Ravi Mohan's Blog

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A list of topics

My focus on Time Management has affected how I write on this blog. Earlier, when I felt strongly about something or when I was feeling bored, I'd just dash something off. This wreaks havoc with schedules and "getting things done",and I have often stopped writing for a few weeks, months whatever. But this is dissatisfying in its own way.

Now, when I think of something that I feel like writing about, I just add it to a list (on a wiki, if I am at a computer, in a small notebook if I am not) and carry on with what I am doing. When a "write a blog post" size chunk of free time comes around, 15-20 minutes, typically) and I am working on the comp, I just pick an item off the list and write about it.

The style of writing is different than it used to me because I am writing against a timer. More direct, less textured, which is probably the appropriate style for a blog post. The longer wait between conception and recording also allows the good ideas to percolate and the bad ones to show their unworthiness.

For anyone who is curious, my present topic list (this is a continuously mutating entity) looks like this.

  1. San Fransisco vs Bangalore - the right place for software startups?
  2. The Idea Bottleneck and how it really isn't [DONE]
  3. Stealing a leaf from Paul Graham.
  4. SICP Stumbling Blocks
  5. A Billion Dollars And Then?
  6. Topic List on a Wiki [DONE]
  7. Practical SICP - How SICP helps in real life projects
  8. Derivative Trading as Programming Pedagogy
  9. Growing into a (technical) book
  10. Memorizing Shakespeare (and Shaw)
This is just a record of things I might write about. But the time management meta focus seems to be paying off already. I am writing more frequently than usual, and not feeling stressed at all.


sunayana said...

The time management lecture has changed the way I work as well.. I've made a to-do list like he suggested, and I was pretty surprised to find that the things I had actually been working on earlier weren't on top of that list, most of them were somewhere in the middle of it.

Making a list of things to write about seems like a good idea.

Looking forward to that SICP post :)

Ravi said...

"I was pretty surprised to find that the things I had actually been working on earlier weren't on top of that list,"

Exactly! Working on the "top listed" items all the time is exhilarating.

"Looking forward to that SICP post :)"

Just as soon as I send my paper off for review.

Take Care,

Mridul said...

Is the list sorted? Shamelessly looking fwd to:) sooner
"Practical SICP - How SICP helps in real life projects"

Ravi said...

No not sorted at all, just a random list. I want o write teh SICP posts more carefully then the others, hence the wait for the present "tonnes of work" phase to pass :-)