New Organizational Structure

Stop doing what doesn't work! on a sticky note

One of the largest pains in my day-to-day work has always been staying organized. I have spent the last few years trying out different tools and processes to assist me in being the most productive programmer that I can be without losing quality in my work. This is super hard for someone that has been diagnosed with ADHD – more so than the average person.

Adults with ADHD may have trouble managing time, being organized, setting goals, and holding down a job. [1]

Blinking stuff can be deterring, as a reference, I typically use the goldfish scenario but I’m sure you already know that one. Tools have either too much packed into one place or not enough of a feature set to really keep me going on the platform.

 

Taking Copious Notes

After creating a list of objectives that I need to apply a new organized structure to my life included, “need to take more notes — things tend to get lost in my volatile memory base (jokingly say that I run off of RAM).

Solution: Evernote seems to be the top of the market for tools that allow for note-taking to be a very prominent part of your life. The key seems to be that it needs to always be accessible and requires you to continually insert streams of thought into a note.

One part of using this tool in my process is that I can foreshadow that a good organizational process with tags and notebooks will be a necessary evil. I am looking around for examples of how other people are using Evernote to find a process that fits my style the best.

Time Tracking

Keeping a consistent timer running in my day is necessary for both my day job and side projects. Often, I forget to start or stop the timers when I am working. This requires me to spend time going back and remember what tasks I tackled and when I started/stopped doing them. Most of the time I have to go back to command line history timestamps and/or access logs to figure this one out.

Solution: Harvest has been a part of my process for the last 30 days and has seemingly worked well for me. I still have the start/stop issue but it often screams at me via email if I don’t do one of these.

A more programmer style solution that I want to implement is create a timer app that consistently pops up on an hourly basis and asks what I did for the last hour then inserts that time into my Harvest timesheet. This would be phenomenal to not require me to remember to press that button. A popup with a textbox would not bother me either on a 30-60 minute basis if it saves me time at the end of the day. It would also be interesting to see my time usage across all parts of my life from video games to learning to work.

Git r’ done

Todo lists — the baneĀ of my existence — I have yet to find a solution to my daily task todo lists that works well in my life. I have used everything from Google Tasks to the $40 Omnifocus app. They are all great and work well; however, they require someone with the good habit to check the list on a constant basis throughout the day and prep the list. I never do that. I forget to check things off or even forget to create a new list each day. For the time being, I will be using the Omnifocus app (hell, I spent $40 on it!) until I find something better or come up with a good plan.

Possible solution: Hourly, daily, and weekly emails to myself to remind me to check the list and do the necessary task to keep things rolling.

References

[1] “ADD and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) Health Center.”WebMD. WebMD. Web. 20 Mar. 2016. <http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/default.htm>.