Don't work on a deadline

This week I've been working on things that feel so far from a deadline that it doesn't even feel like one exists. Technically I'm closing the current building phase for Adagia in 2-3 weeks, but this feels like plenty of breathing room to me.

The kind of deadline that makes me do poor work and feel anxious are these:

  • I want to finish this by lunch.
  • I want to finish this by tonight.

When I wasn't reflecting enough to have a solid long term goal (in this case long term means just six weeks) deliverable to grasp onto then my work always seems to eventually devolve into constant get it done ASAP deadline mode. 

Because I told myself I had six weeks to work on this one user interaction, I never felt that way in the past week. Because I knew I was working on what would matter in the long run even if it meant sacrificing a whole bunch of other cool things the project could use. 

So if I mentioned that I wasn't anxious at all this past week then what about the first two weeks you say?

Well I came out of my two week building pause feeling super fresh and motivated. I knew what I wanted and I had a whole six weeks to work on it! Let's roll up the sleeves and get to work. But then as soon as I got into work mode I found myself falling into my habits. Suddenly I wasn't grasping onto that longer term goal that I'd decided. I began thinking I needed to do X, Y, and Z. 

By the end of the second week I was able to take a moment to deliberate. A moment to reflect and ask myself really... what do I want out from this project in this next month? 
I think, taking out time to reflect on coding projects is vital to the success/progress of the project.

I know a guy who says he doesn't start a web project until after about a week of thinking.


I think I can pretty much relate to your story also, short deadlines get me really anxious.
2021-02-18 22:26:56
Freshman year I was in honors reading conference. We were on the quarter system with ten weeks each quarter. The professors assigned us one paper (min two pages) due each week for a total of ten papers. Some professors wanted them each week; others let students wait until the very last class to turn them in. One guy named John Teufel (sp) was in the latter class and waited until the night before his last class to pull an all-nighter and crank out all ten papers and hand them in at once. Somehow, he still pulled off an A.
2021-02-19 03:04:24
Great reminder. I need to set breathing room in between my sprints (which is non existent so far)
2021-02-19 08:09:10
what does (sp) mean? That you're unsure of the spelling? I think that Teufel means Devil in German lol.

When I was an undergrad I liked the latter approach. Just give me the freedom to do my work when I want. And of course back then I had zero discipline so I did just like John did. Getting As in American universities really doesn't mean much. Of course unless you're attending the great Grand Canyon University. Then an A is something to brag in Clubhouse about.

you must! It's like going to sleep at night. Unless you have a business emergency where everything is riding on the line that night you should go to bed instead of staying up fucking up your hormone balance.

2021-02-19 14:40:47
 I would not be surprised if John had a deal with the devil because all the girls were hot for him, so he was busy banging away all those nights that the rest of us were writing papers and studying. 
2021-02-19 15:29:00

Documenting Adagia