For one thing, it's too comfortable. I've been sat sitting on the sofa working on the laptop, a pot of tea to hand, the Hairy Bikers on DVD for background noise (the remaining background noise being provided by a robin, a wren and a charm of goldfinches). This can't possibly be work can it?
Oh, I've done all the usual systems housekeeping work. And reported the (sadly) usual problems. I've run a pile of statistics to test an idea that was worrying me about distribution patterns of reserved stock and written a few web pages but I can't say that I feel that I've been particularly productive today.
Part of the problem is that the world has changed. What have I been doing while I've been slacking?
- I've been eavesdropping on the ALA Virtual Conference (thanks to both Marianne and Stewart!);
- Watched lectures on the potential of the online cognitive surplus; Facebook game business dynamics and making a splash with social media;
- Checked out articles on Mashable and LGITU;
- Tried to get my head round the mechanics of the WriteToReply functions being explained by Tony Hirst. and
- Exchanged concerns with colleagues about the current state of play of one of the library management systems companies.
Nothing extraordinary there. You'll have done as much, probably considerably more. But have another look at that in the context of "work," without the use of a laptop and t'internet.
- Peeking through a window to watch a conference.
- Leaving the office for a day just to see a lecture or two or attend a seminar or meet colleagues from far, far away
In the old days what I'm calling slacking would have been A Hard Day's Work. Time was, so long as you clocked on and clocked off at the right time you were doing your work. It was OK to feel not particularly productive because you'd been In Work All Day and had earned your corn by your very presence. These days, I'm happy to say, the currency is deliverables, not time spent (shouldn't it always have been?). So where does that leave personal professional development? It was never much valued in the 'time served' model, but does it only have a utilitarian value in the 'focus on delivery model?' Dunno. I'd like to hope not; I believe that understanding for the sake of it increases the opportunities for the serendipitous development of solutions. But I'd be hard-pressed to prove it.
And I still think I've been an idle beggar today.