Last week, Andrew Wilt and I were working side-by-side. During a break in the daily grind, we decided to discuss time management. Time management seems to be one of those things we all have to deal with, and I had recently swapped tips and tricks with my peers. Since both of us have previously written blog posts about time management, we felt like the ideas were a step in the right direct, but they could benefit from some revision. So, Andrew and I had that discussion.
As the world is becoming more dependent on global partners, teams are joining forces with employees from around the world. To keep pace with the rapidly changing industry, companies are utilizing management strategies like Scrum, DevOps, and DevSecOps to increase productivity and communication. This left many remote teams in the dark... until now. Meet the new “distributed scrum team.”
I just finished rereading Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time, by Jeff Sutherland. When I finished, I suggested the book to both my son James and my apprentice at Sustainable Evolution, Andrew Wilt. They both LOVED it. Andrew was enthused enough to suggest we start running weekly sprints and daily standups. In the coming weeks, I will write a book review and he will add his thought in a Scrum blog piece. I’m sure we will have follow-up posts as we move forward with this pilot and adopt this approach to working together. Since Andrew lives in one state and me in another, we will have to use technology to close the gaps.
Near the beginning of 2016, I blogged about this year being a Leap Year. I suggested that with planning, I would be able to leverage that extra day to review the trajectory of my year and do any course correction needed to meet my yearly goals. To do this, I need to know what my goals for the year are and what my plan to get there looks like. The key areas I mentioned in the blog post were day-to-day time management, work back schedule, goal construction, and milestones. I’m reporting back on how I did with those areas and how I did with my extra day.
William Porter lost his job at the First National Bank of Austin in 1894 for accusations of embezzlement. In 1896, when a federal case opened against him, he changed trains on his way to the courthouse and fled the country. Porter returned to Austin a year later when his wife was too sick to meet him in Honduras. Upon his return, he surrendered to the court and started serving his five-year sentence shortly after his wife’s death. As a licensed pharmacist, Porter took on the duty as a night druggist at the prison hospital where he also continued pursuing his life’s passion: writing. During his time in prison, he began publishing short stories under a pen name—the household name we all know him by today: O. Henry.
Twice a year, Bill Gates disconnects from reality in order to reconnect with (and redefine) his goals. During each one-week break, Gates travels into the woods of the Pacific Northwest where he dives into papers written by the Microsoft community. He scribbles notes, maps out ideas, and writes summaries for executives. There are no interruptions (besides a caretaker who provides two meals per day and a steady stream of Diet Orange Crush), no employees, friends, or family to accompany Bill; even his wife stays at home. This is a time of deep thought, reflection, and goal creation, and has been responsible for many Microsoft innovations.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of working with a team that focused on chasing and being chased, and trying to limit the amount both team members have to do. In business, you rely on other people to provide you something so you can do your job, and others rely on you to provide something to somebody else so they can finish their job. Hence, chasing and being chased.
Time is not money, time is life. Unlike money, we can’t get more of it by working harder, we can only learn how to better manage the time we have.
My grandfather, like most grandfathers, has about three favorite stories he manages to work into every conversation we have. In his story about working in the corporate world in the 1960s he ends it by saying this: if you don’t plan your day, someone will do it for you.
You know, if I just had time I would blog, or exercise, or take long walks, or be able to work 40 hours a week. Sound familiar? Time management is a challenging area for most of us and it’s something we don’t want to think about when it comes to our personal life and when engaging with friends. But in the business environment it is a must-have tool for your tool kit.