How I Manage My Time At Work

Rachel Soderberg on February 10, 2019

I have been working professionally as a Software Developer for about 9 months now and in that time I've had many opportunities to evaluate my proce... [Read Full]
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Good ideas and techniques. But I could not imagine having to spend 3 hours of my day, every day, travelling for work.

 

It isn't so bad when you use the time for things you wouldn't otherwise make time for. Once I get home I'm dealing with all the things I do there and at work I try to stay on task, so my long commute has actually become a serene little chunk of "me time" that I've grown to love. :)

It's also temporary, thankfully, because I do also miss having the extra time to do other things (and not get up so early!) When I moved to my new state and got this job, it all happened so quickly and we found the apartment before I was offered the job, so the location didn't end up being optimal. Once the lease is up I'll be moving closer to work so the commute will be much less.

 

I drive 15 minutes to work, and even I'm dreading the commute most days. I look forward to the day when the old school mindset of "bodies in seats" is gone and people embrace remote / result-oriented work more often.

 

Maybe ask about working from home one day a week. Some people enjoy the lack of distractions and no commute, but others like to physically go to work to get out the house and get in the right mindset for work.

It may be an option one day, but for now I need to be physically in-office everyday. My company has a policy that requires one year of employment with them before an employee is able to do any remote work.

 

I struggled for years with the kanban structures at tech companies. There's a basic problem: the unit of the board is not of fixed size. If it's a doable task, then where to the projects and ends that it's part of get tracked? If it's projects and ends, then where is my actual todo list? And then you realize that some projects have lots of subparts and some have three actions to be done.

I've also been running a Getting Things Done system for a couple decades as well, and I've basically gone back to a hierarchical todo list that I work down.

The funny thing is that actual kanban in industrial settings doesn't work this way at all. It was completely misunderstood when brought over to software. In manufacturing, you have a series of work stations with different machines. You want to optimize for producing the right things in the shortest amount of time (which is not the same as optimizing keeping all the work stations busy). So if you need a finished product X, you write out a card for X and hand it to the last workstation to produce X...if they don't have too many cards already (to limit work in progress). They write a kanban card for each upstream step and pass them to the upstream stations, who keep going back until you get a kanban card for parts or raw materials to be ordered or fetched from storage. Then the cards are attached to the output of each stage as it moves back down. Since each stage can only take a certain number of cards, you intrinsically limit the amount of unfinished inventory.

 
 

Brilliant tips! Will look to try The Pomodoro Technique :D

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