Thursday, June 10, 2010

Found Time

Unfortunately, often things take longer than planned. A meeting runs over, a quick bug fix takes hours, a feature that should have taken a few days takes nearly a week. Sometimes, though, the inverse is true. That hour-long meeting breaks up in 15 minutes. The bug fix that looked hard turned out to be a simple one-line change (and was elegant, too!). The time you would have spent is found time, and found time is a gift.

So what do you do with your found time?

You can go straight on to the next thing - your next backlog item, the next bug, the next meeting.

But you don't have to.

I use found time to do the nagging little things. These are things that are so unimportant you won't get to them normally. Nonetheless, they're small bumps in my day, things that don't go quite as smoothly as I wish. These are things that when I'm sitting at my desk, I won't schedule them because there's so much more important to do. But they're things that I run into every day.

I had a few hours today of found time. I used them to:
  • Update a script that spit out information in rows, and I always wind up sending that information to other people in columns. I made it spit out columns. Total time saved: 30 seconds, tops, but boy was that annoying having to transpose it. No more transposing!
  • Upgrade all my Rails gems. I'm just starting on a new project, and using the most current ones will be useful later on.
  • Update the Abakas web site with some clearer services information.
  • Install Transmit 4, which is a lot faster than the previous version.
Not one of these things was hugely important. Now that I've done a few of them, though, my day will be a bit smoother, and I'll be better able to concentrate on the truly important things.

Found time is a free gift. It's unscheduled and its yours. Use some of it for doing the nagging little things. Think of it as spring cleaning for your day!


  1. Sometimes things seems not so much easier to deal with. I might be cumbersome to sort out the things.

  2. I do agree with the thing as you stated here, sometimes it doesn't seem so easy to deal with the things.