Jan 05

How to be more productive in 2012

How to be more productive in 2012 or why don’t I get more stuff done?

As I looked back at 2011 I decided to analyze my productivity:

I get the rote stuff done:

  1. Monthly reports on http://tombrander.com (residential real estate performance in Alabama) and the longer form that I produce for subscribers.
  2. Quarterly Real Estate Surveys and reports for The Alabama Center for Real Estate
  3. Two Revisions to the Real Estate Gadget for The Alabama Center for Real Estate
  4. Additional specialized reports on real estate which provide detailed market analysis to guide investment decisions for clients
  5. Developed a basic theory for forecasting local real estate markets, tested, and did initial implementations. (more to come)
  6. Redid my wife’s real estate site using Google sites. Developed another draft site on Google sites for a friend (pending).
  7. Posted several reviews on my tech site http://oswco.com
  8. Completed the Stamford Artificial Intelligence class (abysmal grade, but I learned a ton)
  9. Attended Pycon 2011, Oscon 2011, (participated extensively in the program committee for both) and Google IO 2011.

So It is pretty easy to get the rote stuff above done with the tools I know well, and for the jobs that pay!

I have a lot more difficulty expanding my toolset.

As I look around I have an excessive amount of uncompleted work lying around:

  1. A version of Flask, a micro site building framework up and running on Python 2.7 for app-engine (dev only at the moment)
  2. A version of All Buttons Pressed (Django), a big site building framework, up and running on Python 2.7 for app-engine (dev only at the moment)
  3. Compass/Sass/Susy/320 & Up (with a few other bits and pieces required, like Ruby) up and running to develop responsive front ends (development only at the moment)
  4. Basic operations up and running with Pandas, a remarkable analysis library for Python (requires numpy, sypy, Ipython and a few other libraries) (development only at the moment)
  5. I have switched to only VIM (and I-python) for development

I  realized that I have been approaching Python without a proper commitment. I have been using the tools but avoiding really leaning the programming. So that will be my focus going forward. Getting into the code, writing code and debugging code, rather than spending so much time looking for pre-done solutions that I can modify. It is with this in mind that I am concentration on Flask, All buttons Pressed, and Pandas as they each provide useful starting points for being able to look at good code and modify it to produce useful work using Python.

I have spent too much time getting distracted by every new feature or program that comes along, and that is easy to do because so many people are creating such great stuff. So I want to continue to track it but just constrain the amount of time I spend doing that.

While it seems that all that stuff above is sort of random and overwhelming it represents my current best thoughts about good toolsets  for great, responsive, and powerful applications development. It is clear that I have to buckle down and push some samples out the door with the above tools. It seems that every-time I turn around there is major evolution with the tools and I’m just not comfortable and fluent enough to really keep up. ie. App-engine moving to Python 2.7 and many other evolutions. Further, each set requires differential thinking, the front-end stuff which is driven by the back end. But a compete product requires the creative use and blending of all.

I’d like to redesign/re-implement the Oswco site in a completely responsive manner. Remains to be seem on what back-end, maybe just modify/enhance and change Mingus, the current back-end?

More things that will help with the above, run, and do some resistance exercise daily, listen to more music, and meditate. Part of the “Sharpen the saw” as Stephen Covey recommends.

This last sentence added gratuitously by my Wonderful Wife...”Oh, and quit spending so much time on Facebook and Twitter!!!!”


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