I work as Product Manager in a large company. It is usual to get trapped in the business of being busy without knowing where the time goes and wasting most of it.
In order to not fall in the busy-ness trap I followed the 4 quadrant strategy explained on this article: This Googler Explains How To Design Your Time Rather Than Manage
Here is the summary on how to build your quadrant:
You can label your quadrants however you like, but remember: you only get four of them. To figure out what they are, start by making a list of your normal tasks and responsibilities. Take a look at your calendar and review the meetings you attended in the last couple of weeks. Review your recent to-do lists and big projects from the past three months.
I have divided my time as Product Manager at Ve Interactive in the following 4 categories:
- Product Design (User research, technical research, stakeholder interview, wireframing, writing documentation,…).
- Product Management (Dev team communication, user communication, business communication,…).
- People Development (Mentoring other Product Managers, coaching Development team, advising business on product strategy,…).
- Transactional Tasks (answering emails, setting up new tool,…)
They are ordered by priority. Being the two that I more enjoy Product Design and People Management.
On my to-do list I group the tasks on those 4 categories. And try to focus on one type of task depending on time of the day, amount of time without interruptions, availability of relevant colleagues,…
I hope this example can help other Product Managers to design their time.