WeekNote 2020 W05 #

A slight increase in focus time from last week, but still notably below start of the month.


A slight increase in focus time from last week, but still notably below start of the month.

PomoDoneAnalysis week 2020-W05
  • Monday was a combination of pre-meeting and meeting about resolving some workplace issues, and further impact of the minor health issue
  • Thursday had a couple of notable non-productive highlights. In particular quite a long time crafting an email to some senior colleagues around a compliance issue so that the wording was “just right”
  • Friday in particular suffered from a lot of operational issues covering for a team member who was on leave

Looking at the cumulative results over the last 5 weeks, it looks like the ratio of “focus time” to “total work time” is asymptotic to about 70%.

Ratio of focus time to working time, 2020 weeks 1-5

This is probably a good time to document the standards I am trying to adopt in terms of how I am (in practice) classifying time in this experiment. Please note this is about practical measurement and not any kind of attempt to match to contracted hours (like most people I do more than those).

Total work timeFrom when I arrive in the office to when I leave, or when working from home, approximate start and end times of my work session(s)
Excluded from total work timeAny break away from the workplace for more than the time it takes to go across the road to buy lunch (I eat at my desk mostly). So if I take extra time to go to the shops, or some kind of appointment that gets excluded.
Focus timeStuff that I can attach to an output-generating activity. Meetings that are about moving a project forward through co-construction or decision-making. Coaching meetings with team members. Planned handling of emails etc (e.g. morning triage). I include the Pomodoro breaks within this figure (e.g. on standard intervals 5 mins every interval, 20 mins every 4 intervals - the time recorded is the actual break so if I cut a break short that doesn’t inflate the result)
Non-focus timeBy definition stuff that doesn’t get recorded. Refreshment breaks outside of the Pomodoro breaks.. General ad-hoc checking of email or messages, ad-hoc conversations. Meetings that are mostly about progress reporting rather than co-construction or decision-making.

In practice the last category will be over-stated - often because I forgot to switch on a timer.

Other highlights

Starting Phase 2 of our work to provide online interaction that is much more responsive to customer interests. Another example of how a prior meeting had missed a key point because one of the main stakeholders was away. So often it’s about making sure the right conversations happen.

Working with a different set of colleagues teasing out the value proposition of a new service we might offer.

And lightbulb moment of the week - after realising that the planned rework of our Dynamics 365 stack was not moving anywhere near fast enough, we can give our users a much better experience (and stay inside some hard deadlines from Microsoft) by putting a new Unified Interface app on top of the existing customisations. A first alpha was in front of one key group within a day.

Julian Elve
Proactive application of technology to business

My interests include technology, personal knowledge management, social change