The Bradlands

Analog follow up

Short follow up to my analog post

Came across this article which I think does a decent job of explaining the problem I was talking about it.

Among the benefits is the ability to stop pointless, circular worrying. "Have you noticed that when something is on your mind you seem to go over it again and again and again?" he asks. "I call these brain loops, and they're devastating to actually accomplishing important tasks… I can't explain it, but the moment you take a thought and type it out, it simply feels wrong to loop through that thought process again. Your brain moves on to other things."

I try to write before I go to bed for this purpose rather than when the article recommends which is in the morning. In the morning I'm driven to get to work and start working. I don't want to disrupt that. Instead I write at night before I go to bed. This allows me to reflect on the day and clear my head. I'll also write down what I plan to do the next morning so there's no guessing as to where to start. End result is my head is clear and I can sleep better. Once it's written down I can forget about it.

When I was right out of college, and working my ass off for Cerner, I used to have these awful coding dreams. The code would never do what I wanted it to do. I kept trying and kept failing. Exhausting nights. Later in my career I heard someone say they hired someone because they "coded in their dreams!" as if it was a great thing. I didn't want to poop on their parade but if the kid was like me that wasn't a good thing. It was a symptom that I didn't know how to get away from it.

The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel you will never be stuck. That is the most valuable thing I can tell you so try to remember it. - Ernest Hemingway

A while back I took that quote from Hemingway and applied it to my work (which at the end of the day is problem solving). I can't always solve the problem in one sitting. But if I know, and am confident in, the next steps it becomes much easier to walk away at the end of the day. I do this simply by writing it down.

-bradrer on Aug 24, 2014