Coding and Going to the Grocery Store

Greg Robinson’s comments today
were quite timely, I had been thinking much the same thing myself… Often, and
I find it happens more and more these days, I will go to find something on the
Internet, or buy something at the grocery store, and I end up doing everything
but the task I intended to accomplish. This appears to be normal human
behaviour, but it can be quite disturbing if you are short on time and have a
lot of things that need to get done. As Darren comments on Greg’s post, a
to-do list appears to be the only way to keep yourself focused. In coding this
is extremely important, so I use bug-tracking software to track new features and
bug fixes together with some priority info… otherwise I would code for a few
days and never get any closer to shipping out my application.

I suspect that we could all use more
focus to the work part of our day, the more productive we are at work, the more
we can goof-off at home! I’ve always wondered if there was a software solution
to this problem, but I think it much more of an issue with me than with any
particular means for tracking to-do’s. A piece of paper would likely be enough
of a “system” for tracking all of the things to do in a day, but like most
developers I feel compelled to at least use a computer solution (Outlook tasks
at the moment, at least they sync to my pda), although I have a strong desire to
write my own. I guess that would be the ultimate procrastination, writing your
own to-do list tool instead of actually working on the items on your
list.

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