Friday, January 04, 2008

One Change at a Time, One Queue All the Time

New year, new resolution, changes.

No matter how much I want and inspired to change in certain time e.g: after reading inspiring books, either in specific field like improving coding technique or life in general I can't seem to do it like I want it i.e: one big and lots of changes ASAP.

It seems that when I find out something new and interesting my mind goes "this is so true and now that I know this, there's no way I could do the other way, the change will be natural, tomorrow I'll be a different person for certain". We all know where that story will go.

So far, I conclude that people can only change one tiny little bit at a time and no more. It is true we can have insightful moments or dramatic shock but the most it can do is to change our perspective and how we see things. After them, the next step is to embrace the current reality first and not to jump in picking and throwing some part of our life to be build something brand new on top of it.

I think little thing is big, and big things is little in this case. I look at tiny step, done with care and a lot of of awareness, as a tip of the iceberg where a lot of complex things going on underneath it. In personal level,a tiny change could include changing a lot of assumptions, mental block, facing discomfort. In organizational level, a tiny change is the tip of the iceberg of change in workflow, resource management, office layout. Big change in this case could mean thin effect since the unrealistic feel of it would make the rest of your self/system/organization could only interested only in skim it, get pass the checklist, get through it ASAP.

So, what do we do with all the interesting coming our way so we can follow it up in tiny steps? I think it is best to queue ideas to followup on dedicated list and only pick several item from it to followup at one evaluable time. In short : separate collection from followup. For programmer, it's easy to relate this with issue tracker/bug tracker application. Without them, it's hard to have real and satisfying progress since you will operate always in urgency mode and trashing would most likely occur.

We end up with two things here : do things only a handful we could handle with a lot of care and use queue to put things coming your way. The third would be : fight the temptation to deal with things as it comes, you are in no condition to make the best judgement for it's followup (it's kinda like when you deal with classic sales trick that put you in urgent condition with something like short-term discount or "the price will increase next month" ).

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