jack: (Default)
I've been at the new job over three months and it's going fairly well.

For a long time, I've felt like, each project goes through phases, of "just getting started and full of ideas" and "wrestling with someone else's code I don't understand" and "filling out features and making something fairly complete" and "dealing with an urgent problem". And they basically ALL caused me to procrastinate. But with very very many varied productivity tricks and techniques, I seem to finally be reaching a point where, in most of those phases, I can just go ahead and do work, without constantly struggling not to freeze up and get nothing done.

The last couple of weeks, I was a bit stuck in a "it doesn't work and I can hopefully fix it but I don't know for sure" loop, and hadn't realised how much it was dragging down my mood. It also seemed to be, I wasn't content if there was *any* major upcoming problem hanging over my life, I had to make progress on *all* of them before I felt at all better. But I eventually did.

Overall, that's really quite good. I still need to test if the improvement is ongoing, but it's an improvement I wasn't sure I'd ever quite reach. Unfortunately, because I'm me, my brain is less excited, as depressed that it took so long, and that afterwards things will not be significantly better.

There's been a slow shift. It used to be, if I had a little bit of time, I could never just, do something small (washing up, or code tidying, or replying to some emails). I could only ever do things when I made it so I *had* to. But as things improved, that resistance melted away, and "how intimidating tasks seemed" shrunk back to something related to how much work they actually were. Which I guess is where many people were all along.

Doing month-by-month goals or projects was definitely good, I think I want to keep that up. Sometimes they've been a specific project, like learning rust. Other times they've been just "catch up on these paperwork/chores". But having that structure helps a lot letting me see progress. And knowing a project is self-contained, I can see how much I can do, and then *stop* and force myself to re-evaluate my goal, not get stuck in a dragging-on project for ever.

I haven't done anything very spectacular this year, but I've learned about rust (and contributed!) and learned about writing an android app. And started a new job. And am confident that if I try to work on a project in a language I already know it would have gone a lot faster.

It feels like, given the slightest pressure to do things a particular way, even in my imagination, my brain immediately collapses into thinking "i have to do things that way" and it's really hard to *notice* how I'm stuck let alone dig myself out again. And that applies not only to specifics, "colleague refused to listen to idea, so can I ever consider that idea again in the future in any way?" but to meta-skills. It always feels like I *have* to fix everything by sheer force of will, not by, well, techniques that work, because that's what people expect of me. But it's not true, no-one does think that, but it *feels* like they do.