Not Getting Things Done

So it’s the end of another year, and as is often the case, the looming of festivities, obligations and interruptions dragged my productivity into the gutter. I’ve had a very unproductive December, I managed to do plenty of thinking and planning, to keep up with support and enquiries, and even built a new site for one of my products, but actual development practically flat-lined.

This year I’ve become very aware of the weakest link in my motivation, and that’s the incapacitating effect of anything "looming". Any big distraction that’s just on the horizon, whether I know when it’s going to happen or not, if it’s coming soon and I know it’s going to impact on my productivity, my motivation takes a hit.

I feel like it’s somehow related to the concept of being in the zone: I find it very hard to get there if I know I’m going to be pulled out soon afterwards; this just feels like the same concept expanded over a longer period of time.

I had to move around a lot this year, and each time it happened I felt the same kind of slowing of my development momentum. As the time drew near, my willingness to get down and try to write software faded, until I was just completely stuck for the final week or two. Then the looming event came and went, and I just sprung back up to speed. I’ve been very accepting of this festive slow down, because I wanted a bit of a break, but I know I’m going to have to move again in January or February, so I need to find a way to work around it.

I’ve heard a lot of good things about Getting Things Done, I think some of my fellow Codesnipers use the system, so maybe it’s time I gave it a serious look. I did a little reading online to get the general idea, but I guess to really get the most out of the system I should sit down and read the book.

I read about another "system" online this year, Structured Procrastination, it gave me a good laugh and some comfort, and I have to say it does sound a lot more me than GTD.

So, maybe I’ll look into a system, or maybe I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and work a little harder on dealing with the "looming" weakness; I didn’t know about it this time last year, so that must mean I’m in a stronger position now. And, in spite of everything, I’m pretty happy with the way I handled 2005, I definitely feel like I’ve taken a big step forward.

Better hurry...

I have my wife, but I'm sure I can't even imagine how little I'd get done if I had kids running around too. I should probably try to get as much work done as I can before that happens...