Measuring Value Of Time Part 1/4

Time is one of the most valuable asset a human being has.  There is a finite amount of time each day.  There is a finite of time in our lifetime.   And once the moment passes, you can not get it back no matter who you are and no matter how much power or money you have.

I want to focus this blog post on the time spent during the working hours because it’s simpler to put value on top of it.  I will write about the personal time spent next time, which is more complex since it’s harder to measure value.

For my job as a Solution Architect in Yahoo!

  • I often need to spend time with my customers every day in meetings, then go back and do some real work in writing documentation, troubleshooting a bug, or doing some real work in setting up access or configuring software.
  • I also have five 1 hour weekly standing meetings for the high level manager, directors to sync up on this complicated project.
  • There are also meetings setup to get resolution to a set of problems that is unknown in scope
  • My internal team has a daily 15 minutes spent to get ourselves sync up
  • I set aside ‘work’ windows where I can work on documentation or process that I believe is important for my team’s June 2011 goals
  • I make time for a set of 5 people I actively mentor so that I listen and give feedback.
  • There are architecture focused meetings where the architects in the organization look at upcoming big problems to solve and make progress
  • I also have meetings where I listen, capture, document customer requirement and explain and walk them through the common process in my group.
  • I get invited to technical meetings that share new technical features
  • I’m invited to meet with new team members to be introduced and establish a common working relationship
  • I also get invited to meetings to help remove blockers
  • We have team internal planning meetings
  • I get ping’ed on IM to resolve quick questions or blockers
  • I get 300+ emails some directly need me to reply, some good info, some useless info, some info I should know for the future, some need my attention to write document, find the right owners, some need me to route to the right people

Given this list of time spent on a weekly basis, I want to answer the follow questions

  1. How do I measure the value of time spent?
  2. Am I spending my time wisely?
  3. What is the criteria I use to decide what to spend my time on?
  4. Am I not spending enough time on something?
  5. If I choose to spend time in a meeting, how do I maximize the value to me, to the people in the meeting and to people not in the meeting?

I’m running out of personal time to finish this blog post and it will be continued..