Toby Smith

New approach to Time Management – Time Pockets

9th September 2013

I’ve been trying a variety of Project/Time Management techniques over the past months to try and improve my efficiency: work breakdown structures, schedules, pomodoro etc… None of them seemed to really gel with me, personally.
In addition I’ve always had a massive list of other tasks that I wanted to get done/experiment with, and just never got round to it. Which is mildly depressing.

What’s been working so far is time pockets. At the moment I’m using the work days, and the weekend as two distinct pockets. But it might be a good idea to subdivide these further.

It works thus:

  1. Pick a project/part of project to do, and an appropriately sized pocket.
  2. Adjacent pockets should involve doing completely different work.
  3. If the work doesn’t get done in that pocket: tough. You can’t work on it again, until a lot later.

So far it’s been really working! It acts as a great “push” to get things completed, and stops work from getting stale.
I’ve completed the redesign of the site and did some experimentation with some audio stuff.

So far it’s really improving my abilities to:
estimate completion times, focus on the important work first, boil down and simplify a task/project to the essentials.

The feeling of accomplishment of meeting a set deadline (and more importantly – avoiding the punishment of failure) is better than I was expecting. It will be interesting to see how I react if/when I DO fail.

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