I have an idea for something that I think could be a fun little meme. I would like to encourage all of you to join in. All you need is a blog.

Let’s face it, none of us are perfect. We all have areas in which we can be better people and learn ways in which we can do better at what we do. From my experience we get better by being honest in our weaknesses and learn from constructive suggestions from our friends and colleagues. Our communities are a great place to experience this learning…they are filled with a wealth of experience and wisdom…so the meme is:

  1. Blog about three things you feel are your weaknesses and summarize them. Express how you would like to improve.
  2. As a reader, when you see one of these blog entries leave some constructive and encouraging suggestions for how the poster might be able to improve in that area.

The most important thing here is that we should all be nice and friendly in providing our suggestions to help the blogger improve in those areas.

So, to kick things off, here are my three areas in which I feel I have weaknesses:

  1. Cope with all my email better – I have three different email INBOXes; my Ubuntu and Canonical addresses, my personal email address, and my Severed Fifth mail. Without wishing to portray myself as some kind of über-popular member of the glitterati, I get a lot of email. Frankly, more than I can handle. I have put together a fairly comprehensive process for handling email in which I read it, mark it for replying to, have filters for my team and closest colleagues, have calendared appointments for me to process email and more, but it still just keeps piling up. Some INBOXes I prioritize more than others, such as my Ubuntu/Canonical email, but this means the other ones suffer more than they should. I hate replying late to emails, but only have so many hours in the day, and I feel this is an area in which I could do better.
  2. Widen my approach to the community – the Ubuntu community is a pretty huge place with lots of different teams covering lots of different types of contributions. In each release cycle myself and my team focus on a common set of teams. Unfortunately, I get so wrapped in my work with those set of teams that I often end up neglecting other teams. As an example, in Natty I worked with the accessibility team, Ayatana, developer teams, Desktop Experience team, Ubuntu One team, Ubuntu Women and some other teams, but I barely spent any time with the docs team, forums community, LoCo teams, Ubuntu Beginners team, testing teams and many others. If this happens to the same team for a few cyles I can end up going for quite some time without getting to know those communitty teams and what they are doing – I want to be able to spread my around better in a way in which I can still deliver on my commitments, but be less of a stranger to these other teams.
  3. Better multitasker – I am the kind of person who starts to work on something and then I really get into it, and sometimes it is hard to break out of that mindset and multitask. As an example, I will really get into organizing an event or campaign, and throughout this period I will need to do some paperwork for something else. In some cases I will keep putting off the paperwork as I am pre-occupied with the bigger projects I am working on. This results in generally well delivered big projects but then a big pile of non-critical loose ends, and I don’t like having this pile of things left. I think I need to have a better mental capacity to multi-task; not the daily multi-tasking betweek email, IRC, calls, blueprints etc, but between different types of work and tasks.

Of course, I have many more weaknesses, so it took me a while to pick and choose. 🙂

Suggestions for improvement welcome, friends!

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