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Time Management For Grumpy Programmers

Chris Hartjes
February 04, 2017

Time Management For Grumpy Programmers

Slides of a talk on time management strategies I gave at SunshinePHP 2017

Chris Hartjes

February 04, 2017

More Decks by Chris Hartjes

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  1. Time Management For Grumpy Programmers Chris Hartjes SunshinePHP 2017 https://joind.in/talk/31298

  2. Who Am I? Long-time PHP user Testing advocate Verified Twitter

    User Life-balance champion Semi-organized
  3. What do people REALLY mean when they start talking about

    “Time Management”
  4. “I want to get stuff done.”

  5. “I have too much to do”

  6. “I want control of my life.”

  7. – WikiPedia “Time management is the act or process of

    planning and exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency or productivity.”
  8. “Doing what you can with the time you have.”

  9. “Getting Things Done” by David Allen “Time Management For Anarchists”

    by Jim Monroe
  10. The Grumpy Time Management System 1. Work from finish to

    start 2. You can never “create more time” 3. Do fewer things but do them better
  11. Let’s use this talk as an example of the system

    in action
  12. Work from finish to start I knew when I had

    to give the talk …and I know how long it takes me to write one… …so I picked a completion date
  13. “I knew when I had to give the talk…” Open-ended

    tasks destroy productivity Create your own deadlines if necessary
  14. “I knew when I had to give the talk…” Put

    future events in your calendar You WILL forget important things so reduce the risk
  15. “So what goes in my calendar?”


  17. “What goes in my calendar?” Meetings at work Activities with

    my kids Down-time with my wife Hobbies
  18. Putting things in my calendar reduces the stress I feel

    about what I do
  19. I added the conference to my calendar

  20. None
  21. Resolved to finish the talk before I left for the

  22. “…and I know how long it takes me to write

    one…” Learn your work pace Break down tasks to the smallest bit Don’t lie to yourself!
  23. Impossible to estimate tasks if you don’t know your own

    pace per unit of work
  24. Talk Creation Work Pace Usually takes me 1 hour to

    create my talk outline Usually takes me 4-5 hours to create slides
  25. 6 hour estimate for the talk

  26. Break Tasks Down Be brutally honest with yourself Rely on

    past experience to drive timelines Stop when you can’t break it down any more
  27. “…and I know how long it takes me to write

    one…” Leave room for mistakes Do the work in blocks Don’t overextend!
  28. Leave room for mistakes You will make many mistakes You

    will need to take breaks Don’t be a hero
  29. Do the work in blocks Helps you learn your work

    pace Allows pauses for rewards Stick to the blocks, don’t rush ahead!
  30. Don’t overextend By figuring out blocks, you can schedule actions

  31. “…so I set aside time on my calendar to work

    on it” Added in 6 1-hour blocks of time… …and got to work creating this talk
  32. That’s really it

  33. That’s really it (Not really)


  35. Learn it or you will be forever overworked and under-appreciated

  36. “Creating time”

  37. “I’ll make some time for that”

  38. “I’ll do that when I have some time”

  39. “You can make more money but you can’t make more

  40. The Truth About Time We all get the same 168

    hours per week We all make choices about what to do with our time
  41. “We’re not winners or losers, we’re choosers”

  42. Using my calendar for everything showed me what I was

    actually doing
  43. Taking control of your time is the best thing you

    can do for your career and your mental health
  44. “Do fewer things better”

  45. None
  46. Warning Signs You Need To Do Less Work “I always

    have killer deadlines” “My brain needs me to keep busy” “I’m afraid I am going to get fired”
  47. Nobody is the villain of their own time management story

  48. Doing less work and concentrating on doing better leads to

    better outcomes
  49. We don’t “rise to the occasion” We “fall back to

    our skill level"
  50. Almost done

  51. Time management hacks!

  52. There aren’t any.

  53. Anyone that says that is just moments away from trying

    to sell you something.
  54. The 4-Day Work Week “Hack”

  55. The 4-Day Work Week “Hack” Interview and get a job

    offer with a 20% raise Tell employer “I want to stay but only work 4 days a week for the same money” Either you get an extra day or extra money
  56. The Grumpy Time Management System 1. Work from finish to

    start 2. You can never “create more time” 3. Do fewer things but do them better
  57. “But Chris…”

  58. “…how can I learn ‘discipline’ to do this?”

  59. “…my workplace is chaotic and new requests come in all

    the time!”
  60. “…how do I co-ordinate things with others who don’t do

  61. “…aren’t there times you have to reschedule events?”

  62. Thank you and enjoy the other talks http://grumpy-learning.com @grmpyprogrammer https://joind.in/talk/31298