Of course not.
I've tried working on pet projects for 10 minutes before going to work each day. The problem I find is that while I might only do active work on the task for ten minutes, my brain is thinking about it for much longer.
Spending those ten minutes in the morning reduces my ability to do my day job because I've used up a significant fraction of my day's useful thinking budget. I find I can only sustain these pet projects when my day job is in a boring/easy phase. (This might have something to do with getting older - I'm 42, or it might be because my job isn't boring/easy much these days).
Like the term “useful thinking budget” - will steal that if I may. To me that type of thinking is usually deep and involves much lateral thought than logical. It’s usually where I establish “focus” on something I’m working on and usually where creative breakthroughs happen on things blocking me.
But it only happens when I’m alone, relaxed and undistracted which is usually the shower in the morning. Going for walks also helps. Also it seems to require feedback “did this idea work in practice?” which creates positive reinforement that my ideas are worth having. Just endless producing ideas without testing them is undermining - used to do that in my early 20’s
FWIW, I do agree with the original comment at the top of this thread that this technique couldn't yield 48 books in 2 years - there's only so much headspace available, and this technique is one that taps into that headspace effectively for long-term projects, but it's not magic.
Is it because of the technology you work on, or is it the age factor?
I've not programmed long enough to actually feel this effect.
* Reading: I take my Kindle to the toilet.
* Solve quiz on Brilliant.org during office commute
* Listen to audiobooks before sleep
* When waiting for the next meeting, I read bookmarked articles.
* It is very important to stop doing something once I realize I have no more juice.
* My total learning time per day is around 1hr on best days.
* Takes 1hr to reach office. So during cab rides, after a quiz is done (10-15min), I nap.
* When zoned out in and realize I'm doing random wild-wild-internet-reading, I immediately turn tech off. I just talk to people (work or casual chat).
* During times of silence, I observe things around me. I learn new things about stuff that has been around me for a long time. I put these observations to use when I draw (I use Procreate app on iPad). For example: I observed reflections in water and attempted to draw a reflection https://www.instagram.com/p/BrxmF1enz87/
This sounds like the main takeaway. Even though the direct time spent on an activity may seem small, the total effective time spent on that activity shoots up if it is performed daily (v/s weekly or longer).
The idea transfers well to coding. Maybe you're not feeling inspired today, but there's probably something mechanical that needs to happen to your project -- resolve a TODO, update the docs, triage a bug report. So do it, and even if that doesn't snap you back into the groove, at least you got that one thing done.
— Joel Spolsky, Fire And Motion, https://www.joelonsoftware.com/2002/01/06/fire-and-motion/
To go for an hour in the gym it's much harder because it take +30 mins to commute +15 min to shower. After 1 hour of gym I feel exhausted and I don't want to do it again next day.
But with 10 mins per day, I don't have to convince myself to do it, it's such an easy task and I feel better after doing it. I don't lose my time in commute and I do it every day which is much better than 3 times per week.
Most days I do 10 mins of meditation and with that I have two great habits that takes most 30 min from my time.
I have a pretty brutal uphill way back home but I feel great after which makes me do it again the next day.
But I had a bad collision which has kept me off the bike for 15 months now. When the doctors were attending me in hospital they had to double check my birthdate because they assumed I was 20 years younger. They wouldn't make the same mistake now -- I really feel like I've aged 10 years in that time.
Have you ever tried this program?
The most exercises you would have encountered them in yoga, pilates or other gymnastics and are nicely combined so you wont get hurt and got bored.
Its nice to hear that 5bx claims max personal fitness with 10 mins too. That means that it might work.
10 minutes seems like not enough time to really get meaningful work done since it often takes me a few minutes to get back into whatever it is.
I think 10 minutes just isn't quite enough time, so I think I'll just include it as a pomodoro internal. I like the idea of forcing myself to do something everyday, so perhaps I'll schedule two small tasks for the internal, and if I'm making really good progress on one, I'll reschedule the other task.
But I definitely like the main idea here, since I often let things languish because I'm worried about them taking too long.
That is, after returning after 5 minutes it takes a couple minutes to re-orient yourself to the problem at hand?
For the case you mention, I would adapt the technique to whatever benefits you the most. If you're in the flow, defer the break. If you defer too much, and start feeling burned out, adjust.
For some people, 25 minutes is too long. Find what works for you.
> The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel you will never be stuck. That is the most valuable thing I can tell you so try to remember it.
The author has sewn together the concepts of non-zero days, the Seinfeld method plus a tweak to the pomodoro technique and then measured his progress. This could work for anyone, it's a good combination, simple to implement and with a little patience almost certainly leads to powerful results over time.
I uninstalled all of the games from my computer, except one. I embarked on a weird quest in the online game I was playing; which was accomplished by running a daily script on a cron job and effectively shut me out of the game. The game I left on my computer was XCOM: Terror from the Deep -- which I was playing on the hardest mode.
That XCOM game is frikkin impossible. So I hacked the save games, extracting them into spreadsheets. My spouse would ask, "Are you playing the spreadsheet game again?" So that wasn't very engaging for long. I'd get bored and go back to work on my thesis.
All that was a success, in the end. When the content was finished, I spent about a week on minor tweaks. I got sick of that, and turned my thesis in two weeks before the deadline. And to be honest... once we got internet hooked up, all my bad habits came flooding back. sigh
On an unrelated note, like the author, I also keep track of how much time I've spent on these FOSS projectss. But it's disheartening to see how much time I've spent on FOSS, and while I have users (they want support/features :) -- potential employers spend almost no time looking at my work, but will still ask me to spend hours on their tech challenges (averaging ~20 hours per challenge).
This is a big problem for me as I age. Personal problems etc take up my mind space and it is very hard to motivate myself to work. Also constant interruptions which I have to attend to makes things really miserable and have stopped my progress of personal projects.
What do you do to handle starting up?
When I fall off of the routine, sometimes I have a gap in working on my code for months.
It kinda worked when I was attempting to write a blog, but even then I never really figured out how to make the routine stick and often it took me half of the designated time to even start writing.
This time-to-start was even worse when programming.
Well, one day!
I think a 15-minute resolution is more reasonable than a 10-minute resolution. If you assume that you allocate each block to a unique activity that means doing six different things per hour instead of doing only four things in the same timeframe.
There's nothing stopping you from using four blocks in a row for an activity, or two, or three, but the minimum amount of time to spend on something is 15 minutes which I think is more worthwhile than 10 minutes.
The only downside is it doesn't let you do two pomodoro blocks per hour, if that's something you want to incorporate into your routine.
> The other thing that really helped is that I didn’t allow myself to check my email until I worked on the book.
I'm sure it's absolutely possible but between a 2 month and 2 year old I don't come close to finding the time to think about extra projects.
I've meditated for ten minutes a day for a few months now and written 500 words a day so far this year. The chain method absolutely works (I'll stay up late at night staring at a blank page until I get to my 500 words) but it can be a chore. I go through with it because I know that once I break the chain that makes it easier to break it tomorrow.
I'm hoping that my current work craziness calms down a bit in a few weeks at which point I'll be scheduling these two things on my calendar in the morning and not start the rest of my day until they are done.
Get the spouse to hold the kids. Even if you're a full time housewife, many husbands are willing to hold the baby for a couple hours each evening. Maybe take them for a walk, bath, watch YouTube together.
My wife's flow activities is experimenting with cooking and child care. We've actually got a couple of apps in the works for this.
I do find myself shower-coding most days, but I never talk to people about it. There's never anyone else in the shower.