tag:blog.acacess.com,2013:/posts Acacess 2021-06-06T05:59:43Z tag:blog.acacess.com,2013:Post/1587252 2020-08-26T05:55:34Z 2021-06-06T05:59:43Z Sustainable Productivity

When we started this project, we aimed to help people to manage time in their own way – there are too many tools to manage time, but is it possible to have an all-in-one tool - as Notion to note taking - to manage time? In other words, can people build their time management workflow within one tool? The answer is technically possible, but it might be too ambitious to pursue at this moment. Surprisingly, after inviting many friends sharing their experience of time management, we learnt greatly from their sharing.

One of the key questions is how to sustain productivity in the long run.

Yes, we might be obsessed with various productivity hacks, or even being productivity porn. However, are these productivity hacks or productivity porn helpful to our overall productivity? beneficial to our mental health? The answer could be less optimistic: we heard many people trapped in such a situation: when they pursue extreme productivity, they will be easier to fall behind, to criticize themselves.

Therefore, we aim to help people sustain productivity, where the sustainable productivity is:

  1. Focused
  2. Lean
  3. Systematic
  4. Responsive
  5. Healthy

What is sustainable productivity?

  • The sustainable productivity is focused.

    1. We can set certain limits to keep our attention focused. For example, with the help of Burner List, we can set a limit of todo itmes in each day to help us focusing on the really important things;
    2. We can say no to any distractions. The best way to keep focused is saying no to any distractions, including unreasonable requests from others, etc.
  • The sustainable productivity is lean.

    1. We can be flexible with our plans as we can set a buffer. This is similar in the OKR concept: we have committed goals and aspirational goals: we aim high with the aspirational goals, and we prioritied commited goals. It’s ok to fail with the aspirational goals, but it is more rewarding to achieve them.
    2. We can always cancel or reschedule, therefore we can feel relieved.
  • The sustainable productivity is systematic.

    1. Sustainable productivity is a long-time game, an infinitive game. We aim to be more productive in the long run, therefore we need a system to achieve this.
    2. Instead of picking low hanging fruits of some short-term productivity boost, a systematic way of sustaining productivity always focus on the overall productivity.
  • The sustainable productivity is responsive.

    1. With a system of sustainable productivity, it will be easier to receive feedback of how productive we are and how can we be more productive in the long run;
    2. Accordingly, we can adjust our sustainable productivity to be more focused, lean and systematic.
  • The sustainable productivity is healthy.

    1. Pursuing sustainable productivity is to improve our mental health;
    2. As sustainable productivity is focused, lean, systematic and responsive, it is healthy by itself.

How to achieve sustainable productivity?

Then the question is: how can we achieve sustainable productivity? Here are some suggestions:

  1. Prioritize and focus;
  2. Set bonus goals;
  3. Say no to distractions;
  4. It’s OK to cancel or reschedule;w
  5. Track and review your progress;
  6. It’s OK to take a break;

Prioritize and focus

Both our time and attention is limited; hence we should always prioritize our plan to keep focused. This is easy to say, but hard to practice. In really, there are countless distractions. We therefore should be always be aware of distractions and keep focused.

Set bonus goals

As suggested above, when we set our goals, we can set some bonus goals apart from prioritized goals. If we can finish only prioritized goals, that’s OK if we can achieve additional bonus goals, that’s better. Why don’t we celebrate this bonus success?

Say no to distractions

Being aware of distractions is the first step, and the next step is to say to distractions. Saying no to our own internal distractions, such as cellphones, SNS sites, is hard; saying no to external distractions, such as others’ requests, emails, can be more challenging.

If we don’t say no to these internal and external dictations, it only harms our productivity. For the sake of productivity, please say no to them.

It’s OK to cancel or reschedule

Sometime, we may feel guilty or stressed to cancel or reschedule. However, most goals are set by ourselves. If we really feel uncomfortable to achieve these artificial goals, why don’t we be more patient to ourselves?

Track your progress

To obtain feedback of productivity, it is better to track our progress. In this way, we can gain an objective view of our productivity, which can help us adjust goals in future.

