Your time is limited, especially if you’re an indie team. It’s very important to manage your time as well as possible, because time is the only resource that you have, and finally as everybody knows, time is money! So let’s see which are the most used and efficient techniques that will increase your productivity.
Make a task list:
One of the best things to do to be productive is to organize your work in subtasks. Here some tips to create your tasks lists:
- Every day create the task list for the next day.
- Find the two most important tasks and mark the others as secondary task.
- Not more than 5 – 7 tasks a day.
To organize your tasks you can use digital platforms like trello or (any.do) or if you don’t like digital solutions, a simple piece of paper will be fine.
Timelines are very important. They will give you the global idea of the amount of work and time effort that you need to invest to complete your project. To be productive, you should create 3 types of timelines:
- Short term timeline: Useful to organize the work for the next short amount of time (from one week to a one month).
- Medium term timeline: Useful to have the vision of the project when it will be at the halfway of the development process.
- Long term timeline: Useful to give you an estimation of the amount of work to do to reach the end of the project.
Timelines will help you to find out where the obstacles are and the amount of work needed to achieve your goals.
The most important thing to do to be productive, is to remove distractions. Once you’ve started a task, you must be totally dedicated to that task. So turn off your phone, emails and DON’T access to any kind of social network. There are various softwares that will help you to stay focus and remove the distractions, one of those it’s “Self control” for Mac. This kind of softwares allow you to set a set of urls / websites and make those inaccessible for a prefixed amount of time. Remember that distractions are the most common waste of time, you can’t even imagine how much time you will gain by simply remove your most common forms of distractions. So stay focused and stay away from distractions.
Pomodoro it’s a useful technique that will help you to stay focus and increase your productivity. Here a short explanation of how pomodoro works:
There are six stages in the technique:
- Decide on the task to be done
- Set the pomodoro timer to n minutes (traditionally n = 25)
- Work on the task until the timer rings. If a distraction pops into your head, write it down, but immediately get back on task.
- After the timer rings, put a checkmark on a piece of paper
- If you have fewer than four checkmarks, take a short break (3–5 minutes), then go to step 1
- Else (i.e. after four pomodoros) take a longer break (15–30 minutes), reset your checkmark count to zero, then go to step 1
FROM WIKIPEDIA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomodoro_Technique
Here a short video:
As you can see, pomodoro will help you to understand which task require more effort, and if used properly, pomodoro will help you to save time and increase your productivity. I usually use pomodoro with the tasks created on trello. If you want to combine the power of pomodoro and the power of trello you can use Pomello which is chrome extension designed to use the pomodoro technique with your trello task lists.
If you can, keep track of the amount of time needed to complete each task, because will give you a better understanding of the general amount of time needed to complete your project.
Here the second part of the Guide.