My Secret Life as a Spaghetti Coder
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This seems to be becoming a theme here lately: DIFN. That's the advice in MJWTI for this week, although Chad Fowler doesn't put it so bluntly. In the chapter, Chad describes a race where the first team to complete a project over the weekend wins $100 thousand. Could you do it?
How is it that an application of similar scope to those we spend weeks working on in the office is going to get finished in a single weekend?
We've all seen projects take weeks when they could be measured in days. So what gives? The answer, of course, is that we aren't accustomed to doing it right now. Stop putting off tasks. Just do them.

To help meet that goal and create race conditions, I like to timebox my daily tasks. From 5:30 to 6:15 I read my email do my morning blog reading. Then I take 15 minutes and enjoy a cold Red Bull. After that, I might work on Project A for 3 hours, then read email for 15 minutes. I've got half a days work done before most people get to the office. After that, I might switch to Project B for three more hours, and so on.

To keep track of what I should be working on and give myself pop-up reminders that it's time to change tasks, I've been using Apple's iCal, and it works pretty well. My only problem is that as I need to work more often in Windows, I'm not using it as much, and particularly this week my productivity has been way down. (I admit, the impending holiday may have something to do with that as well.) However, FedEx just dropped off VMWare Fusion, so hopefully I won't need to boot into Windows anymore and the problem will be solved. My only complaint against iCal itself is that I wish I didn't have to set up an email address in the mail client for it to send me an email - that's just annoying.

If you're not on a Mac, Google Calendar would work (except you're not getting the popup reminders). Even just spending 15 minutes before you leave work to plan the next day, and writing it on the whiteboard or some sticky-notes would likely be a major improvement for your work-day, and might even be better than a technology-based solution.

How have you made it easier on yourself to do it right now?

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A pretty good list that's related:

Posted by Sammy Larbi on Dec 21, 2007 at 12:45 PM UTC - 5 hrs

It isgood

Posted by Hailu on Jun 18, 2012 at 02:30 PM UTC - 5 hrs

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