Time Management for Software Developers

With a wide professional experience behind, our CEO Vitaly Nikulenka reveals the essential fundamentals of time management. R-Style Lab’s Management advice will put a twist on your working routine, teaching how to pick up the pace, master the working process and get the things done. Start applying these useful tips and feel the immediate results.

 1. Use the Eisenhower Matrix:

a) Evaluate and place your tasks according to the classic scheme.

Eisenhover matrix

b) Address the most important and urgent issues in the first instance

c) Plan beforehand and allocate more time for important tasks:

  • List all the tasks you have to complete
  • Plan in advance to spend enough time on them
  • Look at the calendar and assign as much time as possible to urgent and important tasks

d) There are issues which take less than 5 minutes. They are few, though they keep emerging from time to time. Do them on a first priority basis. If it takes less than 5 minutes to resolve the task, do it and pass on to the next item on your list.

e) Keep 20-30% of your working time for unexpected tasks which might arise and you’ll have to address them urgently.

f) Developers had better stay focused on the task they are engaged in. Many complex tasks require deep involvement, ultimate concentration and thorough reflection. Taking mind off the problem, you lose track and have to spend time to jump in again. Allocate substantial spans of time to solve big tasks and focus on them only.

Every 2-3 hours you need a break. Have a stroll round the office; have a smoke if you smoke. Interesting, but many technical issues are actually resolved in the smoking room. People like to discuss burning issues there, that’s a very popular meeting point.

2. Use software products to stay organized, for example, Google calendar, GQueues or anything of the kind.

You’ll get secure integration across all the mobile devices and your desktop. The calendar can be shared with other people. It can be integrated with the corporate calendar as well.

a) Write down all the tasks (meeting or events) into the calendar.

b) Prioritize.

c) Set early reminders. It is best to set up at least 2 reminders: one – in a day or two and another one – just before the event.

3. Use Task Manager for your tasks.

a) Create a hashtag – a short name, a colon and the task itself. The name before the colon helps sort things out and tag similar items.

b) Prioritize.

c) Start a new day with checking the task list.

d) Regularly check what has already been done.

e) Plan your next day either in the evening or early in the morning.

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