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Some thoughts on time management:

- Understanding that you will probably not accomplish everything on your to-do list was an important insight that I discovered a few years into my career. Some things will fall off the list, and that's OK. It's best to make explicit decisions in this regard: I will NOT work on that task / project because it just doesn't have the priority. You may be asked for this sort of reasoning later.

- The company always wins. If you're a salaried employee, the company will almost always demand more time than you want to provide. If you're lucky, they will be flexible, but don't expect them to value your time in any meaningful sense. Protect it for yourself in the most graceful and diplomatic way possible.

- If you are an individual contributor on a tech / engineering team: Keep in mind that you are only partially credited for being responsive to email and other requests. Your technical and intellectual contributions are often far more important than keeping your inbox at "zero".

- The best manager I knew had a very light touch with time management. He didn't keep his inbox at zero, he often said no to requests, and he didn't employ any real time management framework at all. He always kept in the forefront of his mind whatever the most important task were for the business. If his team were barraged with corporate bureaucratic junk (useless training classes, etc), he would stand in front of management and say "no, fuck that, that's useless". He was quite successful and could "get away" with this behavior, though I suspect it was this very behavior which had something to do with his success.


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