Time management in a compact agency

JC - Web Design Director

29/03/19

The irony of this blog post is definitely not wasted on me. We’ve grown a big chunk over the past couple of months, within the next 8 weeks we’ll be an office of 6 heads. Time management and job organisation is important, really important.

We’ve decided to start getting our thoughts out into the universe a bit more and each week, one of us will write a blog post. It may be generic rubbish ( like this one) it may be focused on a job we’re doing, a technology we’re interested in etc. The deadline for each blog is Friday. It’s technically Friday now but well outside of working hours. I ran out of time.

How did it get so late so soon?

Dr Seuss ( also me literally every day this week)

I used to think that time would become more manageable as Code and Create grew, people came in to take responsibilities off my shoulders and CG settled into his role ( coming from Public Sector to Private). Since this has happened, CG and I have found ourselves busier than ever. We no longer take a job on and demolish it like a team of crazed beavers, we sit down, we discuss, we document, we brief. All the kind of procedures that should take place, all the kind of procedures that come at a time expense!

Some of my ‘methods’ ( term used loosely, i rarely apply them) to managing time are:

  • No meetings on a Monday. I heard this on ‘How I made this’ podcast once. Although I do break this rule at the moment I’m striving towards it. Weekend headspace gives huge work hangovers, Monday meetings prolonge it.
  • Schedule everything and give yourself time limits. We’re trying to ensure that EVERYTHING goes into our joint calendar now,  if you’re going to be late, off half a day, have 20 client meetings this week, extended lunch blah blah blah – Get it in the calendar. If it’s not in the calendar, you’re getting a fine. ( generally, a £1, unless you turn up late without doughnuts then it’s £2) The calender just lets everybody plan their day. Keep it simple, stupid.
  • Be realistic. We’re learning this. We’re getting better at it but definitely still learning. When quoting a job, step back and look at the work it’s going to take, and be realistic about anything else, between now and the ridiculously short deadline you’ve given yourself, that may sap your precious time away. We know what we’re good at and we know our capabilities, but we cannot see the future and every other element of the business can get in the way of that perfect timescale. Build contingency, give yourself breathing room. If you don’t you’ll; a) rush it, and likely get it wrong or deliver something you’re not 100% proud of and b) burn out.

We’re currently looking to automate our time management a bit more in the office, force people to take responsibility not only of their work but their time also. We’re uber laid back in the office and like the chilled environment and vibe that the office has. As a result of that though, we entrust the team to crack on and reward the rest of the team for that trust. We cannot micromanage everything despite our inner pride REALLY wanting to.

If you’ve got any tips, either on manual/mental time management or ideas of how automated time management should work, chime in. Leave a comment or send us a tweet @codeandcreate would be awesome to hear your thoughts!

Ciao,
Jc.