If To-do Lists Were Software Projects

The best time to discuss a list of to-do items is probably when there’s immediate time to do them. Seems obvious, but stick with me for a few hundred pages.

I was considering on the way to the office today how software teams do “sprints” (bracketed efforts to achieve specific goals) and “scrums” (term borrowed from rugby: return to the game/effort after pausing). The sprint focuses on (50%) what is most important to achieve and what gets pushed out, then (50%) how to achieve these tasks.

I have a difficult time keeping up my my wife’s multitasking: I’m constantly worried that the details she’s thought of won’t stick in my memory. Mens’ brains are compartmentalized, and the wrong context for a discussion can delay comprehension as we context-switch to the right compartment. I’m much much worse than others in this “compartment-switch”, which makes gaps and delay stand out.

I’m all about deep-dives.

Also, this delay makes me feel dumb.

The same process as software can be related to the to-do list. Or the “honeydew” list (the Honey (to-) do list). Or the planning of home repairs. Or the prioritizing of any list of tasks.

Before embarking on a to-do list, at the start of a week, discuss which to-do items are most important. re-align to make sure you’ve caught up with the others in your group or family or knitting circle. maybe launch into a session of “ok, this is how I think I can do that” to see if it conflicts. Really difficult to rearrange a room if that room will be used for studying.

If this is done before a major to-do item, it can help remind and re-align the details and constraints if it’s been a while since that item was considered, and if the details have changed a dozen or so times.

Because this can be done just before, it’s not necessary to discuss very many times in detail before that timeframe — maybe broader strokes — allowing better use of time. Focusing on the more immediate tasks can avoid “feature creep” wherein more and more things are last-minute added to the current list of tasks.

Yet here, Laertes!

The hardest thing about lending people money — helping them out when they really needed it — is that you have to constantly ask for it back.

Some have borrowed and simply broken off contact ($7k down the tubes, and I’m the bad guy somehow).

for loan oft loses both itself and friend

Most people are openly good about it, just… you helped then in an old leaky boat, the leak is fixed, but the boat is still old and leaky not gonna turn a profit to repay.

borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry

I know, it’s just money, which is like a score to show you’ve worked and deserve to purchase a cookie. It’s just a number, and we should focus on other things. As an aside, it’s the borrowers or the super-rich telling you that.

…but all my life, even before paying the extra share on a shared PC as a teenager, I’ve been the guy people assume will foot the bill. At a big dinner, it’s nice to pay the cheque, it feels like the boss, but that’s a choice not taken for granted.

The assumption gets tiring. The asking gets tiring. The borrowers fleeing gets tiring. Being punished for lending gets tiring. I guess that’s a facet of friends “their adoption tried” towards being “select [yet] generous”.