In addition, with the records of our progress, we can review regularly, in order to improve.

It’s ok to take a break

Sometime, we may feel we are in a rut - really unproductive time. Don’t feel too bad about it, because it is quite normal. Evan the famous productivity YouTuber Thomas Frank had a similar problem.

If we experience a rut, just take a break, and let the productivity bounce back. Even better, we can set regular sabbatical as a precaution.

Recap

Sustainable productivity is an infinitive game to help us win in the long run. Therefore, we’d better make it focused, lean, systematic, responsive and healthy.


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tag:blog.acacess.com,2013:Post/1560012 2020-06-16T03:08:10Z 2020-06-16T03:08:10Z TMS Interview 006 -- Manage Your Time in a Flexible Way

Dr. Guo is a normal developer in North America. She has been doing some private projects, and is currently in the epidemic WFH phase.

  • What scenarios does your time management workflow apply to?

Working with flexible hours. I personally prefer being calm and relaxed at work.

  • What tools do you need for your time management workflow?

Google Calendar + Github

  • Please briefly describe your time management workflow?

I think the important things will not be forgotten, forgetting trivial things is no harm. In the past, I would struggle to write down everything in case I forgot, but in recent years, I've slowly turned to grasping the important things instead of the trivial ones.

I manage three kinds of tasks in different ways.

A. Company work

Focus on the long-term output instead of short-term burnouts.

Generally, meetings are the main focus. I use Google Docs to manage schedules and assign tasks, and I check the schedule regularly. I try to schedule meetings together, and aim to have only one big meeting block on each day, which may have 3-12 meetings in it. I leave space at the beginning and end of the day for emails and other things that need to be concentrated. I aim to have 1-2 days a week without meetings for deep thinking. During busy time, I work overtime in the evenings, but I don't touch company work on weekends.

During epidemic WFH, I divide time between work and private projects . I only work during set work hours, and switch (mood and computer) to private projects as soon as the time is up.

B. Private projects

Focus on results.

We use a de-centric way to work: we communicate in Slack, use Github Issues to move the project forward, occasionally call with Zoom when the need arises, use Github Milestones to manage tasks within the project, and use Google Spreadsheet to manage different projects. During the week, because I'm at work, I usually go over the current projects in the morning and evening, and I'll go over them on Github Issues. There is also a super sprint of no more than 2-3 months for the intensive rush phase. We check the progress multiple times, constantly consider process optimization and reallocation to ensure significant progress each week.

C. Learning projects

Focus on quick wins and energy management.

When I need learn some technical content from online courses without deadlines, I call them learning super sprints. I only use this approach when there is a need to learn, and I will turn back to my normal routine when the learning is finished. Regardless of the actual schedule of the course, I always try finishing a super sprint within 1 -2 months, quick and more intensive. I try to spend a large chunk of the day studying intensely in a relatively short period of time, usually waking up early in the morning or working late at night. I spend a large chunk of time on focusing, and each study time may be 5-6 hours, no breaks in between, until finished. I use a notebook to track the progress in this period without special management.

There is no concurrent super sprints of studying and private projects. Even during super sprint weekends, I will leave one day when I don't do anything. If a super sprint is intensive, I will give myself a long break (1 month or more) to recharge my energy.

  • How long have you been sticking with this workflow?

Over 10 years.

  • What are the advantages of this workflow?

Super sprint allows me to achieve a lot of things in short time, so I can unplug myself during the rest periods.

  • The biggest pain point in time management right now?

Type A is more difficult to measure the effect of doing something, as it requires manual analysis of ROI for different types of tasks.

Type B lacks visualization of project progress. Zenhub, the closest tool on the market, is too expensive.

Type C is painless. When I find the interest of what I wish to learn, I will have little requirement for time management.

  • The ideal time management workflow is? What kind of tools are needed?

It would be nice to have a good visualization tool that can freely blend different types of above tasks.

  • Can you recommend a book on time management? The one that affected you the most.

The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris.

