I wear many hats at work. Sometimes I’m a developer, sometimes I’m an architect, and there are times when I play manager. I don’t particuarly enjoy management as much as the other three roles, and it rightly so takes time to do. Recently, I have been having a hard time making time for these management tasks. As you can imagine, leading a team of developers while also writing code leaves little actionable time for management. I’ve been trying various things to mitigate this, including making time in the mornings, scheduling time on Fridays and attempting to, unfortunately, do this in the evenings as well.
All of those strategies have failed.
Coding has always excited me so when I schedule time, especially on Fridays its hard to concetrate on management tasks. We don’t (and you shouldn’t either) deploy on Fridays, so Friday often becomes a day to finish up that latest feature, crush a ton of bugs, or work on internal projects when we don’t have a looming deadline to deploy by.
Unfortunately, this means Friday is also not a good day to attempt to get any sort of management tasks completed.
Who would rather work on managemnt than code?
At any rate, it was time for a change.
Meet Management Mondays.
Mondays suck. Everyone knows this, it’s likely the worst day of the week for most people and for sure for me. Monday morning however, turns out to be a good time to get some of these tasks out of the way for a week, and prepare my mind for more technical tasks which require a totally differnent context.
Context, lets take a minute to dive into that as well as I think that has a lot to do with why Mondays are a more effective day for these types of tasks.
If you are a technical worker or not, context switching is extreamely taxing, and kills productivity. It is far more efficient to sit down and work through a group of related tasks, than it is to spend a few hours on one type, and move to another sometimes multiple times per day. Each time you switch, it takes your brain time to adjust, and to be able focus closer to 100% on that given task set. Setting up a large block of time in the beginnng of the week to do a certain group of tasks and then moving on prevents me from having to break up my week with multiple instances of management work.
I now set aside 3 hours every Monday morning, (7am - 10am) and focus soley on any management tasks i have for that week. Setting up and building training, doing reviews, and working on scheduled 1 on 1s all fall during this time.