A couple of weeks ago I was in the midst of working on a project that required more intensive thinking than I’m used to for most software development. It had to deal with drawing lines and vector math and linear algebra that I haven’t had to dig into in a while.

I’d estimated the entire project would only take 60 hours and I had some free time in my schedule so I was sure that I could get it done in two weeks – I mean that’s just 30 hours a week, that’s easy!

So it turns out that when I’m thinking about hard things there is a limit to the amount of productivity I can get out of sitting at the computer and tapping away at a problem. And at that limit I just need to walk away and offload the problems I’m having to my subconscious.

And this brings me to the title of this post. Good scheduling, like good design, needs white space. It needs empty periods of not working to give shape to the work periods.