الجمعة، 25 يناير، 2013

My Agile-Driven (Life Organizing & Time Management) Process


     This is my time management process that I was and still doing since November 2012, which is very effective, succeeding with a very high percentage and still evolving E7L. I wish that everyone make use of it.
    The expected result from the following process is to be controlling every day/hour in your life, concentrating and focusing on what's most important in addition to dividing your day into slices/partitions.

## The Process ##
A) Enhanced the relation with Allah to the best/max {BUT} step by step, iteration by iteration (it's not just a one instant dominating action)
B) Organized my whole life/time as a whole:
    1-   Organized my sleeping hours (definite/constant interval, e.g.,between 11 and 5), no exceptions in the early first iterations.
    2-   Organized my working hours (definite/constant interval).
    3-   Organized my workplace (especially my computer files into categories).
    4-   Defined my priorities, sorted them, and wrote in a document (Planning).
    5-   Defined my useless (or not time boxed) distractions (like Facebook, news and others) and KILLED them immediately.
    6-   Started with the highest two (or one) priorities and filled the day with them {BUT} step by step, iteration by iteration (it's not just a one instant dominating action).
    7-   Replaced the above distractions with other useful ones (but time boxed).
    8-   Continuously monitoring and enhancing the whole process (Retrospective) and keep track with the plans' progress (Daily Standup)
    9-   Rewarding myself after each iteration/achievement ;).
    10- Added small slices for less prioritized activities.

C) Very Important Hints:
    1)  You have to define a minimum duration for each daily activity/priority, and insist on doing that minimum duration, for example 15 minutes (or even 1 minute!!) even if you target doing 2 hours daily.
    2)  You have to define the interval of each iteration (two weeks is an average duration).
    3)  For any sliced activity, if you don't succeed in an iteration or with unsatisfactory results, don't increase the load over yourself in the following iterations, try the same level again (with experience).
    4)  During the early first steps in the process, you might become enthusiastic and think about adding more priorities/activities and starting on them immediately and with maximum efforts/power, DON'T do that! Instead, write them down in a document (backlog), as a future work to be done later on after gaining some stability.
    5)  Step (A) is not a negligible point, it’s very important to keep your spirit up, motivated, and strengthen your feeling of being supported. And its detailed steps is left to you because you are the only who knows what you ought to do. Note that, we usually (step by step) postpone enhancing our relation with Allah till we totally forget the whole issue.
    6)  About the iterations issue, it’s not only got from Agile, The Prophet (pbuh) Said: "The most beloved deeds to Allah's the most regular and constant even though it were little" [Narrated by Al Bukhari]. Note that it is not a call for getting satisfied with little work, instead, it’s a call for regularly acting till gaining habits, after which we can increase our efforts smoothly without dropping.
    7)  A very important point is to balance among four activities/aspects of life (even if for 1 minute daily/weekly/monthly and iteratively increase): 1. Mental    2. Physical    3. Social    4. Spiritual.
    8)  As soon as you are still reading till this point, you really have the sufficient motive for following this process and you only need to start and insist on enhancing your life through some iterations and gaining measurable and very effective results.
    9)  This is a practical process and  a contract with yourself, not just for general knowledge, so actions are required.
   10) Last hint, if you are still trying to make your goals more clear and not ready for pursuing a specific path, just starting in this process helps a lot and later on you can replace the activities' slices with other new ones. Note that thinking about best choices in life doesn't have a definite end !

Best wishes,
Ahmed Saad
Computer Science Researcher