Thursday, October 11, 2018

Is it Time Management or Task Management?



Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Can we really manage time, or can we really only manage our tasks?

I've spoken to so many people on this subject, I realized I should put my notes in a blog post so that others can benefit.

Here are some of the techniques and tools I use for time management.

Techniques:
  • Prioritizing work:  7 Habits of Highly Effective people: Habit 3 is putting first things first
    • There is a matrix showing important on one axis and urgent on the other. Work falls into one of the four boxes. 
    • Prioritize the work that is important over work that is urgent.
    • It's fairly easy to prioritize work that is important and urgent, but trying to get to work that is important and not urgent is more difficult. So, use a calendar and put it on your calendar.
    • There is work that is important 
    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_People
  • Getting things done
    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getting_Things_Done
  • Pomodoro technique
    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomodoro_Technique

Tools:
  • You can use paper or a daily planner book or any tool you are comfortable with. Here are some other tools that I have used. I like the first one the most.
  • Kanban tool and a bit about personal Kanban (how to use the tool effectively)
    •  https://trello.com
    • http://personalkanban.com/pk/personal-kanban-101/
  • https://www.toodledo.com/
  • Google Calendar

What are the methods, techniques, and tools that you use? Please like and comment.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Agile and Scrum Master Certifications


Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
Agile and Scrum Master Certifications
(For those of you not familiar with agile, you might want to read this first or look up Agile in Wikipedia)
From my research, I've found that there are 3 popular Agile certifications:
  1. PMI ACP : Agile Certified Practitioner offered by Project Management Institute
  2. Certified Scrum Master - offered by the Scrum Aliance
  3. Professional Scrum Master - Offered by Scrum.org
There are others too, but from what I see, these are the ones that are most popular.
I have used various Agile frameworks/methods for many years, but haven't been certified. I did receive an Agile Practitioner badge as a result of spending many hours in 3 comprehensive IBM Agile courses. I really learned a lot from them. I wanted to go further in Agile training.
I was trying to decide which path to take, so I read the information at the following sites:
After reading them all, I decided to go for the PSM first. I do put a lot of value on the ACP, but I saw lots of job postings asking for agile and scrum and thought that going for the PSM might be the best one to start with. 

I found the following links that I have been using to study for the test:
  • Suggested Reading for Professional Scrum Master™ - This page suggests where to get the Scrum Guide, books, videos, courses and more for training. The Scrum guide is important to know and the Scrum Open Assessment can be taken many times.
  • Scrum Training Series - These free video courses are great. There is a test of several questions at the end of each lesson which have references to reference material to let you know why the answer is the correct answer. This aids me in learning.  There are also links to documents and videos that I found helpful.
I'll come back here to update this as I progress in studying. 
If you have any thoughts on the certifications, the path, or any questions, please comment. I would like your input.


Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Free Job Search Advice Links (tips, hints and more)

 photo credit Frank Vex @frankvex on unsplash

There are many free resources for how to conduct the job search.

I'm listing a bunch of them here in no particular order. I've found these helpful.

You can also get your resume scanned to find out how to get it to agree with job postings using these tools
  • jobscan.co - 5 free scans a month. 
  • Skillsyncer - one free scan, then $9.99/month
  • Jobgator - Compares resume to Job Description and gives recommendations (free to use)
  • leap.ai - will give you suggesions on your resume - no cost
Recruiter Websites:
Networking Meetings:
  • The Landing Expert (landingexpert.com)
  • Meetup.com - find people who want to do similar things, or have the same hobby and network with them!
  • Eventbrite.com - Some companies post hiring events here. Just search on the word "hiring"

Top Job Search Websites:

Salary research

  • Indeed.com/salary
  • Salary.com
  • Payscale.com
  • Bls.com
  • Glassdoor.com
  • Cbsalary.com
  • Jobnob.com
  • Onetonline.org
  • Acinet.org
  • Working Canada.gc.ca
  • Service Canada.gc.ca


Recruiters:

  • Searchfirm.com
  • I-recruit.com


Do you have any suggestions?  Please post them as comments here!



Monday, July 30, 2018

Fun Party Game: Hunnert

A friend told us about this game recently and sent me these directions. We played it yesterday at the family reunion. We had children and adults playing it together. The youngest child kept asking to play again and again even though others won! Children can play as long as they know how to write their numbers up to 100.  The game is supposedly called "Hunnert" as a quick way of saying "hundred."


Place on the table one pencil and one die.

Give each player a blank piece of typing paper to place in front of them

The first player rolls the die toward the next player in a clockwise fashion

If the number rolled is a one, three, four or five - nothing happens and the next player rolls the die toward the person on their left

If the number rolled is a two, all players pass the paper in front of them to the person on their left

If the number rolled is a six, the player who rolled the die grabs the pencil from whoever currently has it and begins writing numbers from 1 - 100 on the piece of paper in front of them. They continue writing as rapidly as possible (and do not take any more turns rolling the die) until either someone else rolls and six and takes control of the pencil (and begins writing numbers on their own paper) or until they write numbers all the way to 100.

Whoever writes the number 100 on their paper is the winner.

Note: if someone has the pencil and a two is rolled, they will get the paper from the person on their right, so they will start writing numbers starting at whatever number comes next after whatever number was last written on that paper. 

Try it and comment here if you found it fun. Also, post here a comment with any fun games you like to play.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Save Yourself from a "Trip" to the Hospital


Save Yourself from taking a "Trip" to the Hospital!

I used to go to a barber in the next town. He retired, so I haven't seen him for a few years. He was a veteran. He told me many stories. One was about his wife. She fell down the stairs at his house once a few years back. She has suffered since then with injuries.
   Once we had a safety expert at work. He said that when something "almost" happens or when someone has a minor trip-up or accident, we need to heed that as a warning.
   I keep thinking about the barber's wife. I've made sure our railing is always tight.  Whenever I see how dark our stairs are at night, I think about articles I've read about people needing to be careful for safety in their homes and how we need to be careful about lighting. I've been thinking about using some electronics to make a light that senses movement and turns on.
Then I saw this at home Depot for about $13 for two (only one shown in photo).
We put them on our stairs. They work pretty good. There are other similar ones. I put one in the garage too. That one is mounted on the ceiling and lights up most of the garage.
So, here's a suggestion to save you from tripping on the stairs (or your garage or anyplace else) and taking a trip to the hospital. Think about getting something like this.
All the best to you!
I'd like to hear your thoughts on this suggestion. Please comment.