Positive Things

Up at 0730 and worked steadily since that time. Found my error rate was increasing and felt the onset of a headache. Realized it was already 1400.

Positive Things

I have been writing text rather than working directly with code. Code is very hard and extremely frustrating. Text is more manageable. My performance remains slow. But I have considerable experience working with text due to the blog. Somehow it feels easier, more fluid.

This sense of “flow” from the start was very positive. I became completely caught up in the activity and lost all track of time, or any other influence external to the immediate project.

Correcting text remains a laborious process. I constantly introduce errors and must then painstakingly remove them. This is a task very familiar to me from making blog entries. It remains extremely frustrating.

Today is Friday. I have therefore spent exactly one week in Goof-Off mode. This does not mean I have not been active. I have undertaken other, more limited tasks. I have, however, shied away from working on the project. I have nibbled around the edges but, until this morning, I resisted a return to the project. There was a sense of being gun shy, a fear of invoking the prior problems, the worry that I would once again demonstrate my own incompetence.

I utilized the goal setting strategy presented in the brain support group. I made a commitment to N to try and provide her with a preview this Sunday. Having made that commitment, I then had to follow through. So that was very helpful. I have been worried that setting milestones and goals would have a negative effect, especially if I constantly fail to meet them. This has been true in the past several months of work.

Drawbacks and Negatives

When I enter the flow state I assume I am being productive. It “feels” as though I am productive and fully engaged. I believe I am making good progress.

But when I return after a break, or the next day, I find that everything I accomplished is of low quality and requires rework. My subjective experience of the flow state is positive and seductive. The objective appraisal of the same material indicates that my performance is not up to snuff and I somehow lose objective oversight. Not sure how else to explain this.

I can spend up to 10 hours a day on the project. I have come to learn that only four of these are productive hours. And even the work performed in this four hour window will require substantial rework. I try and budget my time so that I focus on the most critical tasks when I am fresh. The difficulty is in finding sub-critical tasks I can undertake when I am not fresh. There are very few of these.

It is now 10:00 pm on Saturday night. I suspect my goal of having something on-line that I might demonstrate to N will become another missed target. I am trying hard not to come down on myself for missing deadlines. This will be the forth or fifth miss since I started at the end of January. I suppose I could excuse the miss by referring to the week long vacation, the “goof off” time recently taken.