Tuesday, January 04, 2011

AF4: Intuition vs. Rational Thought

I got up on Monday morning this week ready to tackle a swelling list of todo items that had recently accumulated in my backlog.  As I looked through my AF4 list, my intuition pointed me squarely at a task that had recently risen in prominence, but that had been on the back of my mind for well over a year. 

I have a piece of children’s software I have authored called PixelWhimsy and the most recent version of it didn’t work on recent computers for various reasons.   I’ve been wanting to fix this problem off and on since it first cropped up nearly two years ago, but it was a daunting task.   I was able to make a little headway on it last week because I had an AF4 task to look into the technology I would need to accomplish the fix.  I found some good information and it ignited my spirit.  I instantly knew that I needed to “just do it”. 

So, here’s the crazy thing:  I set aside pretty much my entire todo list and worked like a maniac all day on Monday (I had the day off) from 4am til about 6pm when my family needed some attention.  I did a couple of things on my backlog, but only finished 4 tasks for the day, which is pretty low for me.   As I lay in bed waiting to go to sleep, my spirit awoke again and I had a vision of what the next day would be.  I was starting back at work the next day, but I knew I needed to finish, so would get up at 3am, skip my morning routines and just get it done.   And that’s pretty much exactly what happened.   I started at 3, and just stayed at it until 7:30 when I published the results.   Up until that moment, I pretty much had a little storm cloud over my head as I dealt with a long series of small annoying problems, but getting it done filled me with a surge of energy and creativity.   This is when I think that our intuition pays off.   So-called rational behavior rarely seems to have such dividends. 

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