Divide and Conquer

A few days ago I wrote about getting up early and getting stuff done (link).

After giving this a some more thought I figured out that there’s something else going on as well.

Getting up early and working during the quiet hours in the morning is not the only thing helping me be productive.

The other factor is having limited time.

The fact is that I have to make breakfast, shower and get out of the door for work on time. This means that my time has a hard limit put on it and I have to plan what I do accordingly.

I’ve noticed that each morning I try to pick a single task to focus on. This can be researching some new tech, or fixing a bug or implementing a new feature. Because my time is so limited, it’s much easier to estimate what task would fit into that time.

So, why does this work so well for me?

It forces me to break down features and bugs into smaller pieces that can be completed in about ninety minutes.

During a normal work day I don’t have these little units of time with hard limits and it’s much easier to just keep on going.

I’m going to undertake an experiment at work to slice my time into small units with hard time limits on them and see if it helps me to be more productive during a sprint.

I'd love to hear your questions and comments on this article! Mention @ariejan on twitter or shoot me an email.

About Ariejan

Hey! I'm a software engineer building rock solid back-end systems using Ruby, Ruby on Rails and Golang. In my free time I like to repair audio equipment, play the piano and experiment with electronics.