168 Hours – How do you spend your time?

A couple weeks ago I talked a little about this book What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast by Laura Vanderkam. One of the things she talks about doing is charting out exactly how you spend your time each week. She actually has an entire book about this, which I need to read.

But, I did this and the results were surprising. Here’s how I my time broke out for a week:

  • Sleep: 55 hours
  • Work: 40+ hours
  • Family Time: 24 hours
  • Eating: 13 hours
  • Veg Time (Reading, TV, etc): 10 hours
  • Class and Study: 11 hours
  • Driving: 5 hours
  • Workout: 4 hours
  • Church: 3 hour
  • Getting Ready : 3 hours

The biggest surprise for me was how much less time I spend with my kids (Family time – 24 hours) than I do at work (42 hours). I actually thought that spending Saturday and Sunday with them made up for all of the time at work during the week. What will I do with this information? I’m going to make sure the time I do spend with them is higher quality, to try to make up for the lack of quantity.

I would encourage you to do this to see how you spend your time. Does where you spend your time line up with what you feel is most important in your life? Or are there adjustments you need to make?

To make this easy for you, I have uploaded the spreadsheet I used so that you can update it to match how you spend your time. Click here to download it.

Let me know if you have problems using this.  There is a chart on the left to enter what you do in each 30 minute time block.  Then, on the right, it will add up the amount of time spent with each activity.


Microsoft Surface Tablet

So, the Microsoft Surface tablet is the gadget that I’m most excited about seeing.  It is Microsoft’s entry into the tablet market currently dominated by the iPad and various Android devices.  I have had my Kindle Fire for about a year now and am beginning to realize just how useful a full fledged tablet can be.

However, in contemplating the purchage of a Microsoft Surface Tablet, I have come up with a list of things that must be supported on the device in order to make it useful for me:

  • Email – This is a given, it will be there.
  • Web – You know Internet Explorer will be there.  However, I would need to make sure it supports the video lectures posted on OSU’s Desire2Learn site in order for it to be useful for me.
  • Office – Again, this is a given.  What remains to be seen is how good the keyboard is.  Can I realistically write an entire paper on it? Or would I find myself going back to my laptop?
  • Dropbox – This is critical to the way I work.  I store all of the documents for projects and classes I’m currently working on out there so that it will sync between the various computers and devices that I use.
  • Evernote – This is also critical.  I have bee using Evernote for years as a way of keeping track of information and notes and, like Dropbox, letting it sync beween my devices.
  • Amazon Kindle – I have a large investment in Kindle books that I currently read with my Fire.  It remains to be seen how much I would read on a full tablet vs. the Fire, but it is critical that the tablet allow me to download my books.
  • Amazon Cloud Player – Like the Kinde books, I also have a ton of music stored out on my Amazon Cloud drive.  This really is more of a nice to have, because I’m sure I could download music onto the device.  However, being able to play them directy from the cloud would be very nice.

And then there is the price.  The Surface has to cost less than $500 to make it attractive.  That’s the price of the iPad.  If this isn’t at that price or below, it will be a flop and I wouldn’t buy it.

I’m pretty sure I will be purchasing a tablet within the next 6 to 12 months.  Will it be a Microsoft Surface?  I’d like it to be.  But, that remains to be seen.

Review of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast

So, I just finished this little book called What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings–and Life by Laura Vanderkam.  And, when I say little, I mean little.  I listened to the audio version which was just over an hour long.  The kindle edition is only $2.99 and the audible  is $2.95.  I really encourage you to check this book out.

If you are like me, then you mornings are absolutely crazy.  A mad dash of trying to get ready for work, eat breakfast, feed the kids, and get out the door on time.  But, there is a better way to spend our first hours of the morning.  This books talks about how the most successful people are very purposeful about this time period and use it to focus and transform their lives.

Read the book and think seriously about how you typically spend this time.  I’m going to take the next few weeks to try to implement some of the ideas she talked about.  We’ll see how it goes!

My journey toward an MBA

So, I have been working for the last two years on my MBA.  I normally get two questions when I talk to people about this:

  1. Why!?!?!?
  2. How do you juggle going to grad school with everything else (family, work, church, workouts, sleep, etc.).

So as far as why.  I received my undergrad degree in Computer Science.  And I spent the first tens years or so of my career doing software development hands on, typically on business applications and typically using Microsoft technologies.  As time went by, I slowly transitioned from developer to technical lead, to architect and then to various levels of management.

As I moved from solely a technical realm into more of a business one, I started to become very interested in business and business management.  Specifically, in how the business side of the world (operations, accounting, finance, marketing, etc.) does their job and how we in Information Technolgy can put tools in place to help them.  Because, let’s face it, typically in the real world we are not a profit center, but are there to support those areas of the business that are.

As this transition happened, and I became more interested in business and how IT can help business, I realized that if I understood more about the way business works I would be better able to help create technology tools to help the business do their job.

So, in short, I feel my Computer Science bachelor degree plus my years of software development experience, combined with my management experience and a Masters in Business Administration, will set me up for what I see as the next phase of my career.

Then on to how I’m doing it.  The answer is very slowly.  I am taking two classes per semester in Fall and Spring plus one class in the summer.  Typically I spent at least one hour each evening after the kids go to bed, Sunday – Thursday, studying.  I go to no more than one class on site per semester, and do the other one online.  It’s very important to me to take as little time away from my family as possible during this.  So, really the main thing that I’m giving up is reading/TV/sleeping time.  And who really needs sleep anyway, right? 😉

So, that’s where I’m at.  Below is a chart showing my MBA Plan and where I currently am:

  • Spring 2011
    • TCOM -5223: Information Assurance Management (Elective) – DONE
  • Fall 2011
    • ACCT-5183: Financial Accounting – DONE
    • MGMT-5553: Management of Technology and Innovation (Elective) – DONE
  • Spring 2012
    • ACCT-5283: Managerial Accounting – DONE
    • MGMT-5553: Project Management (Elective) – DONE
  • Summer 2012
    • MKTG-5133: Marketing Management – IN PROGRESS
  • Fall 2012
    • FIN-5013: Business Finance
    • EEE 5113: Entrepreneurial & Venture Management (Elective)
  • Spring 2013
    • ECON-5113: Managerial Economics
    • FIN-5053: Theory & Practice, Fin. Mgmt.
  • Summer 2013
    • MGMT-5113: Management & Organizational Theory
  • Fall 2013
    • MSIS-5303: Quantitative Method Of Business
  • Spring 2014
    • MBA-5303: Corporate Strategy
    • LSB-5163: Legal Environment Of Business

Still a long ways to go, but I’m making progress!

Tulsa .Net Users Group: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Developers

I’m giving a presentation tonight at the Tulsa .Net Users Group titled The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Developers. Sure, a developer needs to be a good coder. But, in reality that is a very small piece of their job. In this session we’ll discuss some of the other skills and habits that developer should concentrate on in order to be successful.

You can download the slide deck here.

And here are links to the blogs, podcasts, and books mentioned in the presentation:

New Legacy Christian School Website

Last week we went live with a new version of the Legacy Christian School website.  Check it out and let me know what you think.  I built this using Element Fusion’s SkyCMS.  Element Fusion is a great company out of Oklahoma City that I have worked with on a number of websites.  I highly recommend this CMS.  It’s comes with many templates that are easy to customize, and it’s very easy to create your own templates as well.  Content management is also a breeze through this CMS.

One of the most important things when building a website like this is ease of content management.  It’s almost better to not have a website than to have a website with stale content.  If it’s easy for the customer to go in a add content than they are more likely to keep it fresh.  SkyCMS makes this very easy.