk Ass" Government worker - the highest level possible.

  20. #20
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Re: Baby got Back!

    El Guapo wrote:
    My citizens pay 1.3 cents per person per year to see me work.
    That's a bargain. Mine each pay about $30.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  21. #21
    maudit anglais
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    The arbitrary deadline thing works, but real deadlines are better. I tend to be "too smart" to accept fake deadlines, but I found I can psyche myself up to that level of sheer panic in which most of my work gets done if I really concentrate.

    I'm riding a bit of a high right now as my Toronto Maple Leafs have advanced to the next round of the NHL playoffs. YEE-HAW, bring on them 'Canes!!!!!!!!!!!!

    My citizens each pay about 2 cents (Cdn.) a year for the privilege of having me oversee the planning of their transportation system.

    Oh, I dream of being a "punk-ass" government worker...

  22. #22
    Member Mary's avatar
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    I understand the frustration of interruption. There are days when I leave work wondering what if anything I got done because I spent all day on the phone, with drop ins or running people's quick please find me.... please get me.... can you send me a copy of... requests.

    What I want to know is what you do when you Don't love your job. (I loved my last one but left it to follow my husband across the country) now I'd love to look for a new job but I don't know how long I'll be here so getting a new job may give me too many job changes on a resume that already has too many changes for my comfort level due to temp jobs before I landed the first real job.

    My motivation tends to be the people I'm helping so when they get nasty it gets a lot harder to do the work.

    By the way I've worked in the private sector too. It's it's own kind of hell and while I worked hard there as I do here I defiantely saw my share of people doing as little as possible. Looking busy as an art form. In this job I'm running out of time to even check cyburbia so I've not been able to read much of this stuff or visit of late and I fear the future looks no better. *Sigh*

    Sorry bad day self pitty rant. *end of rant*

  23. #23
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Re: Re: Baby got Back!

    Dan Tasman wrote:


    That's a bargain. Mine each pay about $30.
    Alas, I'm only worth $3.58 not including benefits....

  24. #24
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Tranplanner wrote:
    My citizens each pay about 2 cents (Cdn.) a year for the privilege of having me oversee the planning of their transportation system.
    That's aboot .01 cent U.S., isn't it?!

    They pay over $13 each (plus bennies) for my services. Not because I'm the best money can buy, of course... It's just a small town!
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 21 Nov 2006 at 2:58 PM.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    C'mon and get me you twist of fate
    I'm standing right here Mr. Destiny
    If you want to talk well then I'll relate
    If you don't so what cause you don't scare me

  25. #25
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Each of my "customers" pays approximately 84 cents CDN for my services.

    Why is that the ones that consume all of youir time feel that this is way too much?

    The other question that is coming out of this sidetrack is why are American employers/municipalities paying so much more per capita for planning services then Canadian employers?

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