Thursday, October 6, 2011

On Getting Things Done

This isn't a grandkid post per se, but even us grandparents have to get stuff done, so that we can have enough money to buy those grandkid gifts we love. 

I've been pondering lately how to get things done when you're either too sleepy, too distracted, or just plain don't feel like working on something.  Here are some suggestions from my experience:

  • Don't try to do the hardest thing first.  Ease your way into your day with some less than brainy work if you can.  I've found this to be very helpful in getting the old brain up and running - start with something basic and menial and then work up to harder stuff.
  • Help someone else out.  I subscribe to a Web Designers board where I can sometimes provide some insight into an issue that someone else has been struggling with.  I can't say why, but helping someone else is extremely invigorating!
  • Put on some great music.  This is a basic one, but I've found that the right music can really change my mindset a lot.  Lately, I've been enjoying Shalom Jerusalem by Paul Wilbur - energizing and nice.
  • Take the hardest problems and just put them in front of your eyes for a while.  This is an amazing fix that I've found works more often than I would have thought.  If I'm really stuck on a problem and really, really don't want to deal with it, I'll just put the code for it on one of my screens, and look at it from time to time while I'm doing other work.  For some reason, this gets the problem into the back of my mind, and I'll come up with a fix at an odd moment.
  • Find something to succeed at.  If you've been struggling with one particular issue, put it down, and succeed at another one.  Another mystery, but success seems to engender success, and getting one thing right seems to help with the others.
  • Probably the most important one I've found though is to just get started.  Set a timer for 20 or 25 minutes (the Pomodoro method) and tell yourself you'll only work for that amount of time.  It's amazing what you can do in that amount of time, and how much your whole outlook can change.

And now, back to our regular grandkid programming...

1 comment:

Susan Adcox said...

I sometimes use the two-hour method. I'll go to exercise class (takes two hours including drive time and showering afterwards), work on my website (two hours goes by quickly) or do house and yard work (two hours goes more quickly than one might think). Otherwise, sometimes at the end of the day, I have done a little bit of everything but mostly a whole lot of nothing!