What To Do

July 12th, 2013

Sometimes, in fact many times, we are faced with the difficulty of what to work on. With so many projects and tasks, and so little time to complete them, it becomes as much work to decide what to do as it is to do it.

Today, I’m faced with that decision.

Do I work on the projects that I have been working on, that is a ranked and prioritized task in my current contract work list?
If I do this, then I make money, and I get one step closer to closing this project.

Do I depart from the list completely, try to take a step to freeing up time later on by working on automating some server build processes?
If I do this, then I make money, and I get to reduce the time I spend next time I have to build these servers.

Do I depart completely from paid work and instead put the time into my own project?
This would give me personal satisfaction and maybe down the road I might earn money.

Do I even want to spend this time behind the keyboard? Should I instead go do something to make the place I live a little better/cleaner?
Well, it’s house tasks, so I have to do them eventually. If I do them now, when I’m a little tired, then I can focus on work when I’m awake and rested again.

Or do I slack off and watch some TV, take a small mind vacation?
‘Nuff said about this.

It’s these decisions that we make every day. This isn’t even a developer thing, but rather just an everyone thing. We all have to make these kinds of decisions all the time, working out the benefits and costs in our head to decide where to direct the time we have.

Tonight, I think I’ll be a little productive and work on actual paid contract work.

This is part of being a contractor, working whenever you can focus enough to get some time done. And that leads into the next thing to write about.

One of the challenges we face every day is getting work done. It’s kind of different from working in an office, where just showing up is enough to get paid. As contractors, we have to focus and work, and we only get paid when we do. Sometimes it requires so much discipline to sit down and write code, to grind through the problem we are on, instead of gaming for a few more minutes, a few more hours. The benefit and the drawback of working from home is that you can do whatever you want.

Work in a towel after just stepping out of the shower because I didn’t want to put on pants? Did that.
Take a phone call and play with my cat at the same time? Have the scratches to show.
Play Minecraft for 3 hours because the code I was working on was boring and I got stuck? Absolutely.

Volumes have been written about this, about how so many people burn out doing this kind of work and have to go back to an office job.

I’m proud to say I’m a freelancer, and that I work from home.
It shows I have the discipline to keep logging hours.

Speaking of which…

Life and Development

July 11th, 2013

Development is such a hard thing to do sometimes. It’s not so much the work itself, but rather, the things outside of work. Life is messy, distracting, and expensive. I’m going to try and blog more about development, and the process around it, as I work through my job, my projects, and other things I do.

Today’s post was going to be a bit longer, but I’ve discovered that my car needs a new catalytic converter. Given the cost of having that fixed, I have to get back to work and log more hours so I can pay for that.

Life is messy.

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