Is it okay to spend all week organizing?

I wasn’t super busy today so I spent the entire day organizing and doing things I didn’t really have time for when I was busy, stuff like:

  • Committing stuff to git repos
  • Backing up files
  • Deleting old files
  • Going through old notes to make sure I didn’t miss any request from way back when that people might actually care about
  • Moving emails from my inbox to various folders
  • Moving files around and reorganizing folders to make things easier to manage
  • Figuring out what to do with ad-hoc Excel files that shouldn’t be committed but may or may not need to be backed up somehow.
  • Renaming files that were poorly named

Oh and I’m actually not done yet, there’s more documentation to do and maybe I’ll write a script to at least automate some of this later.

Is it okay to say I spent like half my week on this? Or maybe even longer, like a week? I mean, every now and then somebody leaves and all Hell breaks lose when we try to figure out what they did so hey it’s worth it, at least to me. Oh yeah and I was running out of space too so to some extent it had to be done.

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what’s likely to happen if you don’t do this stuff soon?

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Well if my computer dies whatever is on the drive that wasn’t backed up would be lost so that’s what motivated me mostly.

I guess my worry wasn’t so much that I was organizing, it’s just that there’s a lot to organize and it might take me a long time. I was asked to do things faster than I was able to document them so that’s another thing that might take a while too.

I’d be shocked if people don’t do this every once in a while.

Who are you saying this to? Do you track your time or discuss activity with your boss? Or are you just given tasks and as long as you complete them in a reasonable time you are good?

If documenting/organizing isn’t built-in to time/resourcing expectations then that’s bad planning. I do a bit of this every week, usually on Fridays which tend to be light meeting days.


Next inane question.

Now, if you have to take a week, then some of it should have been done sooner, but that’s water under the bridge

Half a week?! How long have you been too busy to stay on top of your administrative tasks?

You need more resources to delegate work (this, or other) to if it has gotten to this point.

My boss said I needed more people but upper management won’t let us hire anyone.

It’s kinda hard for me to explain, as soon as I say “git repo” it kind of just goes over everyone’s heads and they stop paying attention.

Just start calling it the “documentation station” . . . that should work.

Documentation of work is important and generally time well spent. Doing it exclusively for a week seems like a lot of time unless it’s been neglected for a while. As long as you are able to cover your other job responsibilities and deadlines, would be OK in many jobs.

Would often not be OK in a consulting or other billable hours job unless clearly communicated in advance.

Is that what you young people are calling it these days???

Okay so one innovation I did was the way I have my documentation is that I made a website using Sphinx that automatically pulls from the docstrings in my code and then I got IT to get us a server to host it. And then the documentation itself is version controlled via git. Basically a department intranet, just for us.

The justification issue is nobody else does that and they just put it in Word on some shared drive or something. All the software engineers do it my way but the actuaries do it (in my mind) the old way which is ultimately harder to maintain. On the other hand I avoid a lot of issues my coworkers have because I know how to code but other people won’t get the benefits I have unless they learn. So it seems too cumbersome to subject the actuarial department to that but to me it hinders where I want to go in my career if I’m subject to doing things the old way.

Even using basic vocabulary is a struggle for me to describe what I’m doing because people don’t know it. “docstring” for instance. Even telling my boss that we have a server and that we need to implement basic security practices was not something they wanted to think about.

Okay I guess I should have titled the thread “I bought a server and turned all our documentation into a website before asking is that OK”

“Docstring”??? Are you young people tying each other up or something??? Is that whatcha calling it now???

Sounds more like a “time to dust off the resume” type situation if there’s a fight to “modernize”.