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Seriously... I need more time, and I can't find it.

I've got my main project and I spent most of my time on it. I'm trying to, BUT I got a lot of minor projects, old projects support. I'm very interested in self-improvement because I'm still being sort of a young programmer and I spend lot of time discovering new technologies. Also, I'm part of some of linux distribution core teams (after all I'm a linux newcomer) and I'm spending time for it too (my main project is win-only though). I'm getting better in all directions. But slowly, because I'm doing everything at the same time ... Many times, I feel like this :

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And I don't want to leave the stuff I'm interesting in, I just need more time... But there is no more time. I also have my private life, working at home and working at work isn't so easy. Living at work is also not the solution. So finally I'm searching for a way to optimize (Hard optimize) my TODO list because the time is not a thing you can increase.

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closed as off-topic by MichaelT, gnat, Heather, GlenH7, Bart van Ingen Schenau Oct 12 '14 at 15:12

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You may be interested in joining another relatively new stackexchange site, Personal Productivity. Probably there are some good answers and considerations on this kind of problem we all have :) –  Jose Faeti Aug 26 '11 at 10:02
This question appears to be off-topic because it is about scheduling and productivity which would be better suited for Personal Productivity Stack Exchange, but is too old to migrate. –  MichaelT Oct 11 '14 at 0:13

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can do one of two things: Go deep or go wide.

  • Prioritize your projects. Ditch all but your top two projects. Concentrate on those and get yourself entrenched.
  • Keep toying with technology and learning. Work on various projects.

Really, it's up to what you want to do. The trick is to just be willing to manage your expectations of yourself and be realistic with them. There's nothing wrong with either path. I tend to do more of the second as I've found that I enjoy learning all the time more than getting projects done on my own time (I do that at work ;)).

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But I need to go deep with main project to get it successful and I want to still being going wide. –  Heather Aug 26 '11 at 6:07
Unless you're superhuman, chances are you're just not being realistic (well, that is if you want any semblance of a life and not burn yourself out). Prioritize. If your priority is to go deep, then concentrate on that. Once your project is in a state that you're happy(ish) with, start branching out again. –  Demian Brecht Aug 26 '11 at 6:09
Prioritize is very hard thing to do ) –  Heather Aug 26 '11 at 6:24
You will need to learn how to choose the most important items - items that are necessary for your career survival, items that are time-critical for your company's success, and items where you can make a unique contribution better than anyone else. –  rwong Aug 26 '11 at 6:43
@nCdy: "Prioritize is very hard thing to do" yes it is, language design is hard, lambda calculus is hard, good database design is hard, building stable software is hard. There are many difficult things that you are willing to learn how to do, but you will not lean them until you first learn to Prioritize. It's like cleaning the kitchen before cooking, you don't want to clean, you want to cook, but you can't cook until the kitchen is clean. Ergo, cleaning the kitchen is something you must do when cooking. Learning to Prioritize MUST become your most important project IMMEDIATELY. –  Binary Worrier Aug 26 '11 at 7:42

If you are short on time, You got to draw the line between must do and interesting stuff.

You need to put a plan for what needs to be done every day, week and month.

If you are getting work from some one else, use your plan to discuss the work load. Have defined objectives and work towards them.

You will never find time for everything! There are limits to what can be done.

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So it must be strong time optimization and action by time separation to reduce random time-spending directions... Even if they are good for me. –  Heather Aug 26 '11 at 8:21
You need to "define" what is good for you precisely. Sit down and put the most important tasks and when you accomplish those, you'd have done real good to yourself. Without analysis and planning the result is rarely good. –  Emmad Kareem Aug 27 '11 at 0:21

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