Jun 282007

My blog tagline is: Musing, enthusing, libraries, emerging technologies, balancing, being mum. This post fits the “musing” and “balancing” part more than the “emerging technologies and libraries” bit of it.

About a year ago, my sons became more independent and the last of my parents’ estate was almost wound up. I suddenly had more time for me. So what did I do? I said “yes”.

yes yes yes uploaded to Flickr.com on May 15, 2007 by b.frahm

I read Danny Wallace ‘s book Yes Man, where he decided to say “yes” for a year just to see what happened. Without going to the same extremes, I tried starting my response to anything from “yes”. As I reported in August last year it lead to some great professional opportunities – ones I would have previously turned down because I had too little time/wasn’t organised enough/didn’t know enough/wasn’t good enough/was scared about.

So, where has this attitude got me now? Back from a week’s holiday with rather more on my plate than I should have, and less time for my kids than I want. I LOVE all the things I’ve said “yes” to, but won’t have enough “me” left if I keep up at this pace.

Much of what I’m doing is half work related/half professional development. I do most of it outside work hours, unpaid – although work is extremely supportive and has been very generous about allowing me some time. I think they hire me to do a job – not to tell everyone about it or develop other people’s staff – although maybe I should go back and read my last post about how libraries should blow their own trumpets.

So, here’s what’s in the “yes bunker” for the next couple of months:

  1. Presentation ready for Perth barcamp this Saturday called “What’s the Use of Second Life in Education?”. I’ve created a wiki with some embedded YouTube clips as I suspect Central TAFE blocks Second Life.
  2. Revisons and screenshots for a chapter that I’m co-authoring with two co-workers for a hybrid book/wiki about Library2.0 initiatives in academic libraries. (end of July)
  3. Rewrite presentation and slides about Second Life and Libraries for Libraries, Web2.0 and Other Internet Stuff, at the State Library of Victoria, July 23rd
  4. Doing something for WA Library Unconference planned for 3 August (NOT about Second Life)
  5. Create an enhanced podcast about Libraries and Second Life and learn how to use shoutcast and winamp, for a presentation to be streamed into Second Life as part of the University of Southern Queensland Faculty of Education Symposium Online Learning Using Virtual Worlds 16th August 2007
  6. Record a voice track for the movie clip of the Australian Libraries Building in Second Life so that it can be archived by the Pandora project at the National Library of Australia
  7. If they are accepted, write one paper for the VALA conference, and co-author another.
  8. Write a couple of “how to” posts for librariesinteract.info

What have I learned from my yes-filled adventures?

  • If I am well prepared and talk about something that interests me, I won’t fall flat on my face in terror during a presentation, and can even find it enjoyable.
  • Accepting all friend offers in social networks (except the utter kooks) can lead to some unexpectedly delightful gems.
  • Each hour of presentation takes at least 5 hours of preparation, and often much, much more.
  • It’s not cheating to recycle material if its fresh to the audience.
  • It’s fun to be part of other peoples’ learning.
  • “Yes” works best with a reason behind it. These are not good “yes” reasons – “No-one else can do it”, “Housework is more boring”, “My family won’t miss the time with me”, “It’s such a good opportunity”, “I can miss a bit of sleep/exercise/leisure time”.
  • If I’m really interested in a project, I will simply not sleep, just like in High School.
  • My time is precious and I should use “no” to guard it
  • Instead of approaching situations and thinking “I can’t do that because…”, I am approaching them with the attitude “I can do this – do I want to?”.

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  One Response to “Say yes less?”

  1. It was quite be accident that I emailed stating “you didn’t say no”. Now I kNOw why you asked if I had read this post!


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