Archive for January, 2009

GeekInTheStacks, version 2.0

It’s been a little over 90 days since I resumed blogging.  My original blog yielded about 10 posts in 5 months.  This will be my 20th post in 3 months on a wide variety of topics ranging from writing effective emails to movies about the Macintosh community.  Time to think about what is next for GeekInTheStacks!

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9 Tips to Keep Your Sanity at the Office


courtesy of monkeyrivertown

courtesy of monkeyrivertown

Like most people, I make my fortune working in an office everyday.  I have the luxury of working  with a great organization filled with the best people.  But there are many times when my sanity is tested, which is bound to happen when you are around people all day.


Since I see my co-workers more then my family during the week, I want to be sure I maximize the time with my family.  The last thing I want to do is bring home work stress to the family.   I also want to maintain professional, friendly relationships with my co-workers so we can help each other achieve our goals.

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What I Hope to Gain Using Twitter

Twitter LogoI started using Twitter about 6 months ago (you can follow me here.)  In fact, I was using Twitter well ahead of signing up for Facebook.  Twitter, for those of you who who have never used it, is a micro-blogging tool which people follow.  In less then 140 characters, you can provide a quick update on what you are doing, send links, and even post pictures.  Twitter is one of the fastest growing social networking services on the internet, although some question it’s long term sustainibility

Like many people, at first I just didn’t “get it.”  Why would I use this tool if I had email and instant messaging?  Is this tool any good if I only have a few followers? Finally, wouldn’t it be cool if I had 15,000 followers!

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Starting Fresh – Back on the GTD Wagon


Photo courtesy of Raphs

Photo courtesy of Raphs

One of my habits to change in 2009 was to become more organized, especially when it comes to managing my time.  Like most people, I am juggling a dozen or more projects, am constantly inundated with phone calls/emails/people who want a piece of my time, and have a task list a mile long.  

Those if you who know me well, know that I am Getting Things Done (GTD) advocate.  I picked up the book almost 2 years ago to the day, after a cross-country trek in a moving truck.  It has helped me in countless ways by reducing stress, bringing focus to my work, and allowing me the freedom to enjoy the things I love.

Like most GTDers, including David Allen himself, every so often you “fall of the wagon.”  For me, it was about 3 months ago.  I stopped using my trusted system to keep track of things, I tried to remember all my tasks in my head, and stopped reviewing my tasks for the week.  The end result…productivity suffered and stress went up.  

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Book Review: The Power of Less

power-of-less1As I mentioned last week, I eagerly picked up a copy of Leo Babauta’s The Power of Less.  All in all, it’s a great framework for how to simplify your life personally and professionally.  Long time readers of Leo’s popular Zen Habits blog (one of my personal favorites) will not pick up much new information, although the book does a nice job of presenting a lot of his content in one place. However, for those who are unfamiliar with Leo’s work, there is a wealth of knowledge on topics such as maintaing focus, setting priorities, creating new habits, and managing time.

Although it’s a scant 150 pages, resulting in a very quick read, there is a lot of thought provoking content that is augmented well by Leo’s blog and the companion website

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Adam Savage and the Art of Obsession

I am a big fan of Mythbusters.  So when a buddy of mine forwarded a video from a speaking engagement by Adam Savage, I was eager to watch.  It wasn’t quite what I expected though.  In it, Adam discusses his “art of obsession” on a wide range of topics ranging from making his own Dodo skeleton (yes, the extinct bird,) to a replica of the Maltese Falcon.

Check it out:

What really struck me about this was Adam’s perseverance.  He has amassed 20gb of data on his obsessions that he keeps in a folder called “creative projects” (I keep a folder called @New Ideas which I drop my crazy ideas into.) Although his obsession with the Dodo could be considered “weird,” his end result is hard to argue with.  Goes to show: you put your mind to it and you can accomplish about anything.


My name is Greg Syferd. Here I share my thoughts, ideas, and random stuff I come across. For work, I am a Systems Manager at the Columbus Metropolitan Library. When unplugged I'm a husband/father, read books, and aspire to be a photographer.
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