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Wilson Cazarré
Wilson Cazarré

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Getting things done (in the right way)

In this post, I will cover the method described in the book Doing things by David Allen. I want to discuss this method, showing its key parts, as well as talking about a personal experience of mine.

When thinking about Allen's method, it is important to always keep the following thought in mind: doing things should be simple, how to define what "done" means (the goal you want to achieve) and how you will achieve that specific goal (the " doing "to see).

This week, at the code company I work for, I faced a focus problem. My work at this company includes (but is not limited to) researching performance issues and figuring out how to make our code faster. The performance problem is that it is never an explicit problem. Instead, you're more likely to be looking for a problem where everything seems to be working normally.

The reason I went through this focus problem was because I didn't stop and asked "what is my problem here and what am I trying to achieve?" He was giving me a piece of software to analyze and find out what might or might not be causing a performance problem. I got stuck. By trying figure out all the problem at once, I became overwhelmed with a task that should be simple actually.

After that event I take a step back and start to trace a plan that would lead to a more precise and concise goals. I achieve that after a research throughout the thought process described by Allen:


When facing a problem, try to catch whatever it is in your attention. What first caught up your sight is usually important.


After you find a small problem you need to understand what it truly means. This is the step that I've failed. I start to just "capture" things without a full understanding of what it would lead me to.


Now it's the time where you grab the thing you just find out and put it where it belongs. This process is important because here you define what is priority and what can be done later, or even by someone else.


It's important review your process and tasks after writing down a new task, to make sure you will not be overwhelmed by all your tasks.


Simply do it. Without further ado start to work in your task, always going back and fourth in your plan to make sure you're still in the right path.


By summary what can be said: every time you became overwhelmed by a task, take a step back and do a detailed plan. Filter what is important and what is not priority. Always write down new ideas, don't keep to yourself because you simply are not that trusty; your notebook is your best friend.
With this simple process in mind you are going be able to crack down difficult task and come with a solution to almost every problem that you find from now on.

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