Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Muhurtham Time Management for developers

As per Hindu clock, a Muhurtham means 48 minutes. Similar to hour clock, Hinduism uses Muhurtham clock. 24 hours in a day will transpose to 30 muhurthams in a day.

As you know, now-a-days agile is getting very popular and is being used in most software application development. One of the important techniques of this agile development is time boxing. This enables the team to focus on a set of tasks for a short duration without any distractions.

As a software developer you know how importance is flow. When our flow while coding is interrupted we need lot of time to come back to this flow. Because of this we tend to work late nights so that we can focus without interruptions. Wouldn’t it be good we can have our focus while coding and also don’t do the late nights. We can achieve this.

The scrum methodology teaches us to timebox tasks so that we can focus. Let’s extend the same for our coding. Let’s time box our coding time into smaller chunks so that we can focus. This timeboxing should not be too short and not to be too long. I feel that close to one hour should give us enough time to focus on a single task without any distraction.

Hindu Muhurtham (48 minutes) seemed to be an idle time boxing for a developer. This should provide enough time we can avoid or postpone distractions. After this Muhurtham we can take a break and perform all the items we postponed.

Here is a scenario where I use this Muhurtham time management. Let’s say I am working on a code module. First I carve out a small task out of this module which I can complete with in a muhurtham. Before the start of the muhurtham I will ensure that I will not be distracted by completing or planning all the possible distractions. During the muhurtham I will not check emails, try avoiding phone calls, avoid social sites etc. I will put full focus on the task at hand and get into the flow and be in that flow till the end of the muhurtham. Once I complete the muhurtham, I take a break during where I attend all the items, such as checking emails etc, I put off during the muhurtham. After that I embark on another muhurtham.

This time management improves our productivity by getting maximum out of the available time and reduces the need to work late hours. This also enables us to get into the flow. As the duration is short enough we will be motivated to stay focus in a particular muhurtam. In this technique we will be rewarded by a break after the muhurtham.  Finally this Muhurtham time management is an extension of Pomodoro Technique which is a popular technique for time management.

Following the Muhurtham time management improved my productivity and believe it will help every developer to complete their tasks on time.

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