Saturday, March 24, 2018

What Can You Get Done In 15 Minutes?

These days, my time is cut into small snippets. I can't find an hour to work on something. At best, I can get 15-30 minutes at a shot. That means projects requiring setup or cleanup are out of the question. Sorry about that, MGB. It also means that any goals I hope to achieve will have to be cut into bite-sized chunks.

I'm learning that this means some preparation will make a big difference. For example, if I'm going to read, I need to take notes. My current book needs to travel with a notebook and a pen at all times. I have tried online or electronic note-taking many times, but they are all terrible. It also means that coding or design projects need additional planning so I can cut them into tiny subtasks.

In practical terms, it means that instead of diving into the book or coding problem or design effort, the first 15-minute snippet will have to be spent laying out a plan for the project. In the past, I didn't need a plan for executing 2-hour projects, but now I do. Without one, I'm insanely frustrated, knowing that I'm not making any progress at all. With one, I'll know I'm at least grinding towards completion.

1 comment:

ligneus said...

I find the same thing has happened to me with reading, takes me ages to get through a book! OTOH, the books I read now are much denser? richer? more difficult? than in my younger days and maybe 15 min segments are called for for my tired old brain to comprehend the subject matter. There's no substitute for reading a book twice but who has time for that?!
Is it internet induced ADHD or is life more complex and busy than it used to be? Probably both. More self discipline is called for!
Tangential to this, here is a Roger Scruton quote that I printed up a while ago and gave to maybe a dozen people, friends and acquaintances,several thought it gobbledygook, some were indifferent, only two liked it. I think it came from his The Meaning of Conservatism, I struggled with that one! What thinkest you guys?

I shall argue that the conservative attitude, and the doctrine that sustains it, are systematic and reasonable. Conservatism may rarely announce itself in maxims, formulae or aims. Its essence is inarticulate, and its expression, when compelled, is sceptical. But it is capable of expression, and in times of crisis, forced either by political necessity, or by the clamour for doctrine, conservatism does its best, though not always with any confidence that the words it finds will match the instinct that required them. This lack of confidence stems not from diffidence or dismay, but from an awareness of the complexity of human things, and from an attachment to values which cannot be understood with the abstract clarity of Utopian theory.

Love Roger Scruton! A precursor to his book Fools Frauds and Firebrands, a take down of the leftwing philosophers such as Derrida, Sartre, the French nonsense machine he called it, led to him being ostracized by Academia and all the 'right people', yet here he is now, Sir Roger Scruton. I find that recognition very heartening.