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Posted on: Sunday, 22 August 2010 by Rajiv Popat

Remember that book you promised you said you were going to write? Remember that technical blog you were going to post on regularly? Remember the little open source framework you said you were going to work on? Of Course you are working on all of that. But then, do you remember when it was that you first said you were going to write a book? Three months ago? Five Months ago? A Year?

Thought so.

Time has strange attributes attached to it particularly when it comes to the speed at which it moves. You are not going to win the fight against time, so don’t even try.

But then, as a geek you have tools at your disposal that help you realize just how pathetically slow you are moving. One simple tool is using twitter to announce the number of days since you started a task. I recently started doing this with the book project that I started working on:

The idea is to make it a point to go to twitter and post a message with every passing day telling yourself that one more day has passed. You can either leave it at that, or get creative and mix it up with celebrating doneness, announcing frustration at random distractions or announcing nothingness.

Either ways, if you can just logout for just five minutes every single day to remind yourself how fast time is moving by, chances are that as time moves by you will disconnect for longer durations and get something real and productive done.

So go ahead, make a not to yourself and tell yourself how many days has it been since you said you were going to work on whatever it is that you said you were going to work on in your free time.

Of course you will end up making a fool of yourself when the number of days start moving phenomenally high for simple things, but then, at times, self humiliation in public can work really well.  Try it.

I wish you good luck.

Thursday, 26 August 2010 14:12:46 UTC
I always had mixed feelings about this kind of approach. Actually I don't really care which day it is since you have started counting unless you make it about me, not about you :)

What I could be interested in is how your book is going, namely how many chapters you have completed or even that you have struggled with a specific paragraph for long hours. But just a counter? That doesn't appeal to me.
Saturday, 28 August 2010 17:28:46 UTC
I agree. It should be about you, not about me.

http://www.thousandtyone.com/contentdownloadcenter/redirector.aspx?fileid=901

This is what you are looking for. It is a table of content.

http://www.thousandtyone.com/blog/ASimpleQuestionToAskBeforeYouPublishSomethingLive.aspx

This is an account of failure with a specific chapter.

I agree that all of these are important but the counter is just a #notetomyself to remind me how fast time is moving.
Saturday, 28 August 2010 17:35:24 UTC
Besides, it is just one tweet every day so I was hoping people would not mind. They will be able to ignore it where else it helps me keep a track of how slowly I am moving with the book.

The reason why I did this post was that I have seen this approach of keeping a conscious tab of time work for me and wanted to share it with everyone else so that they can adapt it for their personal projects if they feel it is useful.

The intent was not to irrate everyone about mundane boring information like number of days I took to write a book.
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