Damon Cortesi's blog

Musings of an entrepreneur.

Time Management

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I stumbled across a post tonight about the tyranny of email. It’s overall point is about how to best manage your time and getting things done. I’ve read several blog posts of this type, but this is the first one that’s really hit home. It’s probably the point that gets made about needing three hours to actually get anything done:

I maintain that programming cannot be done in less than three-hour windows. It takes three hours to spin up to speed, gather your concentration, shift into “right brain mode”, and really focus on a problem. Effective programmers organize their day to have at least one three-hour window, and hopefully two or three. (This is why good programmers often work late at night. They don’t get interrupted as much…)
I find this to be completely true. I do my best work at night when I can completely zone out and focus on what needs to get done. I’m also very guilty of always having my email open so I can be that guy that responds to all emails in under five minutes. Definitely not a good idea for productivity. This is the same reason that I take vacation and spend it working on things at work that I haven’t been able to get done because I just haven’t had the time to sit down and focus on them - things like implementing Sharepoint, programming utilities, researching the latest technologies - all get pushed to the side by little interruptions throughout the day.

What also gets mentioned is the concept of working on something hard vs. something fun and how one usually tends to prefer to work on something fun. This line in particular stands out in my head:

I think happiness comes from liking yourself, and fun things are things which make you like yourself.
In any case, a pretty good read.