MicroGoals, RockyTasks, and getting things done

I’m feeling a bit woozy today, as I ‘m having an operation done, but also a leetle bit… Talkative.

I’ve recently begun a few separate changes in my life, i.e. this month:

  • Moved job, away from FS into robotics
  • Started my own Android project
  • Got into a decent rock and roll band
  • Quit smoking (so far)
  • Started reading “10 weeks to SealFit”

In all of these endeavors, I’m been using what I like to call “RockyTasks” to get me through. I’m naturally a depressive person, and  while I’m quite game to sign up for side projects, self-improvement initiatives, sometimes I don’t filter these well enough, over commit and end up not doing any single thing well. It gets overwhelming, but I can’t find a way to back out.

So when I get down I picture myself in Rocky 4, stomping up the frozen hillside to train for the great fight against Ivan Drago and that gets me through. Just, grind it out, ya know? head down until you pull through.

Reason I mention it is that one meme that productivity gurus have been giving a lot of airtime to recently has been “MicroGoals”, the idea that when you break down what you’re trying to achieve into smaller more manageable bites, then you get a swifter overall forward progress and a happier workforce.

I submit that there is also a need for a pleasant way to turn on the Hero Gene, that part of every frustrated developer who wanted to be a particle physicist but ended up in banking, or just watched too many IronMan movies. This is where instead of focussing on the immediate goals, because you are already in the state of flow where you do that constantly, you are now fixated on the prize for us all that is just out of reach, and that you are willing to put in those hours for, to implement that faster search/sort for. The works. All of it.

It might be destructive, even dangerous, though, to unleash this kind of lunatic fringe zealotry. So RockyTasks, the big picture thinking definitely deserves a comeback, but only for the situations that deserve it.



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