Time Management for Software DevelopersPosted: 2010/08/04
I have an obsession about time management. I think that it is one of the most important skills we ought to have in the 21st century. Our life is speeding up exponentially, relatively because time flow is constant [ at least physics thinks so]. We have to do more in a shorter period of time. That’s why it is really important for us to use the time efficiently.
I am almost sure that you have a lot of things that you would like to do. There are books you want to read, films you want to watch, friends you want to meet, programs to write, blogs and more. What is preventing you from doing this things ? The Time. You even don’t know how much time you are wasting, which could be spent on those activities. With a proper mind shift and time management skill, you can squeeze the day and get every wasted second to work with you not against you. Of course this doesn’t apply only for you „life” this is also very important skill in your workplace. As Software developers we are always chasing the deadlines. Client is waiting, the manager is coming around asking the one and only question „When?”, you could say like 3D Realms Studio “When its done” but thats not the option. With great time management, can optimize your work and do a lot more things in a shorter time. That’s why it is a very important skill for managers. “But I m not a manager?” Yeah that’s right but developers should also learn this. Prioritizing tasks, knowing always what to do next, making estimations about time needed to get it done. It really helps. It helps you get better and efficient.
There are many books that you can read to learn. I can recommend „Getting things Done” that’s a really awesome book about this topic. Simple, easy to follow and great to read. There is also the “Getting Results Agile Way”. I found this site recently and the idea sounds uncomplicated and easy. Read these books and implement demonstrated concepts in your life, You will get a lot of time to “waste” but in a more organized manner.
Act Now !
A number of simple things that you can do to enhance your life right away!
1. Wasting time while waiting
You have to get to work, and that’s a horrible time waste. You can do different things to use lost time wisely. When I m going to work, by public transportation, I have my “Htc” with me, so I m always ready to write something useful. If you are moving by your own well there are audio books which you can listen to while driving.
2. Getting unconcentrated by the overwhelming information flow.
We are living in the information age. The multitude of things that want to get attention of our brain is overwhelming. We have problems with a focus. If you’re focused you’re working faster and efficient. Software engineer needs at least five minutes to get back to work after a short break. So what you should do? Turn everything that is making attention off. You want to focus on one precise assignment. If you have to program something turn off the browser with useless things and tell your friend on the communicator that you have a job to do You can do this stuff on your free time. That is rewarding in two ways. You will enjoy free time more because you don’t have to think about work, and you will work faster.
3. Multi Tasking
You are working on two, three projects and then a boss walks in with another one? Nowadays, We are bombarded by the massive information flow. You may think that “Hey, I m making multiple things at once this have to be efficient” , Well my friend you are wrong. Multitasking is not efficient. You shouldn’t do multiple different things at one time. We are most efficient when we are focused and concentrated on one task. We have to concentrate on one task, finish it and then move on to the another. Of course there are times that we have to multi-task but keep this at a minimum.
4. Automating Tasks
In this job, we are making a lot repetitive tasks. Everyone who developed something in “Sharepoint” knows what I m talking about. You should try to automate these tasks. Find a tool. There are many open source programs, which can help you in your everyday job.. www.github.com , www.codeplex.com , http://sourceforge.net/ . Or write a new tool. There are many areas where you can improve your job. Some of the great commercially available software tools started this way, just because someone wanted to do things faster,
Good Luck. And don’t give up time management will change your life.