Saturday, December 26, 2009

First steps to effective time management

This is important to manage your time effectively, right?

For me, as for the highly addicted to emails person, I found it very important to optimize my time for emailing back and forth. Truth to be told, I never managed to use the "silent hours", when no email is accessed. I'm pretty connected all the time (except for some very rare occasions) so dropping this communication channel intentionally never sounded like a good plan for me.

However, within the time, I feel that this distracts me more and more. So I decided to review my emailing habits and find out if there is any reasonable time limits that I can incorporate into my daily schedule. What is more important, I was looking for a good excuse for setting a strict hours with absolutely no email access.

So the research comes first. I've started with a quick Ruby script to retrieve the date & time of messages in my Sent mailbox.

Here is the direct link to it:

This script gives me the CSV form of hour of the day and emails sent during this hour. I don't have a huge number of emails on with my current Gmail account, so it did work well for me in the way it is.

The next step is building a visual representation of these numbers. This is how it looks like for me:

Here is the direct link to it:

Well, what can I say now. This creates a potentially different issue for me.

This chart does not look very disordered to me. But it looks busy. I feel that I can squeeze two-three hours into one. This sounds like a good idea, because the most of these things are unlikely to be important to get an answer the same minute or even hour. Say, a slack of two-three hours might be okay. Keeping in mind that they most of my contacts have my emergency contact.

However, I still feel like this is something I might want to do gradually. By cutting one piece at a time. And probably I'll be starting with the very early and very late hours first.

# Posted via email from opportunity__cost