Many services and products depend on the skill and dexterity of a software tester. And like all of those important tasks at their hands aren’t enough, software testers often need to continuously keep up with the deadlines.
So, besides the knowledge needed to do the job, QA testers must also acquire the ability to effectively manage time.
Let’s see what steps should be taken to better manage time when doing software testing.
Tip one: Make sure you’re well rested
Having a well-rested mind and body is key for doing any kind of productive work. QA testers must always keep their minds sharp for tackling bugs and keeping software error free.
This kind of work is, by its nature, very meticulous and mentally exhausting, so make sure you do this before you even start working:
- Get a good night sleep
- Wake up early so you’re not in a hurry
- Exercise a bit and get that blood pumping
- Don’t forget your breakfast. Brain foods are the best.
- Take a walk and fill up on that oxygen.
Tip two: Set priorities for the day
As a QA tester, you are probably working on multiple projects and tasks at any given time. It is easy to fall into the trap of just working on them as they come. But, if you approach your tasks in this manner, you could easily find yourself stuck on something which, at the moment, is just not that important.
You’d be better of taking a little time to set priorities for the specific day. Take a glance at all the tasks you have to do, see which ones are the most difficult or time-consuming, and tackle them first.
Tip three: Create a to-do list
Now that you have your priorities defined, you should use them to create a detailed to-do list. The best option is to list your tasks and add a timeline for each of them. You can use a time card calculator for tracking your progress and time spent on each task or project. Clockify is free and easy to use. This will give you the precise numbers on the time needed for completion of each task and will help you to better plan your projects in the future.
Tip four: Stop with the multitasking
There’s no such thing as multitasking. Multitasking is just transitioning from one thing to another, and back again. It’s not a smooth transition either. You waste precious seconds and minutes to acclimate your brain to a different task, not to mention the time needed to re-focus every time you switch tasks. And these seconds and minutes add up over time.
The better way is to stick to your to-do list and cross out tasks one by one.
Tip five: Automate and integrate tasks
Automation should be used wherever is possible to implement it effectively. There are a few routine tasks that you don’t need to waste too much time and energy on, and automation is a perfect solution.
Automatable quality assurance tasks include:
- Building deployments
- Regression testing
- Test case management integration
Automating these and similar tasks will leave you more time to focus on and deal with the more specialized tasks.
Tip six: Streamline communication
The email was a standard for business communication for decades. But emailing developers, your Test Lead, IT engineers is slow and cumbersome. It’s better to use instant messaging tools like Skype or Slack for streamlining the communication between QA testers and other teams.
These few simple tips should keep you better organized and more efficient as a quality assurance tester and increase your productivity.
Do you have any advice on how to better manage your time when doing software testing? Please, share your experience in the comments below.