Moving Projects Forward

One of my favorite benefits of following a GTD workflow is that it eliminates a lot of the decision making for you. When it’s time to get work done, just fire up your task manager of choice, switch to your list of available next actions, and pick one. Having defined, physical next actions for each of your projects is the key to moving them forward. But sometimes you can get stuck and lose momentum. You may forget why a project is important.

I’ve found that this can happen for long running projects or for projects that aren’t clearly defined with next actions. For the latter, the solution is simple. Move your focus all the way down your hierarchy of tasks and come up with the very next physical thing you can do to move the project ahead. No matter how small that action might be, it will count as forward progress if you do it. And that might just be enough to get you going again.

But for projects and tasks that have been on your mind for seemingly ever, or for those that you just don’t remember why you signed up for them in the first place, it can be helpful to go in the opposite direction.

Take a look at the task you’re procrastinating on and move up a level to its parent. Do you remember why you added that to your list? If it’s a project, are you still committed to doing it? If you’re not sure, go up another level. Is it clear why that is important to you?

You can repeat this process all the way up to your areas of focus. Is it your career? Your side business? Your family? Whichever area you land on, it should be an important tent-pole in your life. You should be able to make the connection between why it is important to you and how that one small action can move you closer to your goal. And, hopefully, that’ll be the motivation you need to get un-stuck and moving forward again.

So my kid just swallowed a marble. Guess I’ll be straining poo for the next two days.

February 10, 2018

First day at the new gig. Feels good to be out of the suburbs and walking around a proper city again.

February 5, 2018

Happy Indie Developer Day! If you know a solo dev or small company making apps you love, give them a high-five today.

February 1, 2018

Absolutely love this. David Byrne covering Bowie’s “Heroes” with a crowd full of strangers singing backup vocals.

January 31, 2018

Just picked up two @Sonos Ones (with Alexa built-in) for the price of one HomePod. All because they sent me an email. Mailing lists work!

January 27, 2018

My Great Android Experiment: Part 0

Being a longtime macOS user, when the iPhone arrived on store shelves, I never looked back. The mental model of iOS fit me better than any platform I’d ever used. And given my experience developing Mac software, bringing that knowledge to iOS apps was as simple as learning a new framework.

So I’ve been iOS-only since 2007. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve used an Android device. Sure, we have a couple Amazon Fire tablets for the kids laying around, but those are just toys as far as I’m concerned. I’ve never owned or spent any in-depth time with Google’s offering. But, yet, here I sit, holding my new Pixel 2 in hand and wondering what to do next.

I’m not switching to Android. I’m too invested in the Apple ecosystem to consider that. But I am curious what the top-of-the-line Android experience offers. Particularly, because I want to learn to develop for Android. I feel like I’ve topped-out as far as I can go career wise without knowing the other side of the fence. I could just open up the latest Android book and start learning, but before I do that I want to immerse myself in the OS and learn the Android way of doing things.

As long as I can stay motivated, I plan on documenting my thoughts about switching on this blog in a series of posts.

So I switched to Android. Pixel 2. I think I’ve reached my ceiling career wise if I don’t know both. Fuck.

January 13, 2018