This question came from LinkedIn:

“I suppose I’d like to know how to manage your time, both tracking your hours to your employer and time management for myself.”

My number one tip for tracking your hours: get a stack of post-its.

Let’s pretend you’re working from Oslo, Norway, or Porto, Portugal .  Your team lead/boss is in Chicago.  But, the rest of your team is scattered across California.

On your post-it, make room for 3 columns: Where you are, where your boss is, and what you want to do. So in this example, it would be “Porto”, “Chi”, and “Task”.  Put the time you start through the time you finish work in the “Porto” column.  Convert the time that it will be in Chicago, and add it to that column.  Put the task you want to accomplish in each column.  Typically I’ll only put the big stuff, like “Daily Stand” and “Update Tickets” and “Submit PR”.

{I have to run to the market, but I’m going to update this with a photo of the post-it this afternoon.}

My second tip: Always post time-related status updates in the time zone that your boss is in. For example, when I’m working abroad, I post my time is CST because my team lead is in CST.

Don’t say you’re going to dinner; people tend to hesitate to communicate with you because they assume you’re winding down for the day.  Just say you’re going to grab food, or taking your lunch break.

My third tip: document your time in Slack, or whatever other team-collaboration tools you use for work.  For example, when I get in, I might do something like:

HOUR 1 [3-4] Check email, catch up on Slack conversations I missed, update tickets, update PTO, Review at least 1 PR, Finish ticket #1111

HOUR 2 [4-5] Finish ticket #1111

HOUR 3 [5-6] Deploy to staging, run all of the tests, submit PR, update ticket, start a new ticket

HOUR 4 [6-7] LUNCH

And then after lunch, update my time in slack after.

I hope that helps! If you need more productivity tips, and you happen to be on Twitter:

 

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