Hi, friends! I hope you have a great start to the week. I am excited about the upcoming holiday season, and this year is my first to have a Christmas tree in my apartment, decorated with some pine cones I picked up from the ground in the nearby park.
Last week, I shared how I fixed a tricky bug related to compound paths and a few tips about coding. When in coding, I rely on white-boarding and drawing logic diagrams (usually in the form of a scenario tree) to help me think about complex problems. I wrote about my coding methodology more in-depth in this issue. However, during last week, I think I might have experienced the side effect of my methods: Analysis Paralysis.
Considering the fact that my complicated font renderer has been rewritten twice already, I am scared to make any new decision that could lead to another rewrite in the near future - it is not easy and super expensive.
In pursuit of adding another MVP feature into the app, I need to expand the renderer functionalities, which in short, requires adding a new class on top of what I already have –
Shape. I started the task by drawing an overgrown scenario tree, scrutinizing every code architecture decision. After spending two days on white-boarding and finally getting into execution, I found out that at least half of the branches in the scenario tree were not necessary – Analysis Paralysis wasted my time.
Up til now, I have always been proud of the way I work – I over-prepare upfront to save time at execution. I do this with everyday tasks, too – when I run multiple errands, I plot out the route and wait time, choreograph my steps to achieve the best results. However, I have also suffered heavily from procrastination ever since my adulthood, which is why I chose procrastination as the subject of my master’s degree thesis. I never made the connection until recently my cofounder Hua pointed out these two are connected – I procrastinate because I over-plan; in other words, I was stuck at Analysis Paralysis.
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Sniffed the scent of halted progress, a founder friend of mine pushed me to launch a pre-order page of Typogram in a month – “just set up a stripe page and send it to people. Don’t stress over it and just do it! You will thank me later.” he said earlier today. It is a really good idea to set a pre-order campaign, but I need a product teaser video and a landing page, and they have to be perfect and do my product justice. I am in that hard position between Analysis Paralysis and Just Winging It again!
I believe the art lies somewhere between “Analysis Paralysis” and “Just Winging It.” Analyzing has always helped me make a better, more informed decision. “Just winging it” reduces the threshold to get started, and that momentum of getting started is tremendously valuable for a procrastinator like myself.
I am curious to hear how you work? Do you over-plan ahead of time or just wing it and see what happens and where it leads you? What works out best for you? Let me know by replying to the newsletter directly or leaving a comment!
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