filtercake

home  |  stuff I made  |  talks  |  try out all the things  |  meet  |  feed

Looking at things

And suddenly, you are terrified.

You're not really too late, but kinda not exactly upfront either. You know that your team would like to like see something... seeable. Something that looks nice and where things do things when one clicks on the things.

Nothing is really wrong, though. You are working from day to day, the feature is kinda going along, there is lots of stuff on the table outside the feature. But then.

Suddenly, something happens that makes it all much more visible. Just a hint at the daily. Or the status of a ticket changes. Suddenly it is fucking obvious that you are the bottleneck. Suddenly there is that cold sweat on your forehead. Your heart is suddenly going alittle faster than before.

Nothing changed though. The status is exactly the same as it was ten seconds ago. But suddenly, you are terryfied. As if suddenly all eyes were on you.

You might have a todo list, or a dozen todo lists. Three different project management tools. A Kanban board. A Pomodoro Timer. Or whatever.

But right now, none of them are helping. If they did, you weren't suddenly terrified. Suddenly it looks like there are a million things to do, you are too late with everything and you only have half a day to go.

So what do you do now?!

Well, you start breaking it down.

You open a new text doc, and you start typing. Break it down until you have the first dependency-less task. And then break it down even more. And here is your new secret weapon: Make a task called looking at things and give it the same 25 minimum minutes as all the other tasks! I am not kidding.

You spent so much time setting it all up, thinking ahead, deciding how to move forward, reviewing code, writing emails, sketching on post its, understanding the problem, communicating with the team, explaining, meeting and whatnot. And now there are no 20 minutes to look at your own work? Nonsense.

If it makes life easier for you, call it an "internal review" or something. Call it whatever you want. But step down for a moment, relax and enjoy the view.

They say "every marathon starts with the first step". Actually, nope, it doesn't. It starts with looking at the map to get an idea where the marathon is taking place and how the area is.

And suddenly the terror eases. You know you do not have to do anything. You just need to look at the thing and understand what you did so you can continue where you left the last time. Totally doable. Both simple and easy. Zero pressure. Zero deliverables.

You are okay :) you made it til here and you will finish it. Relax. Something will come up so you can continue and move towards the finish line.

Just by looking at things.