--

Dr. Guo is a very productive programmer who has worked for several big tech companies, and has been running her own projects as well. Her ability to control both her own projects and the work of a large company is inseparable from her time management philosophy: using different strategies/approaches. Manage different types of projects while staying calm and relaxed. In the long run, this approach keeps her efficient while keeping herself physically and mentally healthy.

--

If you want to be a part of more discussion, join our Telegraph Group.

If you would like to share your time management insights, please answer a few questions below and email us at post (2) acacess.com and we'll edit and publish.

  • Please introduce yourself briefly.
  • What scenarios does your time management workflow apply to?
  • What tools do you need for your time management workflow?
  • Please briefly describe your time management workflow?
  • How long have you been sticking with this workflow?
  • The advantages of this workflow?
  • The biggest pain point in time management at the moment?
  • What is the ideal time management workflow? What tools are needed?
  • Can you recommend a book on time management? The one that affected you the most.
  • Can you recommend a friend to share her/his time management tips?
]]>
tag:blog.acacess.com,2013:Post/1559525 2020-06-15T03:59:11Z 2020-06-15T03:59:33Z TMS Interview 005 -- Do not be Too Harsh to Yourself
Q Guo is now at the European headquarters of an FMCG company in Geneva. She has previously worked for the UN, Forbes, Swiss Re and Pengpai. She wants to know a little bit about everything and likes to try and learn new things.
  • What scenarios does your time management workflow apply to?

Life and work.

  • What tools do you need for your time management workflow?

I use google keep

notes for work: scheduling tasks that need to be done.

notes for personal use: personal tasks outside of office hours.

  • Please briefly describe your time management workflow?

I think about what needs to be done and its urgency and importance in each day or time block of each day (like morning/afternoon) level. Of course this is a rather rough judgment, but other factors are also included, such as the complexity of the task and whether I want to do (If one task is what I don't want to do, it will be prioritized. Otherwise the more I put it off, the less wiling I would be to do it).

  1. write down the tasks in order according to the above factors and break up their sub-tasks;
  2. complete the arrangements and tick the completed box;
  3. unfinished tasks will be given higher priority in the next time block, and there is generally more inertia in such tasks, so it is better to finish them soon.
  4. I will also refer to the schedule. Work tasks are scheduled first during work hours, and personal tasks are scheduled when there is extra time.
  • How long have you maintained this workflow?

It feels like I been like this since school. Before that, I used pen and paper, then I used Mac and started using Apple Notes. When I stared working, I found out the OS is Windows. Hence, I switched to a cross-platform tool like Google keep.

  • The advantages of this workflow?

Simple and effective!

  • The biggest pain point in time management right now?

I don't have the means to review my past very precisely with the above approach, I can't use it to analyze my own behavior, so the optimization is not possible.

Time management inherently requires strong willpower control. Whether you comply or not is not something a tool can help you with. Therefore, as long as an approach can get tasks done, it is just fine.

Also it might not be good to keep strict compliance with the time management. Wasting a little time is good for your mental health and well-being, so don't be too self-conscious.

  • What is the ideal time management workflow? What kind of tools are needed?

Hahaha, there is no ideal tool, only the most suitable. You don't know until you try.

  • Can you recommend a book on time management? The one that affected you the most.

I'm a very disciplined, and my brain is always active, so there's not much need for my effort in time management.

Of course it's not that time management requires no skills, it's just that good time management needs other skills to support it. For example, self-discipline, self-control, multi-threaded work, management of uncertainty, and so on. These abilities naturally take time to develop, and many of them become habits, which are then incorporated into the personality. So I think 7 habits of highly effective people would be an enlightening reading.

--

Q Guo has adopted a simple and effective approach to managing her time without being too demanding in terms of completion. She sees herself as an efficient and self-disciplined person, so leaving some leeway can keep herself in a good mood.

--

If you want to get involved in more discussions, why not join our Telegraph Group.

If you'd like to share your own time management tips, please answer the following questions and email them to the post (2) acacess.com, which we edit and publish.

