Why important? • Can be overwhelming especially for new managers! • Time management is a constant challenge for all EMs interviewed on managersclub.com “What’s your work day like and how do you manage your time, emails, etc.?”
enough time…. Everyone has the same amount of time (even other managers) • Manager’s schedule vs maker's schedule, article by Paul Graham • Be really conscious of how you manage other people’s time. • What we can learn from computers
for fires. Priority one: Can I unblock anyone or another team? • Work toward acting on an email when you read it – delegate it, reply to it, trash it, etc. • 80/20 rule. • Turn off all email alerts. • If you can, only review a few times a day at fixed intervals. Block time for communications. Keep this time sacred.
you, or where you are named ◦ From manager or manager’s manager ◦ From team(s) and peers ◦ With “Action Required” or Invite to Edit or Comment ◦ Code Reviews, Alerts, Outages, etc. ◦ Automated emails and newsletters -> File • Last resort declare email bankruptcy
• Scan calendar first thing, which meetings can I skip, cancel, etc.? • Defrag calendar • Schedule like items together, e.g. 1:1’s but not more than 3 • Themes by day of week, e.g. Monday 1:1s, Tuesdays on Project A • Defensive calendaring; avoid temptation to over schedule your day • Plan breaks for unplanned work and add (do not schedule) DNS blocks. • Prep for meetings 1 day in advance
as learning opportunity. • Declare a no meeting day, e.g. No Meeting Weds • Color code your calendar for easy scanning • Set meetings with your future self to get work done, or to check in with people. 2+ weeks out.
80% of time • Learn to love meetings! • Running effective meetings is super important • Action items, agendas, meeting notes, etc. “If there are no notes and AI, then meeting never happened.” • End early and return time to people! • Keep short (Parkinson's Law) • Laptops down. Notice how many people are paying attention. • Send surveys after meetings to improve them. • “Meeting in writing” e.g. use Google docs
1-3 items. • To-Do lists and apps are very popular • They do not have a sense of time so instead put items on calendar • Create checklists, daily and weekly so things don’t slip through the cracks • Pro-tip a Personal Kanban Board!
and things get busy or plan it out night before. • Or “Work 1 late night” e.g., stay late on Mondays to get week off to strong start and build momentum • Think what is the most important thing I can do, or that no one else can do or is able to do • Exercise and meditation to keep energy • Study and learn using audiobooks while driving or commuting
e.g. TextExpander • Leave your desk and book a conference room to work with focus, e.g. writing perf reviews • Most productive 2-4 hours after waking up. Don’t squander with e.g admin stuff, routine staff meeting, etc. Use it for deep, creative work work. Avoid getting sucked into email and calendar first thing. • Capture system. Get things out of your head it’s stress inducing. (GTD). I carry a paper notebook and Evernote.