Time Management

By October 29, 2011 Career No Comments

“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” – Peter Drucker

I’m quite busy at the moment, so just a quickie post this week. Ironically, the fact that I am and have been so busy provided an obvious subject matter choice!

Lots of people struggle with managing their time effectively. I’m ok with it generally since I have a more-or-less foolproof approach. I write a list.

Simple eh? Well yes – but the discipline is in the remembering and forcing yourself to do it when you’re so busy it feels like just another activity to add to your growing queue of things to do.

A typical list for me might look something like this (picked at random from my notepad – names have been changed to protect the innocent!)

# auto scripts for 2.1 release

# log bug – security criteria wrong way around on activate admin page

# re-test ***-672, ***-622, ***-620

# build 1.0.75 release & deploy to QA environment

# build 2.0.01 release & deploy to Capacity Test environment

# investigate QC OLE EOleSysError

# burning issues bullets for meetup

# etc etc

Once I’ve made a list, if I’m really busy, I might go the extra mile and prioritise it. So the above list then looks like this:

# auto scripts for 2.1 release [6]

# log bug – security criteria wrong way around on activate admin page [2]

# re-test ***-672, ***-622, ***-620 [3]

# build 1.0.75 release & deploy to QA environment [1]

# build 2.0.01 release & deploy to Capacity Test environment [4]

# investigate QC OLE EOleSysError [5]

# burning issues bullets for meetup [7]

# etc etc

Once I’ve done this, I’m pretty much setup for the day, since I know exactly what I need to do, and in what order I need to do it. If I strike off each item in the list as I do it, then it helps me feel as though I’m actually making some progress, which can be immeasurably important during those times where you’re trying to keep numerous plates spinning and often not seeing the progress you’d like. Even if I only get one item checked off, at least I know I still made some progress!

What do you do to manage your time?

- Simon

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