Project Pile up

So everyone experiences a few project pile ups, and making time for all of them usually means you have to start saying no, juggling, dancing around holidays, etc.

I made a commitment to a few things that took too long to finish which made things look like a bad day on the interstate. But visualizing my time and commitments using a calendar app of some kind makes things looks less intimidating.

I like visualizing data in certain ways, and time is one of those things that looks more intimidating when viewed WITHOUT tools of some kind. Producers, project leads, people of the accounting persuasion all use tools like these to manage large amounts of other people’s time. And it can get overwhelming when something has a lot of moving parts.

But a schedule – a good one, shouldn’t looks like it’s contents – it’s the global view of time and work being done.

I am reading a new book by Jordan Ellenberg which cautions against the linearity of certain problems – how some things appear to be lines when charted and sometimes they are actually curves. The time spent on certain tasks has some of those dimensions – tasks can take more or less time in your schedule, making them shrink or expand in weird ways.

Your plans can change, holidays or emergencies pop up – it can end up making your neat little schedule look like a Sig Alert on a Monday morning. When charted in actual time versus tasks, the chart starts to look pretty noisy.

But tracking things according to much simpler data – whether or not a task is done versus not done – that helps make tracking linear – at least when using an app.

Anyway, I am still reading it and can already safely recommend it.