Empty your sock drawer and sort it

Management can sometimes feel you’re running around doing nothing at all. Especially when you're building a startup, things get slower and slower (for good reasons like quality and size I hope).

There are days I feel like nothing ever gets done, lots of meetings, discussions, emails, people to assist, squeeze in lunch; by the end of of the day you feel beaten.

Early in my career a very senior director told me a solution during training that you have to just “empty the sock drawer and sort it”. He went on to explain that some days he’d go home, empty the sock drawer, take each sock, match it with it’s pair and place them back neatly. Once complete he’d feel much better with the day. He had accomplished something.

I can remember thinking this director is nuts. How is that going to ever help, they should’ve sent me to a proper training course.

I now know what he meant.

It’s important to have completed something at the end of the day. This feeling of accomplishment is very satisfying. This is one of the reasons I’m always encouraging developers to write small deliverable user stories (tasks) so that they can tick a box at the end of the day, feel good at completing something.

For me I’ve started making a list of wins like this, like writing a blog post, cleaning the dishes, making something with my kids (science projects FTW!) and I'm looking for more.

How about you, what is your sock drawer?

Have thoughts on what I've shared? Please tweet me @kalv publicly or privately, would love to chat.