  • Please briefly introduce yourself?
  • What scenarios does your time management workflow apply to?
  • What tools do you need for your time management workflow?
  • Please briefly describe your time management workflow?
  • How long have you been sticking with this workflow?
  • What are the advantages of this workflow?
  • The biggest pain point in time management right now?
  • What is the ideal time management workflow? What kind of tools are needed?
  • Can you recommend a book on time management? The one that affected you the most.
  • Can you recommend a friend to share ta's time management tips?
]]>
tag:blog.acacess.com,2013:Post/1557667 2020-06-11T02:39:09Z 2020-06-15T07:43:44Z Burner List - Manage Your Time with A Piece of Paper
Can you imagine that you can manage your time with a piece of paper, instead of a complicated app? Yes, you can.

One of these methodologies is called burner list, which is introduced in the bestseller Make Time . The author uses a single paper to manage his time, with an ultimate goal: keeping focus.

In brief, a piece of paper can be divided into four areas (see the demo below):

  1. The upper left is for the most important project;
  2. The upper right is for the second most important project;
  3. The lower left is the note area for the most important project;
  4. And the lower right is for misc items;


2 and 4 can be blank is there is no less important projects.

According to this setting, we can

  1. Only focus on up to two prioritized projects at a certain period of time (you can define the time range by yourself, for example, one day).
  2. Fold the paper vertically when we use it. Therefore, we can concentrate on the top priority or the other items at one time.

Take my day as an example

I have planned my today’s project with a burner list:

  1. The top priority is writing: an English post (this one) and a Chinese post, and I need prepare topics for the coming days;
  2. The second priority is team planning: I will set up a Basecamp account, and call my teammates;
  3. The misc tasks include surveying indie hacker website, learn online marketing and review my calendar setup.

I aim to finish all items in Writing and Team Planing by the end of today, but for now, I can focus on the left side of this burner list.

Recap

  1. With a single piece of paper, we can manage our time effectively;
  2. The ultimate goal of this methodology is keeping focus;
  3. We build a template on Notion, so you can import to use;
  4. We are building a tool based on burner list, so please stay tuned.

Reference

The “Burner List”—My simple, paper-based system for focused to-dos 

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tag:blog.acacess.com,2013:Post/1557654 2020-06-11T02:00:12Z 2020-06-11T02:00:13Z Manage Time Like Cal Newport - Plan-Actual-Revised
The Plan-Actual-Revised method (PAR) was used by the author of Deep Work Cal Newport. In Cal’s daily life, he uses a notebook to record his schedule. Simple as that, with a pen and a notebook, Cal can plan and reschedule his daily arrangements. In addition, he can revise and review them afterwards.

According to Cal, he would divide a paper into three columns:

  1. The first column is for PLANning;
  2. The second column is for ACTUAL arrangement;
  3. And the third column is for REVISion.

Each line will be set as a time block, for example, a line can be 30 or 60 minutes. In this way, we can put each activity into a one-line block or a multiple-line block according to needs.

Naturally, the duration of each activity is visualized. Therefore, we can have a vivid impression of each activity.

Why do we need Plan-Actual-Revised method?

Sometime, strictly sticking with plan can make us anxious. Instead, constant rescheduling time can make you feel having more control of time, and feel more relaxed.

As pointed out by Cal, this method

make(s) sure that I am intentional about what I do with my time, and don’t allow myself to drift along in a haze of reactive, inbox-driven busyness tempered with mindless surfing.

The similar point can be found in Jake Knapp’s comment, who is the author of Make Time:

‘The constant redesigning gave me a handle on how I was spending my time, showed me when my best writing time was, and helped me establish a routine.’

In addition, with reviewing the past reschedules, this approach can help us build a ritual by finding suitable time blocks for different types of tasks.

How do we apply Plan-Actual-Revised method?

Day before:

  1. Divide a page into there columns;
  2. Set each row as a fixed duration, e.g.: one row for one hour;
  3. Fill activities into the first column according to planned duration;

During the day:

  1. Reschedule activities if any change happens;
  2. Review the planned and actual activities;

When do we apply Plan-Actual-Revised method?

