/ bar

keep the bar green

After several years of professional development you might have your own processes of keeping track of work to be done. But is this an effective way of doing things? Are you open minded for a change in doing things?

A simple but most effective principle of writing code is

keep the bar green!

Let’s think about your programming workday: Do you have the feeling of getting lost while refactoring or deep dive development? Can you keep track of tasks while developing for hours? If you can answer these question truly positive, just quit reading here. If not, just read on…

Where is this bar and why is it green?

It’s about managing yourself, your tasks, even your thoughts. The green bar can be anything, from a state of mind up to tools integration in Eclipse or your preferred development infrastructure. There are two main things connected to this bar: It first reflects your things to be done, secondly the state of doing. You want, as a paradigm, the bar always to be green. How is this done?

  • If you start a task, write it down. On paper, in a tool, an editor, it doesn’t matter.
  • As soon as you have written down a task, your bar is not green anymore.
  • Work on your top queued task
  • Simple as this principle, your bar turns green again, if no task is left.

But what to do, if another task pops up? Just write it down below any task already on your queue! But one thing you need to remember: Just stay at the task on top of your queue. Never ever go down your task list, jumping around in your queue. Make your bar green again by doing your task from top down until finished.

A little example: Your want to clean your cars trunk. So we have a first task for our queue:

  • Clean trunk

As soon as your start to clean your car, you might want to clean the windows and the seats too. Write it down:

  • Clean trunk - Clean windows - Clean seats

So just go on to clean the trunk, do not switch to any other. As soon, as you have cleaned it, go on in your queue:

- Clean trunk - Clean windows - Clean seats

After doing your work, your queue will become empty again, your bar will be green again:

- Clean trunk- Clean windows- Clean seats

Why should I work this way?

Its about managing yourself. During work, the most time consuming things are distractors from your current task. The less distraction interferes with your current task, the more effective the task is done. Often one of those distractions is paid more attention than your originated task. This is ineffective. Just write it down and schedule it after your current work. Then, but only then, concentrate on that task. Put all distractions in your queue and work them down.

To be continued…