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The Balanced Calendar: How to optimize your time (DOES17 SFO)


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Are you losing precious time trapped in meeting misery? Lack of time to get real work done or simply think contributes to unhappy employees and follow-on poor performance. A look at four key metrics can help. In this talk, Dominica shares an experiment to help you get buy-in to optimize your calendar.

Published in: Technology
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The Balanced Calendar: How to optimize your time (DOES17 SFO)

  1. 1. The Balanced Calendar How to optimize your time Dominica DeGrandis
  2. 2. @dominicad
  3. 3. Agenda § Address the too-many-meetings complaint § Provide some ways for you to optimize your time § How to get buy in from the boss to do so @dominicad
  4. 4. @dominicad
  5. 5. The all day cram The 30 minute jam The triple booked wham
  6. 6. The 30 minute jam 10 meetings a day - perpetual stop and go - exacerbates context switching @dominicad
  7. 7. Back-to-back 7am to 7pm meetings leave zero flexible time § no room for unexpected important urgent work § disappointed people § cancelled meetings (how often cancelled?) § How much time is wasted rescheduling meetings? The all day cram
  8. 8. A canceled meeting creates rework – which has a cost The triple booked wham
  9. 9. 3 Calendar solutions 1. Maker calendar: Creative people (developers, designers, writers) 2. Manager calendar: Decision makers 3. Combo calendar: People who do both Each type of schedule serves its purpose - except when they collide One reason developers dislike meetings so much is because they're on a different schedule.
  10. 10. Ultradium cycles: brain naturally gets lull in concentration every 90 – 120 min when awake b/c brain wave frequencies rise, then sink. Maker calendar
  11. 11. Unstructured time after dept meetings Manager calendar Upper mgt is in a position to make everyone meet at their frequency. But if they know ppl working for them need long chunks of time, they can arrange calendar to accommodate prime maker time mgrs meet w/ other mgrs during prime maker time
  12. 12. Combo calendar - before
  13. 13. @dominicad Combo calendar - after D1 D1 D1 D1
  14. 14. 3 Interruption busters to help you optimize time 1. Pomodoros 2. Do Not Disturb hours 3. Office hours
  15. 15. @dominicad Pomodoros Break down work into time- boxed intervals separated by short breaks. Set timer for 25 or 30 min and work to finish your task until timer rings. Pomodoros provide intense focus time. a time saving technique introduced by Francesco Cirillo, author of The Pomodoro Technique
  16. 16. @dominicad Do-not-disturb hours Set a regular cadence to let people know when you are available and when you are not available.
  17. 17. @dominicad Office hours A regular cadence of office hours signals times when people can schedule time on your calendar, or drop by for important discussions.
  18. 18. @dominicad “But that won’t work here.”
  19. 19. “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say “no” to almost everything.” ~Warren Buffett
  20. 20. @dominicad
  21. 21. How to get buy-in from the boss Measure at least one metric trend in 4 different areas. § How fast § How productive § How good § How predictable Troy Magennis team dashboard - based on work by Larry Maccherone “It’s relatively easy to game a single metric. It’s important to measure the impact of change in one metric by showing the other metrics.” ~ Troy Magennis
  22. 22. @dominicad Look at Flow time Balanced Flow chart exercise – How Fast?
  23. 23. @dominicad Look at Throughput Balanced Flow chart exercise – How productive?
  24. 24. Balanced Flow chart exercise – How good? Look at Quality change failure rate (CFR) % of done FD items total # of done items
  25. 25. Consider the 90th percentile to discuss the probability of finishing work within so many days. 90th percentile filtered for business requests Balanced Flow chart exercise – How predictable? 90th percentile: value for which 90% of the data points are smaller & 10% are bigger
  26. 26. If your end-to-end workflow network isn’t connected, is there any point in optimizing one particular area? It’s hard to discover bottlenecks with sparse visibility on work across disconnected systems.
  27. 27. @dominicad DevOps Workshops Location: Imperial Ballroom A Mon: 4:10 - 5:10 pm Tue: 1:40 - 2:40 pm Max capacity 100 (FIFS)
  28. 28. 1. Try the interruption busters: Pomodoros, Office hours, DND hours. 2. Consider the balanced Flow chart experiment to improve. Call to action – Experiment for a balanced calendar
  29. 29. Connect with me! Subject: DOES17 FLOW Email: Website: @dominicad therealdominicad /in/dominicadegrandis