  1. If a fixed schedule doesn’t work for us, we may give this method a try;
  2. If our daily tasks involve many changes, this method may work better;

Recap

With a lined paper, we can follow Cal Newport’s approach to manage our daily tasks. This approach may release our stress, and help us build a long-term ritual.

If you want to be a part of more discussion, join our Telegraph Group.

If you would like to share your time management insights, please answer a few questions below and email us at post (2) acacess.com and we'll edit and publish.

  • Please introduce yourself briefly.
  • What scenarios does your time management workflow apply to?
  • What tools do you need for your time management workflow?
  • Please briefly describe your time management workflow?
  • How long have you been sticking with this workflow?
  • The advantages of this workflow?
  • The biggest pain point in time management at the moment?
  • What is the ideal time management workflow? What tools are needed?
  • Can you recommend a book on time management? The one that affected you the most.
  • Can you recommend a friend to share her/his time management tips?
]]>
tag:blog.acacess.com,2013:Post/1556412 2020-06-10T20:56:08Z 2020-06-15T04:09:39Z TMS Interview 004 -- A Software Engineer Who Quit Academia
Crazy Orange is a software engineer. She has been in academia, and her biggest dream is to be an artist. Now living in the United States, she hopes to freelance in future to experience life around the world.
  • What scenarios does your time management workflow apply to?

It's a workflow for doing research that works for a variety of scenarios.

  • What tools do you need for your time management workflow?

Whiteboard/white paper/note-taking tool software (e.g. Gitbook, Notion, etc.)

  • Please briefly describe your time management workflow?

Reading the literature with a "list of questions"

Every piece of literature you read should have a purpose. Some areas will be particularly hard to read, or you may not have a lot of basic knowledge, so you have to read a lot. One new concept leads to more new concepts, so it's easy to get lost. Time passes all at once, but you feel like you're making no progress at all. Time is finite but knowledge is infinite, so don't look up what you don't understand, but focus on your goals.

My workflow is to write a list of questions first, it includes a few of the most important questions as well as gaps. If the answers to these questions are written, then the task of reading this literature is complete, and in many cases there is no need to get through the full text! There is also a "sideline list" of important extras that you may see while reading.

Keep a "sideline list" so that when you see something important and additional, you may have a new idea to follow up on, and continue with the current reading task.

Do not deviate from the goal. Be sure to write down the answers to these questions, not just "read with the questions".

  • How long did you stick with this workflow?

I don't read the literature so I am not using this workflow in my current work. But I have followed these principles for the last two or three years.

  • What are the advantages of this workflow?

The biggest advantage is that by asking yourself the most important questions, you gradually lead yourself to develop your own knowledge base as you read and focus on the main branches. In addition, having a reading/survey for each read, you have a page of the most polished notes on that material. When you need to recall relevant content later, you can quickly find the answer from this note without having to look up the answer from a lengthy piece of information. On the second reading of an article, you can quickly start from the original note to save time .

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

  • The biggest pain point in time management at the moment?

Electronic tools are easy to be discarded but not easy to focus.

To that end, if a tool is not appropriate in the first place, then it needs to be discarded. The right tool allows people focusing more on their work, and the following satisfaction creates positive feedback.

So what is the right tool or process? The needs in different scenarios are different and even change over time. Tools should also be selected as needed. Need to be easy to use? Or ned to be easy to retrieve and browse for reflections later? Need to complete all tasks within a limited time frame or need to complete the most important tasks with high quality? Only with a clear understanding of your needs can you weigh the options and choose the best tool for you.

Also I find a whiteboard to be a great helper, which always reminds myself what I need to focus on in the moment. Personally, I don't like tools that prohibit me from doing something, I want my tools to help me focus on the task, and if I do it efficiently I'll be able to do it. What's wrong with playing games/browsing the web to relax from some of the tasks? It's still back to work soon after that.

  • What is the ideal time management workflow? What kind of tools are needed?

