I have a bad habit when I’m making something and I’m starting to get tired. I’ll encounter a more challenging or tedious problem then I can handle at the time and I tell myself “I’ll come back to this later” and add it to a mental checklist of things that need fixing later. This leads to an awful burden as I progress through a project and this list grows. It also leads to me thinking that I’m further along in the project than I am because I forget about these items while measuring my progress.
I figure there are three ways I can improve upon my methodology that will help me create better quality things, measure progress better, and reduce my mental overhead during a project:
1) Push myself to solve the problem right when I notice myself falling into this tendency – Sometimes I have the mental energy to solve the problem and I’m just being a bit lazy. In those cases I need to push myself a little harder. 2) Keep a written list of the items that I need to revisit – This will reduce my mental overhead while also providing a better way of estimating progress since these items are written down right in front of me. 3) Take a break – Sometimes my mind is tapped out and I just need to stop and go for a walk or sit and enjoy some quiet. In those situations, pushing myself forward will lead to poorer output and wasted time.
Now that I’ve outlined these solutions I’m going to set myself up for success by preparing my work environment in any ways I can to reduce friction while working. In this case, I’ll start a list on one of the windows in the office that I use as a draw erase board for each project I’m working on so I can quickly add items without thinking much effort. Plus I’ll dump out anything that’s been collecting in my brain already.
Once I’ve done that, I’ll only have one hard problem – figuring out which option is the right one for each situation.