Rules to Managing Dead Time


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  1. Do you use suspend on your notebook?

    ​Being developers, it's often the case that we have to take our notebooks to visit a client or even home for the day. Using the suspend option is a great way to make sure time isn't wasted. Instead of shutting down and restarting (which as we know can be a lengthy operation) using suspend you can be working again much more quickly, meaning you can utilize that extra 10 mins in the car or on the train. Also, a good option is to have an SSD (Solid State Drive, as opposed to a Hard Drive) as your primary Operational System drive, as it drives the boot time down considerably.

    Your notebook should also be configured so that if it is left in suspend for a long period of time (more than 10 minutes) it will automatically  hibernate. However, your notebook should not automatically suspend or hibernate if the lid is simply closed. Both of these settings are in the Power Options in Control Panel.

  2. Do you use Timeboxing to avoid wasted time?

    ​Sometimes you can set a task or be given work that ends up taking much longer than expected. Timeboxing sets a time limit to a task, after which you must stop and move on.


    ​Timeboxing allows you to give more context to a task by showing how much time (and therefore money) you are willing to spend. This typically applies to:

    • "Nice to Haves" - If it takes too long, don't worry about it.
    • Risky tasks - I'm not sure this will even work, if you can't figure it out, don't worry about it.
    • Unknowns - This could take 2 minutes or 2 days. If it takes too long don't worry about it.



    Timeboxed (1hr)
    Do not spend more than the time allocated on this task.

    Figure: Good Example. A timeboxing of one hour.