A tool to adapt to itself, not a tool to ask people to adapt.

--

Crazy Orange’s method of "list of questions" is very similar to the Evidence-based Study described by the famous Youtube blogger Ali Adaal.



If you want to be a part of more discussion, join our Telegraph Group.

If you would like to share your time management insights, please answer a few questions below and email us at post (2) acacess.com and we'll edit and publish.

- Please introduce yourself briefly.
- What scenarios does your time management workflow apply to?
- What tools do you need for your time management workflow?
- Please briefly describe your time management workflow?
- How long have you been sticking with this workflow?
- The advantages of this workflow?
- The biggest pain point in time management at the moment?
- What is the ideal time management workflow? What tools are needed?
- Can you recommend a book on time management? The one that affected you the most.
- Can you recommend a friend to share her/his time management tips?



]]>
tag:blog.acacess.com,2013:Post/1556062 2020-06-08T07:05:14Z 2020-06-11T02:01:24Z TMS Interview 003 -- A college Teacher Who Writes Science Fictions
Mammoth teaches at a college and is also a short story author, a technology author and translator. How does such a prolific writer manage his time?

  • What scenarios does your time management workflow apply to?

My daily life can be broken down into very clear blocks: creative work, school routines, and personal interest development. So far it looks like my time management workflow works in all of these blocks :)

  • What tools do you need for your time management workflow?

Tyme 2 on iMac; Forest on iPhone; Post-it Notes, RHODIA N18 GLOCKBOOK, Midori MD Notebook A5 GLOCKBOOK and Montblanc M fountain pen <-- These last ones are the ones I've been most satisfied with after testing a variety of paper and pens! It's a bit of personal taste, too.

  • Please briefly describe your time management workflow?

Roughly in these steps.

  1. Long-term projects: post-it notes with deadlines and broad phases, to be pasted on the wall and adjusted according to progress.
  2. At the end of each week: a simple plan for the next week, with reference to long-term projects and immediate goals, written in an A5 notebook.
  3. Every morning: brief review of the previous day, brief analysis in a PDCA cycle, written in an A5 notebook on. I tried Workflowy and Mubu before, but moved to paper and pen.
  4. Daily routine: Tyme 2 is used to keep track of time and expenses, Forest is used to make tomato clocks - I tried Pomotodo before, and later found the trees that Forest planted to be quite lovely as well.
  5. Switching work content essentially in two/four Pomodoro units, and intentionally interspersing different types of work. I take breaks when I find it difficult to concentrate.
  6. If I have any unexpected events, new ideas, information that needs to be verified, etc., I will make a few notes in your N18 notebook at any time for future reference.
  7. At weekends, I will review Tyme 2's logs, analyze the time wasted and the reasons for it, and write it in my weekend review.
  • How long have you been sticking with this workflow?

The earliest time logging started around 2006, having just finished reading Эта странная жизнь. Then I was influenced by some other time management methods, such as GTD and morning journaling. I tested and used a number of tools, but finally settled on the ones I have now. I have been using this current workflow since about 2012, but with a different toolset.

  • What are the advantages of this workflow?

I think there may be several advantages.

  1. This workflow is focus-oriented. What it records, in fact, is the level of focus expended in doing work of a different nature. Time is unmanageable, all we can manage is our own focus.
  2. Split long-term tasks systematically into each week to slow down procrastination. I tend to get caught up in the details, so I still often need jump out proactively and see the whole picture.
  3. Review often for daily improvement. Just like bookkeeping, the accounts are just data. From these data, insight needs to be extracted to guide decisions.
  • The biggest pain point in time management right now?

Not enough automation. Despite setting up shortcuts, it's a bit annoying to have to click and record at the start and end of each task. I tried some tools that automatically record the current active apps on the computer and can mark it uniformly after a while, but it's also troublesome.

  • The ideal time management workflow is? What kind of tools are needed?

I think the idea of GTD is a good one, especially the discussion about different altitude perspectives. But if GTD is strictly implemented, the collection alone would be enough of a problem.

