Andy McKay

Jan 03, 2013

Doing less in the New Year

It is resolution time again. This year I have but one resolution, to do a bit a less and be a lot happier about it.

One thing I've really noticed is that I've always got a lot of things I'm not doing. When I'm at home, I haven't finished the woodworking project I'm on (a shoe rack at the moment). When I go up the steps to the house I realise I haven't redone the deck, redone the upstairs deck, finished renovating the kitchen, finished renovating the back room and so on.

At work it is a similar story. Mozilla is a wonderfully open organisation that allows people a huge amount of freedom. The problem is that I've added so many things on my to do list, I'm not getting them done either. I've half started at least two apps for Firefox OS. I've got a few security things I'd like to work on. There's the marketplace that needs splitting up into a service oriented architecture. There's the test suite that is still too damn slow and so on. Most of these are things I want to do for myself, whilst getting the regular work done.

And still I haven't started all my writing projects.

The problem is that all these things I'm not doing cause me stress. When I get to the end of the day, sometimes all I see is a lack of accomplishment and a list of things I haven't done.

There's no real way around this other than focus and working serially on one task until it's done and not starting the next till it's done. But one thing I'd like to do is starting less tasks, multi-tasking less and just doing one thing after another to finish off the existing jobs. And hoping that means in the end I'll do more, by taking on a bit less, or at least be happy with what I've done.