TZL 1338 (web)

TRANSACT IONS GDS ASSOCIATES ANNOUNCES ACQUISITION OF EES CONSULTING GDS Associates, Inc. , an engineering and consulting firm in the electric utility industry, has announced its acquisition of EES Consulting, Inc. , an engineering and consulting firm based in Kirkland, Washington, that has been providing services to electric utilities on the West Coast for the past 30 years. Both companies provide engineering and consulting services predominately to public power electric utilities and this acquisition creates a combined nationwide presence. “GDS has been fortunate to know Gary Saleba for many years and EES is a wonderful addition to the GDS family, as both companies have similar skill sets, cultures, and visions for serving public power utilities,” stated GDS President David Brian. “With our combined expertise and service offerings, we look forward to creating a nationwide presence in the electric utility industry and expanding GDS services to existing and potential public power clients on the West Coast.”

Going forward, EES will operate as “EES Consulting, a GDS Associates Company” and current President Gary Saleba will continue to manage EES offices in Washington and Oregon. All existing EES employees are remaining in their current roles, with the additional benefit of offering clients extended capabilities, expertise, and resources from GDS skilled professionals nationwide. “I’m excited about the opportunity to merge EES with GDS which allows the EES personnel the ability to continue to do what they do best – provide high-quality services to our electric utility clients on the West Coast,” stated Saleba. “Our existing clients will continue to receive the same excellent, personal service EES has been known for, with the added benefit of having access to additional service offerings and experience of the GDS team.” GDS Associates is headquartered in Marietta, Georgia, with offices in Alabama, Florida, Maine, New Hampshire, Texas, and

Wisconsin. Since 1986, GDS has been a multi-service engineering and consulting firm providing services to a broad range of clients associated with, or affected by, electric, natural gas, water, and wastewater utilities. Services provided include power supply planning; wholesale and retail rates; regulatory and financial; transmission planning and NERC/ CIP compliance; distribution system planning and line design; DSM and energy efficiency; utility distribution services; natural gas; and other specialized services including renewable energy, sustainability, emerging smart infrastructure, data analytics, electrification, and DER integration. EES Consulting is a multidisciplinary management consulting firm providing a wide array of economic, engineering, and environmental services to clients in electric, natural gas, and water related businesses. Their offices are located in Kirkland, Washington, and Portland, Oregon.

TED RYAN, from page 3

Start by distinguishing between information, tasks, and events. Use a specific tool for each and don’t mingle them. There are many tools out there – choose your favorite. I use Todoist for tasks, Outlook calendar for events, and both OneDrive and Evernote for information. It’s very tempting and may seem efficient to use a calendar for both events and tasks, but don’t do it. The day I separated events and tasks from each other, my calendar was no longer full of nagging reminders of all the things I didn’t get done. My task management improved instantly by using a dedicated tool better suited to the purpose. ❚ ❚ Daily routines. Plan your day. Yeah, I know, you’re already thinking about why this won’t work. I too was skeptical at first. Why plan at all when I knew that the minute I walked in the door, I’d be thrown off? Consequently, my old habit was to show up to the office with a few critical tasks I knew I needed to tackle and meetings I needed to attend. Beyond that, I took the day as it came. I have discovered a far more effective strategy is to break up a day in half-hour chunks, and plan them out on paper. Fill those time slots, and include at least one longer period for a deep-work session. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll be able to stay on task. And if you don’t, that’s OK. There will always be a percentage of your day that gets rescheduled. Adjust as needed. Cross things out and reassign as you go, perfection is not the goal. The value of the plan is in forcing yourself to reconcile the time you have available and prioritize what must come first. You will see a shift in your daily productivity. We spend most of our life doing. How we go about the activities of our daily lives can contribute or take away our feelings of contentment. By putting energy into the power of habit, deep work, productivity tools, and daily scheduling, not only will you see immediate productivity gains, but you’ll turn them into lifelong gains. TED RYAN is an associate principal at PCS Structural Solutions, which provides structural engineering services to clients across markets. Ted can be reached at

my cue. The reward was the endorphin high gained from pointless surfing and clicking. What was ultimately successful for me was to change the routine. The cue was the same, but instead of pulling out my phone, I grabbed a book. Persistence was necessary but within a week or two I successfully replaced what I considered a bad habit with a good one. The reward? I now read an additional six to eight books per year. So, break the loop to interrupt bad habits, and create new loops for habits you want to add. ❚ ❚ Deep work. Newport describes deep work, as an “ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.” The nature of our work in the AEC industry requires us to perform cognitively demanding tasks for our clients. It’s important to note that these sessions of deep work can’t be created in 10-minute chunks. Newport argues that 90 minutes is a good session length for really digging in to a task. I agree and find that if I go past 90 minutes, I reach fatigue quickly. If I go for much less than 90 minutes, I don’t hit peak flow. To create high-productivity, deep-work time, set aside at least one period in a day – and no more than two – for your most demanding tasks. Remove distractions. You’ll be astonished at what you can do. ❚ ❚ Productivity tools. Productivity tools help us organize our tasks and get consistent results. Challies writes that there should be “a home for everything” and “like goes with like.” harnessing the power of habit, deep work, productivity tools, and daily scheduling, I’ve learned to direct my talents to maximum effect.” “The changes I’ve made have resulted in enduring and significant shifts in my professional and personal life. By

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THE ZWEIG LETTER March 30, 2020, ISSUE 1338

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