Small Units of Work

When working in a small team, even a team size of 1, you need to be able to get something to a viable, usable and simple state as quickly as possible. Then, you often have to leave it alone for a while and be able to pick back up right where you left off. After all, there’s always more tasks to attack.

Working with small, defined batches not only makes it easier to make tangible progress towards some task, but it also helps with time management. Time is often critical for a small team. There are rarely large continuous blocks of time that you can sit down, settle in and really get some work done.

This goes double for entrepreneurs, stay at home parents, creative professionals, freelancers and basically anyone not working on a linear 9-5 job. You rarely get large chunks of time to sit down and crank something out. You get an hour between client calls or when your child is going down for their nap. That’s it.

When those small segments of time come up, it’s imperative to be able to pick something up and utilize the entire time to progress whatever your doing. It’s going to be almost impossible to make any sort of headway if you have to spend the first 30-40% of your time simply figuring out where you left off.

That’s why it’s important to have a core set of guidelines and patterns that you or your team follows when you work. That way, when picking something up, you will already know where things are, why they’re there, what they do, etc… You spend less time organizing and more time creating.