What Should I Be Doing Right Now?

As a manager, how do you decide what to spend your time on each day?

Cynthia Maxwell, Director of iOS Engineering at Slack provides a framework for how managers should focus their time. As a mom, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is important to her, and the framework she’s developed aims to do just that.

This is the one of a ten-part series covering the sessions from Calibrate 2016, an engineering leadership conference held on September 30, 2016 in San Francisco.

As a manager of technical teams, Cynthia propose that your work each day falls into three categories: Team Building, Delivering Results, and Crafting Your Vision. In her talk, Cynthia breaks each of these three categories down further, giving us nine areas we should be spending our time.

Nine different areas may seem overwhelming, but Cynthia does a great job explaining how to apply ourselves in these areas at the right time. Throughout her talk, she helps cement some of these concepts with some practical examples.

  • Scenario: “Someone wants to quit your team at a very crucial part of your product timeline”
  • Areas to focus: “Coaching, and Controlling Risk”

  • Scenario: “You’re brand new to a company and a role”

  • Areas to focus: “Learning and Building Relationships”

One by one, Cynthia goes through each of these areas and gives useful tips and guidance for how, and more importantly when, you should be spending your time in these areas.

Using these tools, we’re empowered to do what she wants from all us, and that is “To work hard and go home”.