The ideal time management tool should be universally computational, able to cross devices, respond quickly, track throughout the day, and automatically analyse.

  • Can you recommend a book on time management? The one that affected you the most.

Эта странная жизнь This book is really about the long-term practice, precise perception, and continuous improvement of one's energy management.

Mammoth’s workflow is comprehensive, which is the result of his constant adjustments. Of course, managing your focus, not just your time, is also very worthwhile.

If you want to be a part of more discussion, join our Telegraph Group

If you would like to share your time management insights, please answer a few questions below and email us at post (2) acacess.com and we'll edit and publish.

  • Please introduce yourself briefly.
  • What scenarios does your time management workflow apply to?
  • What tools do you need for your time management workflow?
  • Please briefly describe your time management workflow?
  • How long have you been sticking with this workflow?
  • The advantages of this workflow?
  • The biggest pain point in time management at the moment?
  • What is the ideal time management workflow? What tools are needed?
  • Can you recommend a book on time management? The one that affected you the most.
  • Can you recommend a friend to share her/his time management tips?


]]>
tag:blog.acacess.com,2013:Post/1554549 2020-06-05T03:24:54Z 2020-06-11T02:01:31Z TMS Interview 002 -- A plan-document-reflection practitioner
Super Neo is based in Tokyo, who has a lot of experience: being an enterprener, switching from finance to social sciences, having two masters, and currently working for a Japanese consulting firm.
  • What scenarios does your time management workflow apply to?

The current workflow applies to tasks that have a greater degree of freedom for themselves and can be adjusted to such a degree as day/week. However, it is not suitable for situations where there are frequently urgent tasks.

  • What tools do you need for your time management workflow?

A notebook, pen, mobile phone (Note, calendar)

  • Please briefly describe your time management workflow?

Three parts: plan-document-reflection

Plan: break down a big project into the small parts that can be done - within one day. In the Google ecosystem, an all-day task appears at the top of the calendar. Each morning when I start work, I will allocate the day according to the scheduled tasks + new tasks for the day. The Note app is used to quickly jot down tasks that require practice.

Document: when one thing is done, it is recorded in the calendar. At the end of the day, tasks are recorded in a bullet journal in a notebook. This process is in REFLECTION.

Reflection: daily review. Experiences or improvement can be reflected in the handwritten notes. Therefore, I can improve my process every day.

Then it's cycle back to PLAN: I will write the next day's tasks by the end of the day.

  • How long have you been sticking with this workflow?

It's been over 4 years. I used to be too busy to do time management when I was in sales. Time is not yours, so it's unmanageable.

  • The advantages of this workflow?

Combination of electronic + hand-writing version.

The electronic version can:

  • cope with the ever-changing daily work,
  • can be quickly recorded anytime, anywhere,
  • can be searched,
  • and can add attachments and share them with others.

The hand-writing version can

  • record intimate information,
  • record both work and life information within one page,
  • record work that has already been done and without issues of deletions, updates, etc,
  • force myself to review, slower than typing but allowing myself to be more intentional.
  • The biggest pain point in time management at the moment?

The tag feature in the calendar is just too bad to get a convenient overview of an item. For example, with Notion, you can easily manage tasks using the dashboard interface, but not the calendar.

  • What is the ideal time management workflow? What tools are needed?

a tool linked to project management, which I myself want to do with Notion. But there's no figuring out what to do about it yet. Everyone's time management is not quite the same.....

  • Can you recommend a book on time management? The one that affected you the most.

The Bullet Journal Method: The following small articles help the most, whether it's time management or project management, in fact the last thing to manage is your own way of thinking.

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tag:blog.acacess.com,2013:Post/1553391 2020-06-04T06:04:26Z 2020-06-11T02:01:39Z TMS Interview 001 -- A Data Scientist with Theoretical Physics Background
Lei Ma is a long-term friend on Douban, and he has become a data scientist and runs several side projects at the same time. Let's take a look at his introduction.
  • Please introduce yourself briefly?

