My Experience with OBM
July 19, 2019
If you want an overview about OBM, please read my post on the same .
I’ve participated in three sprints until now, in which I’ve completely failed myself, but I’ve already experiencing a drastic changes in my habits, which is good.
Here is what I’ve learned from this short, but significant experience:
First and foremost, the structure of OBM forces you to formalize things. You need to setup goals for yourself. Even better is that the setup makes it very difficult to be vague. You’ve to setup smaller tasks you need to achieve in order to complete the goal. The research, which is required for listing these tasks (thus, providing you with a big picture), getting a correct estimate of time required, helps you plan efficiently.
The next thing is priority - what do you decide to do now. I tend to perform better, if I’ve only 3 things on my TODO list, rather than 10. And OBM accommodates that - Send a list of all the tasks you want to work for the next 15 days, and then spend time doing them, rather than managing your list.
The difficult thing about writing that blog post you’d been thinking about for a week, or deciphering the math equation which just popped out of nowhere in that paper often isn’t actually writing, or performing an analysis. It’s taking out dedicated time from your time-poor schedule just for this. Once you get started, it’s way easier.
A nice analogy to this argument - the hardest part of going to a gym is actually physically going to the gym. Once you’re there all geared, and warmed up, exercise are much more fun. Getting over this initialization barrier is a must. The way I manage this is having slots in my schedule named “OBM”, where I only complete the tasks I’ve mentioned for OBM. No, you aren’t allowed to browse through twitter during that time - just start grinding, and you shall reap the produce afterwards.
One other important behavior I’ve observed is misalignment between what I believe I’m interested in, and how much I can afford to work towards it. If repeatedly, I find myself not indulging with the task, I know it’s not made for me and quit early (thus saving my time and resources to further go down the drain. More about this in “The Dip” by Seth Godin).
OBM serves as a great tool for introspection, monitoring one’s progress and getting things done. As side ‘effects’, it also gives you a taste of professionalism, punctuality and reporting relationships - a complete package aimed towards self improvement. \o/
But, if you’re overwhelmed with the notion of public accountability, just yet, I’d recommend you to run your own personal OBM and see the difference. If you want anymore advice, feel free to contact me (RJ722 on #dgplug, freenode)