When to sharpen, and when to cut

Cut down a tree

When performing a task for the first time, I think of whether it's a one-off, or that it will become a recurring thing. Python scripts for example can be developed blazingly fast, and a little bit of automation can go a long way.

However...

...sometimes, while developing an automated solution that looked so simple beforehand, becomes a wild ride from one rabbit hole into the other. Missing dependencies, compile errors, functions that don't lend themselves very well for automation; Everything that can go wrong will go wrong.

That's why I like The Pomodoro Technique [1] so much, where you work in discrete time chunks of say 25, or 30 minutes. You decide upon the maximum cost for the implementation beforehand. Given the expected return, what is a sane investment ? If the time is up, then it's back to the original task at hand.

I have learned the hard way to always budget some time for documenting the (partial) solution, so that at least there's the profit of knowledge gained. Or, another record of a failed attempt...

[1]https://francescocirillo.com/pages/pomodoro-technique
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