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Break Tasks Into Chunks! - An Important Advice I Wish I Knew Sooner

adiatiayu profile image Ayu Originally published at adiati.com Updated on ・3 min read

Hello Fellow Codenewbies 👋

I'm learning web development as a self-taught for almost 2 years now.
And I created the first-ever vanilla Javascript mini-project by myself 6 months ago!
You must be wondering why it took me that long to create a project 😅

Background Story

I coded along with a tutorial to create a project.
At one point, I jumped with joy because I understand how things work.
Then ideas for some projects popped up in my mind.

I sat behind my computer loaded with motivation, getting ready to create a project.
But then I ended up staring at the blank text editor, have no single idea on where to start.

The next time, with a new spirit, I sat and managed to write some codes.
But this time, I got lost because at first I Googled things that are needed for my project, but then my search spreading to many unrelated things, and I got so distracted.
In the end, I ended up with an unfinished project.

I felt defeated and doubting myself.
What happened next was I got trapped in the famous tutorial hell because I felt like I know nothing and need to re-learn everything.

Repeat this for more than a year and that's how I didn't complete a single project.

Until one day, I had a coworking session with my fellow moms from Moms Can Code Europe.
I told them that I have some ideas about mini-projects, but I never finished any.
And I got this advice that I put into practice and I wish I knew it sooner!


Break Tasks Into Chunks!

Create a plan, a mockup, and be patient!

Yes, that was the advice that I got.

Most of the time, when I have a project in mind, I just go for it.
And most of the time, I failed, big time.

One of the reasons is that I didn't have a guide on where I should start and how I should do it, step by step.

There are plenty of (free) apps to create a mockup and a plan.
I'm a conservative person. So I use paper and pen to create one.

I'm taking an example when I built this Guess The Number game, where a user has to guess a number and a message will be thrown on a right or a wrong answer.

Then I made the plan and this how I did it.

mockup

  1. Draft the layout (mockup) of the app
  2. Decide the features of the app and keep them as simple as possible at the beginning
  3. Write down the elements and what every single element will do, along with the flow
  4. Write down the steps on how to achieve it

Work on one element at a time until it works, then move to the next one.
Stick to the plan and be patient!

Then I added some for-fun features where the app shows the mystery number and how many times the user has tried to guess the number.
But that was only after everything that I've written on my plan was done.

To my surprise, instead of adding up to the unfinished project list that I have, I finished this project in 4 hours! 🎉

In addition to this, I also used Pomodoro Technique to avoid burnout and keep a fresh mind.

I Wish I Knew This Advice Sooner

Creating a plan and a mockup is very important when we want to create a project.
They are very powerful to keep us on track and increase our productivity.
I wish I knew this sooner.
But I hope now you know this advice on time, way sooner than I did 😃

Discussion (5)

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hunterpp profile image
Hunter Peress

The one element at a time thing rings true. It is tempting to get distracted and follow a rabbithole, which sometimes can be good.

But i think of it like bringing the system online one feature at a time. Before a section, its only 35% functional...and after it may be 50%.

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adiatiayu profile image
Ayu Author

I agree that following the rabbit hole sometimes can be good.
When I caught myself in doing that now, I mostly make list on additional features that I want to apply after finishing the initial plan, bookmark the resources that I encountered and hold myself until the time comes to add them 😄

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eelstork profile image
Tea

Divide.
And conquer!

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wijayaac profile image
Wijayaac

Stuck on what to do next right now, and i find this article. Thanks for the advice i will try it soon 🤩

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adiatiayu profile image
Ayu Author

Thank you for reading and I'm glad if it could help you!
Good luck for your next project! 😃