Jag Venugopal's Blog

May 18, 2009

Time Management for IS Professionals

Filed under: Project Management — Jag @ 10:15 pm

Most IS projects (if not all) work under severe time constraints. Our optimism in estimation is without bounds. Therefore, it becomes crucial that, as IS professionals, we manage our time as best we can.

There are a number of time management methodologies out there. One such example is the FranklinCovey Focus method. This can be used with paper or Outlook as the implementation device. There are other time management gurus as well — for example, Julie Morgenstern.

I am currently using the Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology which seems to find favor with a number of IT professionals. This method is described in a book of the same name by its author, David Allen. The book is a tough read — he’s stretched into a book what could have been described in a couple succinct pages. Nevertheless, the methodology is both useful and easy to implement.

David sells on his web site an eBook on how to implement GTD with Microsoft Outlook. This is worth a read if you’re into using Outlook as your planner. The option I follow is to use GTD in plain paper. David has a free article that describes how to do it. The advantage of paper is that you’re not beholden to a computer. Plus, you can track both work and personal life in the same planner. I could do that in Outlook, except I’m hesitant to put my personal task list into the Exchange server at work.

The great thing about GTD paper planning is its extreme low cost. My cost for all materials has been about $10. The recurring cost is about $1 each year for filler paper.


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