From "OMG, I don't have enough time" to "I am getting bored"

Few months ago…

Its Saturday. I woke up at 5.30 AM as usual. I know exactly what to do today because I usually plan what I will do next day. Today I planned to learn about AWS and Terraform.

Todo List

1. Learn AWS & Terraform

After morning routine activities I was skimming through my Twitter timeline. Somebody posted a link to his blog post about Azure which is gaining more popularity in recent times. I too want to learn Azure. I quickly skim through Azure website and realize that they provide Free Trial access for 12 months, so I thought of learning Azure as soon as possible.

Todo List

1. Learn AWS & Terraform
2. Learn Azure

I came back to my twitter timeline and saw that some blogger posted his blog visitor statistics. His blog has 10,000 visitors per day. Wow, that’s very impressive.

Hmmm…I too have a blog. I usually write technical articles, but not very regularly. My blog usually has 3,000 to 4,000 visitors per day. I should write more articles and write regularly. Also I should try to promote my blog a bit aggressively. I thought, I should incorporate User Subscription feature to my blog readers and send out Weekly Newsletter or something to attract more visitors.

Todo List

1. Learn AWS & Terraform
2. Learn Azure
3. Write at least 1 article per week
4. Add User Subscription feature to my blog
5. Setup Weekly Newsletter feature

Meanwhile, I got a WhatsUp notification on my phone. Oh, somebody send their vacation pictures. Very nice pics. Me and my wife are planning to go on a vacation for a while but never actually planned it. If we can’t take a vacation and enjoy once in a while what is the point of working so hard. I should definitely plan for a vacation.

Todo List

1. Learn AWS & Terraform
2. Learn Azure
3. Write at least 1 article per week
4. Add User Subscription feature to my blog
5. Setup Weekly Newsletter feature
6. Plan Vacation

Another Twitter notification on my mobile, somebody liked my tweet that I posted last night. It feels good when somebody likes our tweets, isn’t it. I should be more active on Twitter and engage more with community and possibly gain more followers.

Hmmm…but what should I tweet about??!!! Yesterday I was reading some comments on Reddit. Someone is saying that Object Oriented Languages are crap and everyone should use Functional Programming languages only. Clearly someone is wrong on Internet. I thought I should write a blog post to make it clear that we can build good software systems in both OO or Functional languages. I thought it will be quite interesting and surely will gain some attention on Twitter.

Todo List

1. Learn AWS & Terraform
2. Learn Azure
3. Write at least 1 article per week
4. Add User Subscription feature to my blog
5. Setup Weekly Newsletter feature
6. Plan Vacation
7. Write an article on "OO vs Functional Programming languages"

Oh, another notification on my mobile. An email from LinkedIn regarding an article on What are the next generation technologies that will be hot in the market for next decade. I just had a glance at the article and as expected the article says Machine Learning and AI will be in much demand.

Honestly, I have no knowledge on Machine Learning or AI. I am mostly working on Java, SpringBoot, Hibernate etc which are commonly used in enterprise application development.

I feel that the technologies like Java, SpringBoot, Hibernate etc are very matured and kind of reached its peak. Nowadays everyone knows them to some extent. If I want to stand out from the crowd I should acquire new skills like Machine Learning and AI.

A quick search on Machine Learning reveals that Python programming language offers more in Machine Learning space. I can write some python if required, but I never really did any serious python work. I think I should first learn Python first.

Todo List

1. Learn AWS & Terraform
2. Learn Azure
3. Write at least 1 article per week
4. Add User Subscription feature to my blog
5. Setup Weekly Newsletter feature
6. Plan Vacation
7. Write an article on "OO vs Functional Programming languages"
8. Deep dive into Python

Aah…my neck is paining. I don’t know is it because of my sleeping position or watching YouTube last night for a long time. Last night I watched a video on Spring Security and it is really good. Whoever created that videos used nice animations to explain which makes it very easy to understand the concepts.

I think I should also create videos in addition to writing blog posts. But I don’t know any tools to create such animations. Okay, I will explore is there any easy to use animation tools.

Todo List

1. Learn AWS & Terraform
2. Learn Azure
3. Write at least 1 article per week
4. Add User Subscription feature to my blog
5. Setup Weekly Newsletter feature
6. Plan Vacation
7. Write an article on "OO vs Functional Programming languages"
8. Deep dive into Python
9. Explore Animation tools

Also, I think I should start doing some basic exercises to get rid of neck pain and loosen my body.

Todo List

1. Learn AWS & Terraform
2. Learn Azure
3. Write at least 1 article per week
4. Add User Subscription feature to my blog
5. Setup Weekly Newsletter feature
6. Plan Vacation
7. Write an article on "OO vs Functional Programming languages"
8. Deep dive into Python
9. Explore Animation tools
10. Start exercising

OH MY GOD…too many things to do. Too much cognitive load to carry on. I am already feeling exhausted. Too many things to learn but there is too little time. How can I learn all these new technologies and there are new things coming in everyday??!!!

Whether I actually do all of them or not is a different story. But I carry this Todo List in my mind all the time and it feels like somebody is keep reminding me “hey, you got some pending things to do”. This constant reminders in my mind makes me feel I am very very busy and tired all the time.

