Posts Tagged productivity

Dec 30 2009

Missing a deadline is always the developer’s fault

Often projects just slip away of a developer’s hand, in all situations is always the developer’s fault. Strange ? Maybe not, lets recap some 101 in client expectations management, negotiation is the keyword here.

1. Deadline agreement

Situation 1: A client defines what want’s for a specific delivery date, you as a developer is given the option to accept the job or not.

Situation 2: A client defines the project scope for a specific milestone, you as a developer propose the deadline for the given project scope.

2. Changes request

Situation 1: A client demands a change to the initial assignment, you as a developer is given the choice to accept or not, in case of acceptance you can negotiate the new terms, meaning a new deadline or a reduced project scope in order to achieve the deadline.

You may always opt to not enter in any negotiation process, but in this case you are agreeing with all client requests without changing your deadline.

So, at the end, it’s always the developer’s fault!

Aug 2 2009

Increase your productivity by killing time wasting tasks

As part of my “Productivity Series”, i started by helping you to get you productivity back on “Tips for getting your productivity back“, then switched to explain how could you optimise some of your tasks to get your work done on “Tips for getting things done“, now it’s time to explain where should you cut wasted time.

1. Turn off your blog readings at work

Remove the blog reading from your working hours, or at least, read the blogs that you are used too into the bottom of you daily pipeline, reading the blogs at the beginning of the day will make you unfocused.

2. Avoid usage of instant messaging

Use of instant messaging during work schedule will kill every productivity that you could have, if you won’t believe on it, just keep track of every IM interactions that you have during the week, the results will be obvious.

3. Restrict meetings

Meet only when you can’t handle the subject by email or phone, meeting are the foremost time expensive way in every company. If you really need to have a meeting, just schedule the meeting to the begin of the day, or near lunch time, do not break your day into half!

There are plenty more tasks where you are wasting your time, in order to identify them, just keep a daily time log.

Jul 27 2009

3 Tips for getting things done

Do you ever felt that as more as you work, more you will leave behind ? There are a some hints, that i use for myself that could help you to change that.

1. Write down your goals

Grab a notepad, or even a simple piece and write them down. This way you will keep your goals in front of your head, remove the goal form the list when is done. Make short list, in order to get you motivated by seeing the bottom of it.

2. Commit with your goals

Talk about your goals with someone, make a commitment, ensure that you would like to avoid to later one admit that you failed. Committing to someone else will enforce you to make the extra push needed sometimes to finish the goals.

3. Track your goals timely

Add your goals on a spreadsheet or draw a line graph by hand, ensure that you will be able to see the progress of the achievement of your goals on a timely basis, lets say weekly, monthly, quarterly. This will help you to overpass a fail situation and push you forward on next defined goals. A simple spreadsheet with % of achievements will make the work.

Extra Tip: 4. Reward yourself

Define a reward for yourself, as a price for finishing the defined goals. Think on something that you feel like doing, a go out plan, a lunch or a dinner with a friend, something simpler as a 2 hours riding a bike over the weekend. As an human being will work better if there is a reward at the end, is the extra motivational factor. Do you ever saw an horse at the end of a race? Do you ever noticed the sugar that he receives ? That is called motivator!

The secret is simple: WRITE -> COMMIT -> TRACK -> REWARD

My advice for whatever you do is to track down every goals, or actions that you’ll need to, is the only way to measure the success or not, and in the future, historical data will help you to get your goals more realistic.

Do you have any secret tips ?

Jul 17 2009

4 Tips for getting your productivity back

Do you ever felt that you are doing less work than you used to do a few time ago? I felt like this, when i got back from a vacations period!

So i self-imposed some rules, to get back on track.

1. Start early

Is less probable to have interruptions on the beginning of the day than later. People usually gets into work and reads the news, checks their Facebook profiles, and a huge amount of other personal tasks, so is more likely that on the first hours of your working day you get no, or few, interruptions from your co-workers.

2. Put first things first

Always start your day with the most important task for the day, is more likely that your more productive time of day is when you start working, and you have less distractions or interruptions.

3. Put your headphones on

If you have your headphones set, people will only interrupt you if the subject is really important or urgent, otherwise they will send you an email, allowing you to prioritize response times.

4. Turn your email client your ally

By transforming your email client into your best friend you will be able to spend less time reading your emails.
Create filters based on priority, usually received emails from some persons, or some company departments, are more likely to need a quick answer than others. Create filters to help you spending the time where you need to during the day.
Filters like “Critical – NOW”, “Urgent – 4 Hours”, “Normal – Today”, “Low – This week”, will help you to only look into what really maters each time.

What do you do in order to keep you levels of productivity high ?