Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Manage your consciousness

I will start this with a question. How many of you have ever started something or planned to do something but actually never did it because you were scared to do it 'cause it is so hard or time consuming ?

Well I will answer for some of you and tell: "Well my friends and I are very familiar to this problem and it happened a lot of times especially for me."

OK so what can we do about it?
Actually the answer to this and it's resolution are very easy.
You asked yourself what could that be right ?
Well I will tell you now ;-) the answer is a TODO list.

TODO lists are a very helpful thing.
They will present you with short term targets that you can manage easily and give you a time management scheme.

Look at this example:

1. Create a simple database
2. Make user login
3. Make user register
4. Make user status panel
5. ...

OK this simple sample ;-) tells you the steps to actually start the thing. When you think about the project you tell what the **** this thing is huge it needs this and that and that... and so on and you actually de-motivate yourself by doing this... and what about the time?

By thinking small you are really realistic about giving the time for building something. So you can start putting small time lines on every task like this:

6. Statistics about user registration - 3 days
7. Statistics about user interests - 1 day

You see the time of 7 has been 1 day instead of 3 days 'cause it may reuse the whole code from 6 but you really can't tell this until you see it. You can even drop a few words about problems or just a simple description after each it may speed up the idea you had in the initial planning (the building of the todo list).

So at last I will give you a formula to sum up the time of the project. It is simple sum the whole todo list and add 25% for unexpected things if you want to be honest to your clients and your time :) if not giving this 25% you may consider it very likely to drop of the plan for some day or two... which might not be critical but it is not a good thing for a client to see you behind schedule. If you want to do this the right way the formula is ("todo list time" + 100%) + 25% but many consider this not a good practice because they loose clients.... but this is most seen in small companies where every page they create is valuable and they actually make pages instead of projects if you know what I mean ;-)

OK that's it folks!
I hope this one article was helpful for you.
In the next article I will write again about managing and disciplining your self topics.