Exhausted

After few months…

Life teaches you few things…whether you like it or not…and it won’t teach you like the way your mom did…life teaches you in a way you feel like somebody took a hockey stick and hit you on the head..

Recently life taught me few things…in the hard way…real hard way..which makes me realize few things…

  1. As contrary to your belief, nobody keeps thinking about you.
  2. The thought of becoming popular on social media is absolutely stupid.
  3. It is very important to do only necessary things and postpone things that can wait.

Now…

I want to get rid of this burden…I don’t want my TodoList hanging on my head all the times..I don’t want to feel pressurized all the times. What should I do??!!!??

With the lessons I learned, I feel a little bit wiser than I was and I started thinking about

How I got this big TodoList in the first place?. Nobody put it on my head forcefully, 

I made it up by myself...I imposed this pressure on myself.

Okay, let me try to remove not so urgent things from my TodoList.

First, learn AWS & Terraform:

Why did I add it?? I keep hearing about this DevOps movement and thought what if one day I had to setup all the infrastructure(setup EC2, VPC, Firewalls etc) by myself?

Reality check: In the last 10 years how many times I had to setup infrastructure? The answer is ZERO. Most of the times, in the organizations there is a dedicated infrastructure team to handle this.

So, learn AWS & Terraform is not very urgent and I can remove it from my list.

Learn Azure:

For most of the projects in our organization we are using AWS and Pivotal Cloud Foundry on which I have sufficient knowledge to get things done. I don’t see any projects using Azure in the near future.

I am very confident that, I am capable of learning Azure with in the given timeframe if I need to use Azure. So, Learn Azure is out of list.

Deep dive into Python:

I have been hearing this “Machine Learning and AI are the future of programming” for many years but still 90% of the work is based on same old Java, Spring and Hibernate etc. I don’t think Machine Learning and AI are something I need to learn urgently.

Explore Animation tools:

This can wait too :-)

  1. Learn AWS & Terraform
  2. Learn Azure
  3. Write at least 1 article per week
  4. Add User Subscription feature to my blog
  5. Setup Weekly Newsletter feature
  6. Plan Vacation
  7. Write an article on “OO vs Functional Programming languages”
  8. Deep dive into Python
  9. Explore Animation tools
  10. Start exercising

Write more articles, Weekly Newsletter:

I like blogging, I really really do. But running after gaining more subscribers doesn’t seems right to me. If keep writing more quality articles then people automatically like them and spread the word. I don’t have to aggressively try to increase my visitors, especially when I am not getting paid for writing the posts or not making money in any way from my blog.

What I noticed is, as long as you keep writing posts people read them and ask you to write more. But for some reason if you stop writing then they simply look for other blogs. So, the world is not going to stop if you don’t write regularly. I like blogging but that doesn’t mean I need to pressurize myself.

So, instead of a blog post per 1 week I make it as 1 post per 2 weeks.

  1. Learn AWS & Terraform
  2. Learn Azure
  3. Write at least 1 article per 2 weeks
  4. Add User Subscription feature to my blog
  5. Setup Weekly Newsletter feature
  6. Plan Vacation
  7. Write an article on “OO vs Functional Programming languages”
  8. Deep dive into Python
  9. Explore Animation tools
  10. Start exercising

Plan Vacation:

I can’t stress enough how important it is to take a break from work and spend time with family. In the very beginning of my career one of my colleague said we should carefully check the holiday calendar and plan vacations. I didn’t understand it back then, but now I understood the value of spending time with family is far more important than learning another framework in the hope of you might use it in the next project.

So, Plan Vacation stays.

Write an article on “OO vs Functional Programming languages”:

As someone already rightfully said, maturity is keeping your mouth shut when nobody ask you for a suggestion. I guess I am a little bit matured now and correcting someone on the internet is none of my business.

  1. Learn AWS & Terraform
  2. Learn Azure
  3. Write at least 1 article per 2 weeks
  4. Add User Subscription feature to my blog
  5. Setup Weekly Newsletter feature
  6. Plan Vacation
  7. Write an article on “OO vs Functional Programming languages”
  8. Deep dive into Python
  9. Explore Animation tools
  10. Start exercising

Start exercising:

This is something that I should definitely do. After starting my career as a software developer I spend most of my free time learning something new and didn’t take care of my health very much and I am already paying for that mistake. Before it is too late I should start focusing on improving my health.

Quit Social media: After careful observation I realized that the main cause of my TodoList pressure came from social media. I never really liked Facebook and LinkedIn but have been using Twitter regularly.

The main reason I use Twitter is I can follow some good techies and learn from them. But these days I hardly see anything technical on my timeline. My twitter timeline is filled with many other things which I am not really interested in. So I uninstalled Twitter app from my phone and I only check twitter on my laptop once in a week.

Now my true TodoList has become small and actually I have plenty of free time now.

  1. Start exercising
  2. Plan Vacation
  3. Write at least 1 article per 2 weeks

After removing all those not so urgent tasks from my Todo List I feel relaxed and I can actually focus on more important things. In fact I started getting bored once in a while!!!

As I have free time now I started learning cooking…

Cooking

and I am spending my weekends listening to my favorite Ilayaraja music and meeting my friends more often :-)