I am a data scientist with a PhD degree in theoretical physics. I am working for a logistics company where my day-to-day work is solving various data problems in Python.

  • What scenarios does your time management workflow apply to?

It is suitable for projects with a clear purpose. The main thing I do with logging time is to review the project and then develop a workflow for this type of work, thus speeding up the process of similar projects later. Hence it's just like a git commit to record every step, which is a way to record time. For a relatively large project, for example, I'd break it down into smaller chunks and then jot down the time spent on each chunk, just like submitting code.

  • What tools do you need for your time management workflow?

Jira + Confluence. Although both are dated, they are functional and also available for free (both Jira and Confluence are tools from Atlassian, the former for team project management and the latter for team wikis).

  • Please briefly describe your time management workflow?

My workflow is spontaneous. The current one is to write thoughts in Confluence (which is a less fixed part, sometimes I'll write it in Gitbook, depending on the project), then split into tasks to put on Jira, then finish small tasks in Kanban way, and keep track of how long each task is.

  • How long have you been sticking with this workflow?

It's been a year and a half since this workflow took shape. Actually I started with Trello for project management, then switched to GitHub Projects, and finally adopted Jira + Confluence about seven months ago.

  • The advantages of this workflow?

For me, I don't want to leave my work environment to record time. Jira has the corresponding Slack plug-inChrome/Firefox plug-in (which can drag a calendar to record work), and VS Code plug-in, which basically doesn't require me to leave my work space when recording time and progress.

  • The biggest pain point in time management at the moment?

The biggest pain point is the lack of automation. A lot of the operations of recording time are repetitive labor.

  • What is the ideal time management workflow? What tools are needed?

The ideal time management workflow for me is having more automation. I'm a bit of a lazy person, and I expect a time management tool that can learn my work patterns when I use it. For example don't have to type the time from time to time, or I type my work log from scratch.

Editor's note

Lei’s time management tips include two points.

  1. Divide and conquer.
  2. Record by hand.

    If you too often have such huge projects, you might want to refer to the way he works to manage your time.

    For example, if you're writing your thesis, you can break down each chapter as a project. In order to complete a chapter, it may be necessary to read/collect/draft/revise, each of which can be treated as an executable item. Therefore, you can then record the time of those items. In this way, a huge thesis project becomes a set of small projects that can be executed and tracked.

    If you want to be a part of more discussion, join our Telegraph Group

    If you would like to share your time management insights, please answer a few questions below and email us at post (2) acacess.com and we'll edit and publish.

    • Please introduce yourself briefly.
    • What scenarios does your time management workflow apply to?
    • What tools do you need for your time management workflow?
    • Please briefly describe your time management workflow?
    • How long have you been sticking with this workflow?
    • The advantages of this workflow?
    • The biggest pain point in time management at the moment?
    • What is the ideal time management workflow? What tools are needed?
    • Can you recommend a book on time management? The one that affected you the most.
    • Can you recommend a friend to share her/his time management tips?

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    tag:blog.acacess.com,2013:Post/1552451 2020-06-02T01:44:09Z 2020-06-08T08:07:42Z Manage Your Time In Your Own Way Hello, world!

    When we had an idea to reform the time management system (TMS), we asked two questions:

    Why don't we have a tool to suit our time management needs?

    Why do we have to follow the built-in methodology in those TMS?

    We posted these questions to some friends, and collected further questions thereafter:

    1. What if we want to try different methodology to manage my time while the current tool does not support the new methodology? Do we just find a new tool and deprecate the data in the current tool?
    2. What if we want to separate our life from work? Do we need multiple tools to manage these different workflows?
    3. What if our current TMS is in macOS/iOS ecosystem and we are required to use Windows/Linux? Is there any cross-platform tool to support this need?
    These questions post a fundamental challenge to current mainstream TMS tools: why do users suit their needs to the tool, not vice versa?

    As a small team, we aim to tackle this problem by bringing a new solution - we will provide a solution to suit your time management time needs.

    With our solution, you can manage your time in your own way.


    Stay tuned, and please join our Telegram group.
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