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Business
Time Management Methodology
25 March 2019
by Daniel-Jean Simard

INTRODUCTION

Our life is overflowed with things to do … at work, we’re bombarded with new tasks to execute … projects must be kept in line. On top of that, just like sprinkles on a cupcake, we have meetings, seminars, training and god knows what else is thrown at us. All this need to be controlled … but how? … by applying a Time Management Methodology to all this chaos.

If you were to look at your appointment calendar from the last few weeks… how many times did you say something like “I’m sorry for being late”, “Can you give me an additional 10 minutes?”, and so on. Why do we always have to run and push and postpone what we do? …

Glad you ask because that’s where the Time Management Methodology comes into play.

(Quick note: This document is by no mean a training on the methodology but a high-level description so that you can understand the essence. Also, this is one version of a Time Management Methodology and there are several out there following different approaches with different flavours. You are free to pick and choose and even combine.)

 

WHAT

Good question! What IS a Time Management Methodology? Well it’s what keeps our lives, our projects, our journey under control which directly influences and enhances your Time Estimation which is a methodology described in a previous post.

But now, you are probably telling yourself while reading this that you do manage your time correctly and life is pretty much perfect, and all is well.

Let’s discover if that is the case, shall we.

 

WHEN

Pretty much with everything, but when you combine it with a “Time Estimation Methodology” which we talked about in a previous article, and your AGILE and SCRUM projects, you get an increase in coordination.

 

HOW

So how come that as professionals who live and breathe stress and deal with important decisions, we can’t manage our time.  The reason is that we do not apply certain principals which, when you think about it, are nothing new or out of the ordinary but for some reason we do not take them into consideration.

This document is to describe a methodology that is applicable to manage your calendar, whether being your professional or personal life; however, some of those principals are applicable for your Project Scheduling, you Staffing, your Overall Organization and also can be applied, as stated to your personal life, but we have chosen to focus on the Business Aspects only for this document.

As already mentioned, this is not meant to be a course so do keep that in mind. The goal here is to bring the concepts to you so that, if you choose to do so, apply it in your own management.

Let us describe what you should take into consideration when you manage your time through three levels:

 

BASICS – which are just the minimal items you should keep in mind;

INTERMEDIATE – which are items to add to your schedule in order to minimize delays;

ADVANCED – which is the final goal to get to in order to fully manage your time.

 

Keep in mind though that one is not exclusive or dependent of the other. You don’t have to apply all aspects or follow any sequence to gain better Time Management.

Again, you will see us referring to the GOLDEN RULES, well that’s just a term to refer to a best practice based on Emyode’s experience in the field.

 

BASICS

OK so let’s begin with the basics:

 

GOLDEN RULES

  • Apply the equivalent of 1 HOUR per DAY spread throughout the day (no matter if you work 7, 7.5- or 8-hour days). You don’t block any of this on your calendar since they are not scheduled; just keep it in mind.

 

 

GOLDEN RULES

  • Add all your dailies to your Schedule the same way as you would for a meeting for example. This would be like a Daily E-mail Catch Up, Daily Status Reporting, Lunch, etc.  Estimate the time you need and block them in your calendar.

 

INTERMEDIATE

PRE- AND POST-: We all know that there’s something Before and After everything we do, so why aren’t we taking it into consideration? When scheduling a meeting, a lunch, a trip, etc. it is important to take into account the tasks which needs to happen before and the ones which will happen after.

Now you wonder, what are Pre- and Post-, so let’s go over the list right now:

PRE-:

 

GOLDEN RULES

  • Typically, the base rule is to add 15 minutes and you identify it as is in your calendar.

 

 

GOLDEN RULES

Make sure of the following:

  • Always ROUND-UP.
  • Consider the Time of Day of travel. Using Google Map to see how long it would take to make it to your destination by looking it up during the time period of your meeting.
  • Add time to GET TO your car, the bus, etc. You don’t just appear by magic.

 

POST-:

 

GOLDEN RULES

  • Typically, the base rule is to add 15 minutes and you identify it as is in your calendar.

 

 

GOLDEN RULES

Make sure of the following:

  • Always ROUND-UP.
  • Consider the Time of Day of travel. Using Google Map to see how long it would take to make it to your destination by looking it up during the time period of your meeting.
  • Add time to GET TO your car, the bus, etc.

 

ADVANCED

If you’ve been able to stay and read this all the way to the Advanced section, well it means that you’re ready.  So, I hope you’re sitting down because the big reveal is …

 

GOLDEN RULES

Follow the basic Risk Estimation:

  • NONE – so nothing is added
  • LOW – add 15%
  • MEDIUM – add 20%
  • HIGH – add 25%

And then round up to the nearest 15-minute increment.

 

CONCLUSION

As stated before, the Time Management Methodology is independent of any project methodologies (such as Waterfall, Scrum, Lean, Agile and so on). It is meant to be a better way of managing your time, personally and professionally, and again, let us restate that this is not an “All or Nothing”.  You can pick and choose certain aspects to test and try out and see if you’ll get to see your stress go down.

Overall ALWAYS remember that “YOU manage the Methodology; the Methodology does not manage YOU”.

Until next time!

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