03 Jun 2013
It occurred to me recently that I can group my working mood into 2 broad categories:
Every day has a balance of the two, depending on the demands on your time. They're like the Yin and Yang of productivity, opposing forces rendered meaningless in the absence of the other.
If you beast it too much you will burn out. Burning out means being tired, losing focus and making mistakes. When you burn out you must resist the temptation to panic at your mistakes and beast it some more - you should take the time to relax and mediate. Your issues will dissolve with perspective.
This happenned to me this weekend; I was at the end of a long programming session and was in need of a break, a panicked email arrives saying that "the wheels have come off!". Very worrying and in need of immediate attention. Instinctively I jumped head-first into the problem and found myself quickly gettting stressed.
The answer lay in a nice long walk in the park, it was sunny and beautiful. By the time I got home I knew everything I needed to do, in the order to do it and it was easy, if a little time-consuming.
Spending too long pondering your isses will quickly become immobilising. There will always be pitfalls, what-ifs and unexpected problems, it's impossible to plan for all eventualities! If you have an impossible problem that you cannot figure out often the best answer is to unleash the beast and just crack on!
For me this tends to happen before embarking on a big change, whether it's cultural, logistical or technical sometimes you just need to have a go even if it means returning to the drawing board in a few minutes, doing is revealing.
My spirit animal is probably a Manatee. Except this manatee has a Leopard Seal as it's spirit animal. Kinda like a matroska. Make of this what you will.
Sure, you could say that this is Scrum planning and sprinting, however for my work on NexGen I have become a kind of programming schizophrenic which includes both.