Better Tasks, Better Results

For me, tasking is a critical part of being productive. If I have clear well formed goals, I can stay on target, make progress, and get things done.

Without clear goals,I get there eventually, but with more trips out into the weeds, and probably some fruitless diversions.

Given bad tasks, and I get knocked down.

Quite a bit.

I have the bad habit of assuming I can solve almost any problem given enough time and resources. I do have the good graces to know that there’s a more finite scale of problems that can be solved in a particular time scale with the resources at hand, but within those constraints I still want to solve most problems myself rather than ask for help or use someone else’s code unless I know someone who’s an expert on that particular problem domain or have a very good reason to trust whatever external dependency I’m pulling in. The more magic boxes that I don’t understand in the code I’m working on, the less happy I am.

The place where that becomes a problem is why I’m handed something that I’m supposed to assume is solvable in a set chunk of time, I try to take it on.

When the complexity blows up and the problem becomes much larger, I still want to solve it, and because I’m stubborn I want to solve it myself, and preferably in the unit of time that I originally committed to.

Sometimes this ends well, but the worse the scope mismatch was the bigger a problem it is and the more it tends to end up being a problem.

From my end, I can improve it by asking for help earlier when scope is a problem. Because of how I think, that’s still a failure on my part, but it’s at least a better contained failure.

The meta-problem that I don’t quite know how to solve is making sure that I get decent tasks in the first place.