Monthly Archives: May 2003

Getting Stuff Done

Syndic8: Getting Stuff Done — Jeff Barr has a great method for breaking down projects into really short tasks:

  1. I keep a very detailed TODO list.
  2. When I am about to do something new, I break it down into items that can be
    done in 5 to 15 minute chunks. Given the power of PHP and MySQL, these chunks
    can be pretty big. I make each chunk something that will move the site forward,
    or at least not break it.
  3. I work on single chunks, write the code, test it, and deploy it (sometimes I
    reverse the order of the last two steps).
  4. I keep good notes on my TODO list and in my daily worklog so that I can
    easily pick up from where I left off.
  5. I try my best to never walk away from my desk while leaving anything
    broken.

This reminded me of Joel Spolsky’s method for scheduling software projects, including the directive to “pick very fine grained tasks”. Joel’s example emphasizes tasks measured in hours rather than days or weeks. Jeff’s approach takes that one level smaller for individual projects by getting down to the 5-15 minute range.

Getting Caught Up

Faced with a big deadline at work and a big party at home, I’ve had no time to keep up with what’s going on around the internet. Fortunately my inbox is full of RSS headlines thanks to my HeadlineMailer.

I just subscribed to Windley’s Enterprise Computing Weblog which looks like a great information source. He linked to the announcement that Sprint will carry the new Sony T608 phone (with integrated Bluetooth). Being a Sprint customer and Palm user, I’d definitely like to get one of these. The Tungsten T also has integrated Bluetooth, so this would be a great combination.