Am I short on time or do I need to do so much?


    The following is a translation of chapter 6 of the classic Planning Extreme Programming by Kent Beck and Martin Fowler .


    When you are overwhelmed and you do not have enough time, you should not think about how little time you have, think about how much you have to do. You cannot create more time, but you can do less.

    Once our team was saved from oblivion hanging over a project. With the first release, it became quite obvious that we would not meet the deadlines. One fine day, we held a “standing rally” to discuss the problem. We hung around, answering the question “What prevents us from approaching the release of the product?”

    “I don’t have enough time”

    “I don’t have enough time”

    “I don’t have enough time”

    Nobody had enough time. We did not find the obvious answer and everyone went home.

    During dinner at a Korean restaurant (Korean food is good for the brain ). Suddenly, cosmic rays came into interaction with a part of kimchi and we saw and heeded the real problem.

    The next morning we gathered everyone: “Repeat after me: I need to do so much.”

    That is how it is.

    “I need to do so much.”

    “I need to do so much.”

    “I need to do so much.”

    We repeated this, imbued with all the grace of such a position.

    “I need to do so much. What is your opinion?"

    The fact is that when you do not have enough time, then you are unlucky everywhere. You cannot do more time. Not having enough time - there is a hopeless situation, a dead end. And hopelessness leads to uncontrollability, stress, hopelessness, mistakes, burnouts, and failure.

    The need to do so much is a controlled, familiar situation. When you need to do so much, you can:

    • Prioritize and not do some things

    • Reduce the size of some of the things you are working on

    • Ask someone else to do some things

    Having the need to do so much is hopeful. We may not like the situation, but at least we know what needs to be done.

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