I can have days where I do a million small things and hop quickly from task to task.
Or, I can have days where I work on big issues and should not be interrupted by small issues.
But, if I think I'm going to have a day where I work on a big thing and it turns out I get interrupted by a million little things, I end up doing nothing well and end up very unproductive.
These can be some of the most frustrating and dispiriting days
* Creative day: work on big things, write a new chapter.
* Non-creative day: fix little bugs and papercuts, do spell-checking, generally improve or finish previous work.
- I am ultra productive or...
- I am procrastinating the entire day
I surely stop after a day of lots of little tasks and say "phew! What a day!" or after a big task is done "yeah! look at this cool feature you built today!" And even play with it a little. Normal days are not so reflected upon...
Even when those are not needed..., the brain isn't too clever about modern work-load.
Unless you're working for yourself or working in a job where your contract compensates you by the hour then investing such huge swathes of time I think is destructive.
There is a reason workers united, fought and were martyred for the 8 hour work week and the creeping clawback by industry is a problem.
That aside, very interesting to see such a consistent time keeping record.
She was paid $36MM in 2015 and raised the market cap of Yahoo! by 151% in four years. Some of that compensation is based on success at Google, some of it may be based on her success at Yahoo!, but some of it is absolutely based on her brand. Her brand, in my own mind, is highly associated with her dedication to working long hours.
I work long hours but I'm conscious of a few things: I don't celebrate it. I don't plan to proselytize it like Mayer does. Part of those long hours are dedicated to operationalizing time-sinks so that I don't have to do it forever. I don't expect others around me, especially non-founders, to do the same and like you I believe that for them to do so would likely be a net-negative.
If you want to work long hours, do it because you enjoy the work. That way there's a reward now.
I hedged quite a lot in my OP to try and convey that this was the only part that I was confident of.
I'v worked similar hours, and believed I was productive, until I had a team and saw what happened to their productivity when they worked long hours.
Not just did it damage their productivity, but it killed overall team productivity, because it caused a rise in conflicts, rise in "downtime" where people were physically present and in theory working but didn't get anywhere.
This might "work" for some notions of work for simple repetitive tasks where you can have someone overseeing the work and "whipping" people to keep tempo up.
I have never seen it work with more than very moderate, very temporary, increases in working time, across a large number of teams over the last 20 years.
In fact, I'd argue that a 40 hour week is pushing it for developers. I have my most productive weeks when I work less, and I know many who are the same.
I wrote a small open-source CLI that gives you a CPU-profile-like view of time spent on your computer: https://github.com/sourcegraph/thyme. Thought I'd share since OP and others here might find it useful, and I'd love to hear any feedback.
Since several people have asked, I have now made my 'metime' tracking app open source: https://github.com/jdleesmiller/metime
Being in London, I have just woken up, so I will now be more able to answer any questions!
My feeling is that I read HN less than I used to, but I don't have any data to back that up.
For the avoidance of doubt, I do say in the article that:
> The CTO role is a very diverse one, and I don’t expect that the results here will be true in general. This is just my story. I hope it is an interesting one, and it is uniquely backed by data!
So, the subject is me, and I am a male. I did not intend to exclude anyone by using "him".
(I can't change the title on HN myself, but if someone who can wants to do so, please feel free.)
Historically it has been correct English to use the masculine pronoun where it could refer to either sex. I understand the reasons to prefer a different construction ( I also find "their" or "one's" to be preferable) but comparing standard English to explicitly calling out ethnicity or sexual preference is virulent.
In my experience meetings and management time grow proportionally, since meetings are a good way to talk with the team, set expectations and review the results. Or, in other words, some meetings == management.
Pre MVP: 80% dev, 20% biz dev
Pre Revenue: 20% dev, 80% biz dev
Pre Profit: 80% hiring, 20% dev
Profitable: 100% biz dev
I'm interested to find out if the data influenced the OP from week to week (month-to-month) during the collection phase? Did it influence his keeping up his development by shifting it to weekends? Or was there other catalysts to that? What were they? Were there planned development milestones? were they sized?
I have now open sourced the app, if you'd like to dig deeper into what I was looking at during the (latter part of the) experiment: https://github.com/jdleesmiller/metime
We did have some large projects to complete on tight timescales that spilled into the weekend. We didn't really have a good system for sizing / pointing tasks (and we still don't) --- probably an area where we could improve.
A couple of thoughts on your regressions:
Keeping holidays in the data seems counterintuitive. I'm fairly sure just from eyeing the graphs that the increase in your work week might reach statistical significance if you were to use a regression method more resistant to outliers, like Least Trimmed Squares.
Another idea - in microeconometrics it's standard to use some type of Poisson regression four count data, which this could potentially qualify as.
And furthermore, I would have loved to see some sort of distributed lag model of the timeseries (or at least a scatterplot of all activities against each other) to see which ones tend to co-occur.
I will have to check out Least Trimmed Squares (and maybe other robust regression techniques). For this dataset, I did try to exclude holidays, but it was difficult to define this exactly, so a more robust technique might indeed work better.
And yes, it would be interesting to see what tags co-occur. Good ideas for a future post. Thanks!
Do your clients understand that playing / trying out new things leads directly to you building the finished product?
Or is your playing truly separate from any of your client work?
For living I build e-commerce solutions and backend stuff. And in free time I play more with a frontend. Recently with react/redux and in the long run with every possible new technology on the horizon. I guess I waste a lot of time doing this as most of these things isn't immediately related to client work. ( but over time It helps me to sell to them a few ideas for improvements )
Also, I track my time and habits in detail ( using rescuetime ). Probably without such careful loging I would overestimate how much time I am spending on actual coding.
I live in Warsaw and live here is a lot cheaper than in Western Part of Europe. My clients are Canada / UK based and I charge between $50-$70/h so even 10-15 hours a week is enough to make living over here.
I hope OP continues to grow the dataset. Will be interested in a follow up later on!
So while the title could perhaps have been better worded, I can believe no conscious bias was intended.
However, I have no problem using a non-gendered pronoun, so I have changed it to "their" in the article.