Wildly Galloping without a Destination

www.stefanmart.deIt's cyclical. Every now and then, the inner geek, chomping at the bit for days or even months, suddenly bursts out of the stable and runs amok. It's happened again, and the story always finishes with the same sad ending: the geek finds itself lost in the bog, sinking in the mire, and I'm forced to track it down, haul it out with a good stout rope, and lead it back to its careful confinement. It's fine there amongst the familiar and safe surrounding for another little while, and then the restlessness begins anew.

You'll see this reflected in my posts here too. A little touch of software, a little dose of tech (e.g., finding my new favourite writing platform, the Newton), and before you know it, I've gone off the deep end and am plumbing Emacs again.

Now, I have nothing against Emacs, per se. In fact, I think it's the best editor I've ever used, and a passable religion. But it's the veritable kitchen sink of editors, able to do everything from writing text, to programming, to doing email and browsing, to remote shells, to database and web development, to time management.... Ah, yes, there's the rub, and the source of my latest trap. It all starts so innocently. I'm using Emacs to edit a remote Drupal site for work, taking advantage of its SFTP. SSH and colour-coded editing features, then I start a buffer for #TODO# items, and then everything plunges into the murky depths of geekdom. Before I know it, I'm using Planner mode, integrated with my Calendar mode and Diary mode. And then comes the mighty .emacs (config) tweaking and all the LISP macros....

Before I know it, two days have passed, and I've implemented a complicated system that works almost as well as paper. The epiphany hits, and I realise that the inner geek has once more sunk into the mire, taking my productive time with it.

Then I sigh, haul out a shiny white piece of paper, and start to get things done again....

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at the risk of starting a huge flamewar...

I think there were a couple people working on a GTD plugin for vim/vi. Probably the fine folks over at lifehacker, but a quick search there and a quick google didn't turn up anything beyond using code-folding, grep, and some shell scripts for todo list management.


Been there!

I do the same thing. A couple of months ago I set myself up a Horde (PIM written in PHP) implementation. Before that it was using the to-do list and calendar extensions for Thunderbird. So on and so forth. But I always come back to my paper and my Palm...

[ web site ]

oo shiny!

i have what I like to refer to as "OOOO SHINY!!!" syndrome. I am easily distracted by things I could use/make etc. without really evaluating if I should take the time.

I like signing up for free online offerings, like list makers, planners etc. But the honest truth is I don't use them regularly and all the time I invest in setting them up is pointless.

I should be doing things on my next action list but - "OOOOO SHINY!!!"

my artwork | my blog


I'm so glad to learn I'm not the only one with OSS. I can't even count how many times something new/shiny/hip/pretty/cool distracted me from the tried and true method of just writing stuff Oh my goodness, is that a...

* wanders off to look at something shiny *

oh how true that is

but to be honest it is procrastination!!! I like to think I am creating a more natural, smoother process for being creative but really deep down i am merely procrastinating... now where is that new Web 2.0 registration email? BTW great post, if a little close to home :-)

Or maybe the experience of

Or maybe the experience of the process is just as enjoyable to you as the finished product. I say - enjoy!

Use vi and avoid procrastination

Emacs is the ultimate digital swiss army knife, where the journey is the destination. I was always on the vi side of the classic vi-emacs battlefront. Perhaps we can extract a lesson - the multipurpose tool encourages tweaking and eventual time-wasting for the fun of it, whereas the use of special purpose tools encourages focus. But, I don't really think that (and besides, the vi camp had its excesses, such as vi as Turing machine thing).

I echo the sentiments. I've read the circa discussions on this site, I looked at my homely three-ring classic-size planner, and was --breathing heavily in utter anticipation-- just about to call up Levenger when I realized: is this about what type and shape of binding holes rule my life, or is about trying to control demands on my life? Am I keeping track of the next actions on my projects each day (I was not). Sigh. And then there's the downloaded copy of LifeBalance which looks at me from the desktop saying 'you want to play with me, you know you do'.

Where does this thing come from anyway. I've managed to resist in the short term, but it's only a matter of time...

If they invent a cure for

If they invent a cure for this, I volunteer to be one of the test patients.

I ran across this link again while doing this same thing.

I only take solace in the fact that the cycles are getting longer, and I'm getting faster at seeing that I'm falling into one.