I love coding very much. It is always a pleasure to see a hard task done. As you can understand, I’m a result-oriented person and it helps me in my daily work, but it has some drawback as well.
If it’s hard to achieve the goal immediately, it’s a fair ground for procrastination. Instant gratification sounds more attractive than long-term plans.
The best way of doing daily work:
- to divide the work into small tasks and to do short breaks between working intervals
- to refocus attention on a process instead of the result
- to use diffused and focused thinking. I mean to use both of them.
One of my mistakes was a constant (permanent) thinking about the problem. Of course, a person isn’t able to be focused on a difficult issue during a very long time. It’s tiresome and it’s hard to notice any other options for making a better solution to fix the problem. Thinking about the issue in a background mode is helpful for creating new connections in an already known data.
It’s useless to use your willpower in a struggle with a procrastination. All your strength will be spent on a battle instead of working on a task.
Getting down to work
When I’m starting a new task I have some problems which can activate a process of procrastination:
1. A lack of information and an unpleasant process of getting it. The whole process looks like something huge and shapeless. You can handle this (deal with it) with making a simple plan. For example:
- I make a plan with the necessary but unknown data and mark possible places where I can find answers.
- I need to write a couple of messages to my coworkers who could have the information. I know it should take some time to get answers. So I do that at first.
- I know that I can find some information in the articles I’ve found. While I wait for the answers, I start to collect information from the articles.
Sometimes, after these steps, I can realize that a majority of data isn’t known anymore. Now you can focus on your task. A big part of unpleasant work has already done.
2. The next part of the work is more pleasant and inspiring. But it has some traps, too:
- To find the solution which will be the best of the best and the most elegant ever. It can put you in lots of research.
- To make a piece of work which is a long routine.
At first, I use a plan with base points that are necessary for the task. If there is one point on the list that isn’t necessary for setting the status “Done”, I delete it.
Self management with Pomodoro
The timer “Pomodoro” helps to solve the problem at the second step.
There different apps in the web for setting “pomodoro” timer, just “google” them. You can use any.
For example, the app for Chrome, Or Pomodoro app for Linux
- A convenient schedule of working sessions and breaks. Actually, you are free to set time intervals as you like. I like the default “Pomodoro”‘s intervals. A working session is 25 min and a break is 5 mins. Each forth break is 10 mins. 25 minutes is a time you can easily work without misdirecting. It’s not so long and not so stressful. 5 minutes for a break is not as short as it could look at the first. I’ve read the book “A Mind For Numbers” in 2 weeks in 5 minutes breaks. And it was really effective. Of course, if you are reading something very sophisticated 5 min will not be enough.
- I’ve realized that I start to work faster when 25 min session is close to the end. If it seems that you can make it to the end I don’t want to postpone it for the next 25 min session.
- It’s much easier to manage the time. You can count how many “pomodoros” the task took.
All these steps help to control spent time and the amount of work. It makes the process of answering managers’ questions much easier and less stressful.