Using my personal coding sprints, I made an effort to spend 5 min each day to have a personal meeting on the progress of my sprint. I (tried to) ask myself every day —
- what did I do yesterday to finish my sprint?
- What’s in the way?
- what am I planning to do today to finish my sprint?
I also used the time management approach in the Scrum methodology, to estimate how much time each smaller user story/deliverable will take, and track the “velocity” of time it takes to finish the project.
I think building that personal reflection really helped me on track, and especially with the efficiency of completing the project. Things I estimated would take 2 hrs, ended up taking only 30 min, or 15(!) sometimes.
The reflection also helped me acknowledge the roadblocks in my attempt to finish this project. Social media, lack of evening routine, eating food that depletes energy … etc. Acknowledging these hurdles pushed me to think of how to solve the problem. I became very addicted to Instagram (esp. the Stories!) at one point for example, but I tried to delete the app every time I got home from work. I found that when I did do that, I could save more time for coding; and when I reinstalled the app on certain nights, I could end up spending 2 hrs just scrolling down the phone screen – appalling, I know!
I also kept focusing on breaking down the big project into smaller, chewable bites. Below is a screenshot of how I dis-aggregate the tasks into smaller to-do items, using Onenote —
The calculator project actually isn’t as hard as I imagined. The main challenges are in turning the values stored into the buttons into math calculations using Jquery and the eval() function, and formatting the buttons/rows to look like a real calculator (by using a grid system, and the box-shadow effect).
You can see my complete project here.