Friday, March 13, 2009

Day 5 Report

Thanks for your comments on yesterday's post. They were helpful. Feel free to keep adding as you'd like.

Gibsyn, when we spoke on the phone a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned something like, "I really could just start writing now and stop all this coding." Well honestly, after a couple of very productive work days, I realize that's not quite the case. The coding I'm doing now is actually very helpful for wrapping up the analysis process, so I am going to stick with it for now. And it's going quite well, and actually quite quickly. I have a good system in place. I'm using some technical tools to help me out and reduce redundancy among the various lists. Go go Gadget "Remove Duplicates" function in MS Excel!

I've used your 10-minutes technique, which operates under the philosophy, "You can do anything for just 10 minutes." Like Root Canal? Torture? Anyhow, I brought a kitchen timer up to my office. I set it for 10 minutes and I start coding. I do not allow myself to do anything else during that time. Low and behold, progress is made during said 10 minutes. When the timer goes off, I reset it again. At the end of the second 10 minutes, I'm so into the coding process that the alarm is ANNOYING and I just turn it off and keep going. An hour or more later, it's time for a break. And that's pretty much how my day went today. Each time after recovering from a break, I use the timer to get back into things till I don't need it anymore. Brilliant.

Finally, to further demonstrate my focus this week: my office/prison is sorta messy, and even dusty, and I don't give a rat's ass. Those of you who have read this blog for a while realize what a monumental step that is.



lemming said...

Go go gadget timer!

I love the timer technique. Beethoven piano Sonatas perform much the same function for me sometimes.

Probably wouldn't work for a keyboard player, eh?

Rob said...

Oh, actually that technique works quite well for this keyboardist. Beethoven is perfect: I write during the fast movements, and I think during the slow ones.

I actually mentioned the above technique in a staff retreat a few weeks ago, when we had to think about creating a list of our best contributions to the team, or something like that. Our boss turned on a classical station while we wrote. Some commented on how they can often write better to classical music, and I said, "Oh yeah, so we can write during the fast movements and think during the slow ones." Only those who had worked on a thesis or a dissertation understood what the hell I was talking about. Made me laugh.

Now where is my Beethoven CD...?