Timeboxing April 23, 2012
I don't get a lot done
A lot of folks look at what I do (be a dad, work on Lift, work on Visi, mentor folks, etc.) and think that I get a lot of stuff done. Truth is, I don't.
Or more specifically, I rarely get enough time to put all the stuff I need to put into local brain cache in order to be successful the way I want to be successful.
Now, many of my functions do not require a ton of brain cache in order for me to appear to be productive. I can answer most questions on the Lift mailing list through because I've answered most questions many many times.
It's hard when it's something new
The problem is mostly Visi. Visi is something new and different. Visi is something that's not what I've done over and over, nor are the patterns for Visi a set of normal patterns. In fact, Visi is explicitly beautifully re-thinking development and that requires a lot of concentration.
Concentration is hard. (well, D'uh!)
I read The Flight from Conversation and realized that it's not just conversation that's being disrupted from not being "present", but it's that hardcore thought process that often takes many hours to get into.
Changing my patterns
I've decided to change my patterns. I will become the master of my time domain.
I've changed all my email clients to manually poll and I will only check email periodically and at logical breaks in my day (after lunch, etc.) rather than allowing myself to get interrupted by incoming email.
I'll scan Twitter once or twice a day and use Pocket to capture the articles I want to read.
I will read the saved articles for time-boxed periods in the morning (over coffee) and in the evening.
When I'm with my family, I won't check email or Twitter, although I may play an iPad game when others are playing iPad.
I may compose blog posts in my head while I'm walking the dog, but I will only spend 30 minutes a day composing blog posts (as compared with the occasional day where I burn 4+ hours on a single post.)
I won't watch TV and watch iPad (or shop or surf)… I will focus on one distraction at a time.
A 5+ week experiment
I'm going to try the above focus/time-box experiment between now and the end of May.
My metric for success is significant feature add to Visi. If I can get rid of distractions and get on with changing the world, hopefully the world will be a better place.