This week I think I’ve reached a decent level of organization of my time during work.
Couple of months ago I decided to focus on a single topic every day, leaving a small amount of space for tasks like emails and other form of communication, update meetings and in general I was determined now to allow any off-topic tasks to get into my way.
This last week I finally succeded:
- Monday: Product
- Tuesday: Recruiting
- Wednesday: Product
- Thursday: Analytics
- Friday: Recap, Replan, Reset.
I am working full time for http://siamosoci.com since September and my main goal is to design and deliver the next generation platform.
But consider this: I was the third person to join the team last summer, so there’s a LOT of work to be done.
It took two months to me. On-boarding, new stuff to learn, travels, bad habits, mistakes. Everything did try to stop me. With success.
But this last week I won.
I believe that productivity is achieved by mixing innovation and focus to achieve a sustainable velocity in delivering valuable stuff.
Here’s a detail of what the “daily focus” technique meant to me last week.
This session is really about defining iteration tasks and more importantly having everyone aligned on the same page, mood, attitude on what to do and how.
Verify everything is written down, everyone in the team understood everything, work-load is reasonable, testing the platform to find additional tasks..
This has to be done for UI and general graphic works, software developments and analytics. A final look to the following week plan is also absolutely needed.
Innovation, focus and… team.
I do not think a Startup can hire people using standard HR techniques. In the last month I tried to find and hire a communication expert, with a systemic and analytical approach to Web communication, as well as a junior copywriter.
I got more than 250 applications. I had to find some trick and spend some serious time on it.
Point is: recruiting is hard, is a task that have to be planned, and I wanted to do it myself. On a typical recruiting day I talk with the team to understand what they need, write job profiles, spread profiles to proper channels, use some magic tricks to select profiles, call a few people, view some even more few.
Wednesday: Product (again)
While Monday is about planning the iteration, Wednesday is more about new stuff and creativity. The iteration is already launched so here’s time to have a look with a less “project management” perspective.
The “Product” or the “Platform” involves a lot of stuff. From logo to where to store data, what DEM tool use and how to edit a newsletter and what links to put in the header. It takes time.
Is all about metrics and staying data-informed right? Right.
I am spending a lot of time designing how we track user behavior to get some actionable metrics. And I am spending a lot of time taking old data into new tools, trying to segment, send notifications…
Friday: Recap, Replan, Reset
On Friday I do not like to do brain-intensive activity. That’s why we’ve been given four days before Friday: for brain-intensive activities.
Is all about verifying iterations plan, working on next weeks ones, talking to everyone to understand if is good or not, writing recap, preparing some presentation and thinking.
Some would ask: You seriously want to grow a Startup working only 5 days a week?
Of course not. Well sort of :) Here’s my recipe for weekends.
- If I am really tired, I turn off Friday evening and back on again on Monday morning. This happens one weekend every 6-8 weeks.
- If I am moderately tired, I do some activities on Sunday afternoon. This is what happens the most.
- When I am not tired, I can work both Saturday afternoon and Sunday Afternoon. This happens once a month on avarage.
Normally working in the weekend means doing stuff I do not have time for in the week.
This weekend is one ot the last kind: I have to attend a meeting and make a presentation for a new project, prepare another recap presentation of the last 2 months work, finally there’s the first kind-of-complete-and-sort-of-stable release of the new platform to test.
It will be a funny weekend. I’ll go get a drink now.