There are days when everyone enjoys crossing accomplished tasks off their to-do lists, ones in which hours fly by as you power down tasks one after another. But there are also days when you feel like you’re drowning in a sea of tasks, and you feel like it is too much to do, or that you’re trying to tackle too much at once.
While it may feel like these days are inevitable, that doesn’t mean you have to live them. Instead, try these five steps first, before you start beating yourself up for moving too slowly, or start comparing the speed of someone else’s implementation ideas:
1. Investigate the Task at Hand
The first thing you need to do is to find the root of the problem. Did you inherit a project, and are now trying to catch up? Are you off to the races with a new implementation that sprints forward while others stay behind?
Whether it’s a new project or a new task, take time to dissect the task. What are its requirements? What do you need to complete it? If you’re stuck on a task and it feels like the requirements aren’t really clear, don’t rush to make something out of it before you’re done questioning the task.
2. Put Back the Picture Frame
Over the years, I have learned that it’s easy to lose sight of the overall picture. You’re not the first person to take on a given task, and you won’t be the last. This means there is a lot of research, design, trial and error, and testing that has gone into this task before you. It also means there will be plenty more after you. Every time you start something new, there are countless tasks that were already done for you.
A clean architecture, a good API, an informative README, and a consistent development process is like having a step-by-step picture frame that has been set back up for you.
When you are working on your project, it’s easy to doubt yourself or feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere with no context or resources around you. If you don’t have to start from scratch on each task, it can significantly reduce the time it takes you to get things done. So, focus on learning what you can from what’s already there, and instead of trying to write your own framework, extend what’s already been built.
3. Control your Work In Progress
Projects can quickly get out of control when they start moving past the point of just doing the task you were assigned.
It’s easy to get lured into producing more and more when compounding interest and the learning curve create an addictive force that builds you to your peak performance. Problem is, while that may work for some, most won’t experience the same results. Instead, you’ll burn out quickly.
You can get through any task with a good to-do list and reminders to just do what is in front of you. One of the best ways to do this is to break large tasks into individual pieces of work that you can complete in an uninterrupted sitting. Then, put your tasks in a list of priorities that reflects only what you need to do today.
If you’re working on a big project, your work in progress might mean two things: what you have committed to, and what you are currently working on. Your commitment may be a deadline or a deliverable, while your work in progress is all the tasks you are currently working on.
This is important because it’s easy to start working on something else that is knocking at your door while you are on something else. Don’t give in to the distraction. Instead, resist temptation and force yourself to focus on what you were doing before you went after the new problem.
How To Offload Unfinished Tasks
Hire devops consultants in Montreal to perform the tasks and give your team more time to focus on what needs to be done. These consultants are great resources who can build out the details required for a new implementation. Boasting the knowledge and experience necessary to produce an implementation that will stand the test of time, they can help your team focus more on the strategic and important tasks.