re: I'm Sandi Metz, Ask Me Anything! [Finished] VIEW POST


Hi Sandi! Thank you for investing the time to do this AMA. I admire your work, especially your approachability as a teacher and your ability to make concepts accessible to different audiences. My question for today, however, centers around something I am currently grappling with...

How often do you context switch between writing, consulting, and teaching? Do you have any tips for streamlining this process? In particular, I find switching between writing and other non-writing tasks within a day to be somewhat challenging (some days more than others). Also, how do you avoid burn out? So do you do it all? :-)

P.s. I "met" you when someone sent me a link to one of your conference talks. I loved it so much that I read POODR (even though I did not know Ruby). I learned a lot about OO (and also about Ruby). So thank you!


Kristen, I fear that I'm terrible at context switching. I do best when I can bury myself in one thing and ignore everything else. This often means that I neglect the small things (arg, email) in order to work on big things (a book chapter, or a talk).

I'm reconciled to this quality of myself, and just have basically arranged my life so that I can work like this.

The one thing I've found is that I do my best writing early in the day. I can write prose in the morning, take a break, and then write code in the afternoon, for example. Writing prose is super painful for me, and code is always a joy, so I tend to reward myself with code, once other writing is done.


I think I work in similar patterns, any advice on the specifics of arranging your life to fit your work style?


Thank you so much for your candid response!

"I do best when I can bury myself in one thing and ignore everything else" --> your point about accepting this quality and arranging things so you can work the way that is most natural to you is super helpful! I have the same quality (I prefer to bury myself in one thing) but have been resisting accepting it. So now I am going to try to rework things so I can work the way I work best, instead of trying to convince myself I can be or have to be a context-switching-super-star.

I am also going to try your approach to writing in the morning. Typically I fill my morning with other things in effort to "get them out of the way so I can write". I'm going to flip that and write first thing in the morning so I can get to the other things in the afternoon.

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