In chapter 9, Martin talked about how to properly manage your time and how to avoid time sinks. As I’ve stated before, I think some of Martin’s ideas on how to do things are a bit overboard; for example, in this chapter, he talks about getting up at 5am to get 2 and 1/2 hours of quiet time before work (which also seems contradictory to him mentioning later how important sleep is). However, there were some key items that I did agree with Martin on. I do think that meetings are largely a waste of time if they can’t be kept under 30 minutes. In a meeting you should always have an agenda and if a topic that differs from it comes up, then it should either be addressed as quickly as possible or be put into another meeting. The main thing that I found helpful in this chapter was the talk of time management and specifically the “tomatoes” technique. This is where you spend 25 minutes solely working on what you have to do and declining anything that will distract you from that work. After 25 minutes, you take a 5 minute or so break and deal with the issues that you needed to deffer during those 25 minutes. After four of these “tomatoes” you then take a 30 minute break. I think this type of time management is good because it allows for breaks so that you can de-stress your mind and then come back to your task refreshed.
Chapter 10 is about the difference between a commitment and an estimate, and how to make proper estimates for a client. I’ve never really had to deal with coming up with estimates for a project – well until this semester and even then it’s not to the extent of a full time job – so I found this chapter really helpful. I think the two main methods that I would use to start estimating my time properly in a group would be to use the planning cards, and then also do the best and worst case scenarios. I would use the planning cards because they allow for your team to put in a “?” card so if they need more clarification on a task; like if the task is too vague so they need clarification from the client, or if the task has never been done by most of the team members so research time needs to be taken into consideration. I think this works well with the best and worst case scenario technique because you can assess if your time is uncertain about a task if they can’t agree on a best and worst case, which allows for a bit of discussion as to why there is a disagreement, and this in turn will allow your team to give better estimates to the client.