Iasi code camp 12 october 2013 personal organization - gabi csergo
Ordinary day… at home
You wake up late on a Monday morning as you forgot to
set the alarm the night before.
It was an “interesting” TV talk show about dogs on the
street and authorities not doing anything about it.
And you fell asleep on the couch after eating too much
chips and drinking tomato juice (you don’t even like it).
As in the past, you forgot to make sure there is good food
for the evening and it was too late to order some by the
time you got hungry at 10pm.
Actually, you wanted to see a nice movie recommended by
a friend, but you forgot the name of it and it was too late
to make a call.
Internet connection was down as nobody paid the last bill.
Your credit card was in the wallet forgotten in the jacket left
on your car’s backseat.
Of course, the car had been parked at your friend’s house.
It took a while to figure this out.
Ordinary day… at work (1/2)
You get into the office and head directly to the
meeting room for the Scrum started 10 minutes ago.
Another meeting is in the room so you lose a few
more minutes to get to the right one. Apparently you
missed the e-mail announcing the change. You arrive
at the end and start asking colleagues about what
they discussed to catch up, but still missed some
You get to your desk and start with Facebook, many
things happened since your last check on Friday
Ordinary day… at work (2/2)
Your TL waits for you to check-in the work did last week so
a new build could be made. In the mean time you verify
your e-mail – 10 new. Latest one is a newsletter and you
open two links. Meanwhile, your manager asks you on
Skype about your timesheet for last week that you didn’t
send on Friday. Your younger brother contacts you on
Messenger while the colleague next to you has a good
laugh on a cool YouTube video. You go to check it out and
then together you go to the kitchen to get some tea.
You suddenly remember the timesheet and go back to fill it
in. Of course, you bother two colleagues about the code
to be used for last Tuesday’s meeting. Your mobile starts
ringing, it’s your mother – there’s a big issue with Solitaire.
You’re stuck for 20 minutes!
Why personal organization? (1/5)
World of multi tasking:
Why personal organization? (2/5)
People can reach us on many different
Why personal organization? (3/5)
Complete a task
Think about other things
Prioritize in our head
Why personal organization? (4/5)
We are busy and we get a lot of distractions
Why personal organization? (5/5)
It is very important for growing in your career!
Being on time
Preparing meetings ahead
for recurrent reports/activities
Record everything you need to do
Use a notebook or an application (PC, phone)
Manage incoming tasks (1/2)
First of all you need to decide how often you
can receive new tasks
E-mail – always open vs checked from time to
What about Skype, Lync etc?
Do you always answer your phone?
Do you allow colleagues to interrupt you?
Manage incoming tasks (2/2)
Multitasking is not efficient, focus is the key!
hide taskbar, work full screen
use silent mode
use a meeting room etc.
Applying GTD workflow for e-mail
Empty inbox – prerequisite!
Inbox - a collection of new incoming work
Read e-mail from time to time
Create folders: Actions, Waiting, Reference,
Reference – store it if needed later or Delete
Quick things should be done on the spot – short
reply, forward, check
Delegate – move mail in Waiting
Defer – Move to Actions or Make an appointment
Create Project if it requires more actions
How to use your Calendar
Add all recurring activities
Add activities that usually are related to other
Add planned actions and reviews
Leave windows of unallocated time for review
incoming work, for unexpected things, to
move forward on list of Next actions
If multi step, it is a project
Index of projects - keep same structure in email, notes, files
Make note of how you will know it is complete
What are the next 1-2 actions that will move it
Before starting a difficult task,
move disruptions away
Clean your desk, focus on current work
Close or Stop notifications for Outlook, Skype,
Yahoo!, Facebook etc.
Go to a quite place or use a headset (silence
or classical baroque music)
You may inform colleagues
your are really busy
Review of incoming work
Review of projects
Review of the week
Review of the day
Review of your career (i.e. 6m)
An example: Vacation preparation
Get project approval for specific period
Get manager approval for specific period
Make request – paper/ system (if needed)
Inform colleagues & client
Check recurring activities in Calendar for the
vacation period (i.e. make TS in advance)
Set-up Out of Office reply
Plan your vacation
Links and books
David Allen, Getting Things Done® and
GTD® - www.davidco.com
Getting Things Done, David Allen
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,
Stephen R. Covey