Sometimes, when stuck debugging a bug, the best thing to do is to take a detour, away from the bug.
Once after working really hard for past 2-3 weeks learning and head-banging on a Rails API, I decided I needed to switch up and do something fun instead. Sometimes taking detours make all the difference, even though it sounds unproductive and not adding anything to the progress.
Progress is not lines of code written
But that’s the thing. What’s progress anyway? Measurable progress like lines of code written, revenue made, customers acquired – sure, that’s progress. But it’s also my job as an entrepreneur and a creative professional (I see myself as one) to stay inspired and motivated, in order to make this journey sustainable. And switching up the tasks like this is all about inspiration and motivation. In the end, if I don’t persevere in the future, whatever progress I make in numbers in the present will be for naught anyway, isn’t it?
Yeah, so this detour is actually still progress. I do see it as much more important work actually. Having fun and staying inspired is the real work, because downstream you get all sorts of goodies from it – better work quality, more productivity, fresh and innovative ideas, sustainability, and overall higher quality of life.
How you know a detour worked
I want to jump out of bed in the mornings, not out of trepidation but excitement. And indeed, after spending time in my coding playground this morning, playing with Vue.js repos in Codepen; browsing cool shit that people make; learning how to make them myself; following my curiosity and playfulness, my fun tank was all topped up. I can feel it right in my heart. It sings. And I sang my way to lunch, spirits glowing, chest forward and head up high.
What a difference a morning can make. Now that’s real progress.
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