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Managing Time in a ROWE

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Daniel Rice

Are you managing the clock, or is it managing you?

It is no secret that Highgroove is a bona fide Results-Only Work Environment. As a team, we focus on getting work done and ensuring client satisfaction. When, where, and how we work is irrelevant, because what we care about is the answer to one question: Is the client happy today?

I’ll admit that working in a ROWE isn’t always the cakewalk it sounds like. We still live in the real world, where time passes and deadlines creep up. So how do you keep the clock under control, as opposed to being controlled by the clock?

Time tracking isn’t easy, and there are lots of ways that we all try to make it easier. There are apps you can download, seminars you can attend and all sorts of books you can read in order to be efficient, manage time effectively and avoid procrastination. We’ve even talked about tracking time the ROWE way on our blog.

Personally, I prefer a very simple method that requires only a bit of self-awareness and discipline.

Routine is key

How do I make it easy to get work done on time? One word: Routine. My day usually looks like this:

  1. Wake up at 7:30 a.m.
  2. Walk the dog and feed the cats.
  3. Review my calendar and reminders.
  4. Work for Highgroove clients for about 6.5 hours.
  5. Work on other results for Highgroove for about 1.5 hours.
  6. Promise myself that I get to go home early, watch a movie or surprise my girlfriend by making dinner if, and only if, I stay focused, organized and on task.

6 is the cornerstone of the Results-Only Work Environment. If I am efficient and quickly get results accomplished while maintaining the craftsmanship that Highgroove expects, then I’ve earned the freedom to go home and do whatever I want.

That’s it. There’s no super-secret system or formula that I use, nor any specific app. It all boils down to knowing that in a ROWE, I’m free to come and go whenever I want. That knowledge is motivation enough for me to be the most productive and awesome developer for Highgroove that I can be.

Ok, here are some apps

If you really want some apps to try out, here are a couple that we use at Highgroove. Give them a try, but remember: it’s not the app that you use, it’s the discipline that you bring into your daily life that really makes working in a ROWE possible.

What about you? Does your routine help you accomplish tasks and defeat your deadlines?

Image credit: garlandcannon

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Daniel Rice

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