A slight increase in focus time from last week, but still notably below start of the month.
- 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%.
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 time||From 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 time||Any 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 time||Stuff 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 time||By 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.
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.