Weeknote W2 2021

Re-launching my live stream

This week, I started live coding on Twitch again. I had planned to get going on Tuesday but didn’t have the energy; more on this later. On Thursday, I was ready to launch. It took only a few minutes of being online until many familiar names started popping up in chat. It felt so good. This year, I’m trying a different strategy. I’m going to focus on an area in which I have lots of experience: IT training, starting with a Ruby course. In simple terms, it’ll work like a book club where the participants work through a chapter of the training material, and we’ll talk it through on a weekly basis. I’m excited to see how it goes!

VS Code dev containers

Until now, I didn’t need a dedicated website for my live coding stream. I simply referred people to my personal blog. But with the Ruby course coming up, I need to have a permanent space where people find information. As always, I’m going to use Jekyll to build the site for FullStackLive.

I’ve been using Docker to run test instances of my Ruby projects for a long time because it makes separating their resources (the app, its database, other services…) so much easier. However, I always used scripts to interact with the containers. This time, I wanted to try a closer integration with my coding tools and set up a VS Code dev container. Thanks to Microsoft providing a big library of pre-built language images, setting up a dev container for Ruby development was painless. However, I had to invest a bit more time to get my dotfiles installed automatically after I realised that I didn’t have any of my familiar commands and shell aliases available inside the dev container. I’m happy with the result and am looking forward to build a more complex setup for Rails development.

Over-hyper-scheduling

In weeknote W1, I explained how I’m using the Sorted app for time-boxing my daily work. It’s helping me a lot to keep my focus on what I want to get done. Its auto-scheduling feature also is a great reality check that prevents me from expecting too much from the time I have available in between calendar events.

Where I took a wrong turn was when I added time tracking to mix. I had discovered the Session app that comes with my Setapp subscription and thought that it would increase my focus even more, and on the other hand make sure that I took frequent breaks as well. What happened instead was that I started to feel burnt out. That’s why I didn’t start streaming on Tuesday. I think that there were multiple reasons for this energy drain:

  • The Pomodoro periods in Session didn’t align well with my task slots in Sorted that are usually multiples of 30 minutes.
  • Getting interrupted every 25 minutes kept me from getting into a flow state.
  • I often ended up ignoring the timer completely, leaving me with frustratingly few tasks actually tracked.

This is not the first time that a new tool created more frustration instead of more productivity. Sorted stays, Session goes. I’m a slow learner sometimes.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss a topic, tweet me @geewiz or join the chat on my Discord server!