Archive for February 3rd, 2010

To say that I get easily distracted or have severe ADHD would not be entirely true. Granted it wouldn’t be entirely false either. What being this way means is that you can get easily derailed from something you were otherwise paying attention to.

Add to this that I also fall into hyper focus. This can be called many things: “The Zone”, “Fugue State”, “Project minded”, etc. What this means is that when I get into a project I will throw everything I have into it. I will burn late night oil to work on it. I will become innovative to try new things associated with it.

So the collision comes up with one last factor. I call this “The daunting spectre of struggle.” When I get to a, “But I don’t wanna. That’s going to be [hard | lugubrious | tedious | take too long without interruption]” phase. At this point I step back from the project to ponder about it. I come out of hyper focus. At this point ADHD/distraction can move in and another project can sweep me away.

Two weeks ago I was doing family research. I absolutely adore building this huge tree for my son. Now that I have a child I can actually feel legitimised researching my loved one’s family since my own family history is fairly impossible to research. My wife is Western-European, Blue Blood…. all those good things. I’m the touring company to “Fiddler on the Roof”

This however once again caused me to contemplate some genealogy tools that I need that just don’t exist. And the quite transition occurred. I spent last week working on my GEDCOM parser. It took me a day or two to get that back on my plate. But, I made some great progress and rebuilt a code version system archive to replace the one that got eaten. Of course this got me into the annoyance of parsing DATE data. It’s really quite ugly. It’s going to require some directed attention and the weekend got in the way. I really can’t code and monitor the toddler.

Yesterday my loving spouse (@livingartist on twitter) finally finished and posted some AMAZING artwork which you can see on her blog. I have a web server and actually serve her web site and blog. As a result I can monitor the hits. I am also a statistics nut. I suppose this is the case because I actually didn’t take statistics in college. I’m bad enough that I was charting her labor contractions with a moving average. (Sadly, she was prodromal with complications right up to delivery; my statistics were therefore all for naught)

I’ve been tracking her hits and retweets with some software I developed last year. The process is great. I can graph hits per 10 minutes and per hour. I have moving averages. A second piece of code tracks retweets so that I can reference promotion to data spikes. I’ve almost got the entire process automated. I just need to make a few more tweaks in between updating the data by hand ever hour or so. So, how many people followed me from Genealogy to Web Analytics?

And here’s my problem. I don’t track the projects I’m working on well enough to go back to one when I drop one. I need to find a great way to manage not merely what I’m working on; but what stage it is in and how to steer myself back to those projects. Steering is part of the problem. Motivation is another. And of course documentation so that it doesn’t take 3 days to get back on track. What would be even better is if I could budget my time to work on these projects all concurrently.

The process to organise this has begun. And sadly becomes another distracting project all by itself. I have an internal network Yes; I’ve built an external as well as internal with only self-taught IT experience. On the internal network I have installed MediaWiki. This is the software that Wikipedia works on. I’ve also started this blog, which is my way of keeping myself honest.

So next I post this entry on the blog. Then, I mark down the Web Analytics Application in a couple of places. After that, who knows? Just by writing this post. I’m letting myself get out of the Zone.

Andrei’s daily twitter log is brought to you via LoudTwitter

  • 00:33 RT @livingartist: Opening the floodgates: NOT YOURS, an open letter to the Pro-Life movement. #prochoice #

P.S. Anyone notice the posting time? It’s relevant.