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Communications of the ACM

The profession of IT

Managing Time

man in a hurry

Credit: RepMan Blog

Professionals overwhelmed with information glut can find hope from new insights about time management.

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You write "people who feel productive and satisfied usually do not spend more than 6080 hours per week on professional commitments."

What a relief. That's just - what? - 9-12 hours per day including weekend. No wonder people feel stressed if they do 100 hours per week.

I mean: seriously? 80 hours per week on a 40 hour job? That's gotta be a mistake.

Peter Denning

Absolutely. Most salaried professionals ("exempt" employees) put in more than 40 hours a week. The threshold where they start telling us it's too much seems to be in the range 60-80 hours. Regardless of how many hours you need each week, the practices outlined in the article are useful to manage your commitments reliably.


Dear Peter:

I enjoyed your March 2011 viewpoint article. It reminded me of a recent course I taught on the subject of developing and maintaining the vision (mission) of valid system requirements (like commitments) and valid early design decisions (like early decision making based upon conversations between the engineer and the customers, i.e. designing designs. Such time and thought to better early design decisions and planning leads to reduced density of post-release defects to maintain as well as increased payoff in time between releases, i.e. increased payoff from the valid early design decisions. At a higher level this is also related to military mission statements and choosing between the valid operational concepts.

David C. Rine
Kansas City
Olathe, KS

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