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Thinking Time

By Steve Jones,

I have a friend that is responsible for working with clients, helping them to design solutions for their businesses, write statements of work, and develop proof of concepts. This friend also finds 4-5 meetings a day on their calendar, usually lasting from thirty to sixty minutes. That's not an uncommon workday for many people in technology, which always amazes me.

There was a time when I managed multiple DBAs and worked to remove them from meetings whenever possible. It was hard, with the workers always feeling like they wanted to know what was going on, and managers always wanting staff available for detailed updates if needed. Too often I felt that staff time in meetings, and performing updates, was wasted. Managers should take quick updates to meetings, and handle the coordination as much as possible.

Andy Warren (LinkedIn | Blog | @sqlandy) always talks about how important thinking time is, and over the years I've learned that's important. The work that we do is knowledge based. By definition that requires thought, creativity, and most importantly, time. We need to have concentrated time to think, and to work out how we want to attack the problems we face, without the pressure of producing some specific solution.

I know it's easy to view thinking time as an opportunity to waste time, and some people surely will waste the time. However for those of you that work hard, and that are trying to solve issues, it's important to get some thinking time, time when you're not actually writing code and step back to view the problem from another angle. I'd encourage you to take some time to just think over the holiday season, when there usually is less work going on, and see if it can help you produce higher quality results.

Steve Jones


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