For a very long I have been accumulating favourites, saving seemly relevant reddit posts and tagging books I want to read, work on, or write about, someday, somewhere. The current problem is that now this big list silently occupies some of my brain processing, frustrates me a little bit every time I remember about it and leaves me wondering if I'm really missing something it could improve me.
In hindsight, it is even funny that I even started accumulating them as I never had any plan or something in place to work with all this list, it was all about Fear of missing out.
Now, I want to make sure I can put some of it out, or potentially delete it 😬 I will try to set some system to make effective use of it all.
At first, I will go through every link and ask these simply "yes" statements/questions, I potentially avoid wasting time on deeply questioning useless links. The most important part of this step is to be brutally honest.
- I cannot find this reference again in one simple search and it is not a documentation link. Eg. MDN docs
- Will the topic covered in this link topic be valid next 6 months? Eg. Web components vs some very framework specific thing which I don't even use at work
- Do you think it is absolutely reasonable to learn this link? I want to make sure it's not some big graduation work unrelated to what I'm currently working with now or near future
- Is it challenging? Potentially I know about it, and the time to "start it" is larger than "do it"
- Do you have a vision of what you will get afterwards? "It's cool" is not a valid vision
If none of them are answered "no", I can leave the link for the next step, otherwise, it is better for me to let them go.
With the list of links that passed the first triage, I need to go for a more planning attitude and answer these open ended questions.
- Assuming you have this done, in your hands, what now? What do you do with that? Some exercise in the vision of this exercise. If having this link 'completed' is worthless, maybe I should let it go.
- Does it take more than one hour? If yes, I need to break the link down to more tasks.
Again, empty or useless answers makes the link go away. The good answered ones are finally getting my full attention
Now I have what to do and why, I have no excuses. I can safely put the link as actionable items in my "Sprints" and potentially manage to find time to work on some of them.
- When are you going to do it? I'm trying to keep work with personal Sprints, so far they are completely failures and I'm not managing to keep them organized, but you never know ¯_(ツ)_/¯
After completing the task, I want to come back and review the outcomes, to cover the gaps and check if links that are coming or not coming through are actually good enough.
- What have you got back from it? If you didn't have done this, what would have changed?
This is actually the second version of this system. I started by noting down these questions on some paper, parsed a lot of my links and then did nothing with them.
It's worth nothing putting all this up, going forward one or two steps, and not maintaining the system. If I cannot maintain it, I need to change it.
In an ultimate case, I would be not save anything at all, so I don't have any burden to deal with. In the perfect case, I can handle 80% of the things I save and learn something worth and new.