Elliot Levin

I enjoy making things


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Productivity with Personal Projects10 Dec 2014

Measuring Progress as a Programmer06 Nov 2014

My Story as a Teenage Programmer24 Sep 2014

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Productivity with Personal Projects

Posted: 10 Dec 2014

I love getting shit done. Specifically, I love having an idea, building on it then realising it. There is no doubt in my mind that there is little more satisfying than taking project from start to finish, completing goals and fulfilling ideas. But staying productive is hard, there are no bones about it. And personal projects are a special case, when you are the only one with something to lose, no one's pressure but your own motivation.

When becoming increasingly busy with a life consisting of school, work, sport etc, finding time to dedicate to these projects becomes more difficult. It is not only the lack of time but during this time you are less useful, more tired, worn down and easily distracted.

The internet offers a great service of quick and accessible knowledge and is rarely ever a let down. It is clear that I have always been heavily reliant upon this knowledge base to learn and grow. But it is also a double edged sword. While being key to my workflow and productivity, it also provides an easily accessible source of entertainment. And this entertainment, comprised of youtube, games, facebook, twitter etc, is often a temptation that can hamper the productive times.

But un/fortunately being human, one cannot work forever. It is unavoidable that we must rest and take breaks to prevent burn outs or loss of interest that are otherwise often to many long running projects. And counterintuitively it is often in these periods of rest when the most difficult problems are solved and give rise to the most ingenious of ideas. This time of taking a break, not only allows one to relax but it also provides time to stand back and see the bigger picture. But even the most genius lightbulb moment will mean nothing if never put to practice.

It is balance that is key to getting shit done. The balance between personal goals and a life otherwise. And it is balance that can be the most difficult to achieve.