Last three days since Project update #1 were okay, but it again didn't went as I planned.
It's Saturday evening here in Prague and I am writing second project update. To be honest, I am a bit stressed here. Not sure exactly why but I have some some suspicions. But more on that later.
What I've been up to these last 3 days
Last post here was published on Wednesday evening, so I thought I would briefly recap what I've been up to since then.
I got up at 6:45 and headed to the gym with my father and a friend of his. It's always a good start of the day to get some excercise early on.
- Monthly review
In the morning, I did my review of March. I try to do this for every month - reflect on what I've accomplished, what I didn't manage to do, and basically compare my goals from previous review. It's staggering that I always end up meeting only about ~20% of the goals that I set out to meet a month ago.
That's my long term problem, but I am working on it. It has probably more to do with managing expectations and being more effective than with not working enough.
- Progress on new website
In the afternoon, I met with my friend from college who is building my new 'company' website and together we pushed it a lot further.
It's almost finished now. We had some differences during the way but I am glad he was willing to fix every single detail that bothered me. I am a perfectionalist maybe to an unhealthy degree, and I do realize that I could be hard to work with sometimes, so it was nice that he didn't have a problem with it.
All in all, it was a nice spent afternoon.
- Decent progress on my new app
In the evening, I'd spent an hour and a half sketching out core algorithm for my new app.
It was super fulfilling!
I was a bit tired, and it was hard at first to wrap my head around it, but then it all just started fitting together and I've laid out a pretty good concept of how I will go about implementing it.
Most iOS non-game apps don't have this kind of challenge as my app, but the main component has to be able to 'redraw' itself at 60fps. There is a bunch of stuff that needs to be recalculated, and obviously, it needs to happen fairly quickly.
Side note: I am using UIKit and manipulating the views myself.
Since 60fps means you have about 17ms to do all your work for any given frame or you start dropping them, I know it will be tight at best. But we'll see.
-First 'programming' on my new app
In the morning, I worked on the new app. I hoped to start implementing the algorithm from the day before, but I ended up working on all the other stuff in the main screen that made sense to finish before I dive into the alhorithm itself.
-The dreaded client job..
I don't want to get too specific here, but in the last minute I had to change my plans for the afternoon and actually go to that company to deal with them personally. There were some differences in when I should get paid, but long story short:
I just wish to get it over with soon.
-Decent progress on new app!
Today, I went to the shared office to work some more on the new app. I actually got to implementing the algorithm that I came up with on Thursday, and long story short, the basics are 80% finished.
I am actually playing with it right now and it's amazing!
I've been imagining the way it'll work for months, and now there is first glimpse!
It will still need a lot of work, plus obviously there is all the UI around it, but I am very glad I managed to get it to where it is now, and that the direction I chose to take when implementing the algorithm seems to be the right one.
On the side note, the speed of it all will need some more optimization because there are some tiny lags and according to Instruments (a debugging tool that lets you actually meassure the fps), the frame rate is dropping down to ~53 fps. But I think it should be possible to improve the algorithm quite a bit.
What about that Apple Watch app?
Ouch, you got me! In my last update I was all about "I have to do this Apple Watch real quick!", and then I end up not working on it at all.
But you know, I was kind of upset from the client BS from Friday, and I had to improve my mood somehow. And finally working on the core part of the new app after months of looking forward to it felt like the right way to do it. And it kind of was, if I wasn't as tired as I am now.
Oh, right! The lesson. First of all, I am sorry this post is so awfuly long already. That's exactly what I didn't want to happen. But it will take me some time to nail down the right format for these posts.
On the bright side, there are several lessons that I've been thinking about recently
1) Self-awareness can make wonders.
This one is from my monthly review. In the last year, I've been gradually comming to this realization. That's why I do weekly and monthly reviews. And that's why I pursued a habit of writing every day, even for just a few minutes. This daily writing proved to be really good for making sense of my current thoughts and feelings, so I can become more aware of things that are affecting me, and consider why and what to do about them. But more on that in another post.
2) I need a vacation. Or a break. Seriously.
It's been forever since I've left this stereotype of almost constantly working, with very little "other stuff". This is actually my long-term problem and I do realize I have to do something about it and do it soon. I sure don't want to get burned out, and there are other implications too.
3) Don't try to juggle too many things at once. Whenever possible, finish the previous thing before starting a new one.
In the last weeks, I've been working on my new website, setting up this blog, working on the client app, planning the whole development of the new app, working on the new app, and preparing a new 'company' blog with a friend of mine. While thinking about the other things that I should do really soon, like building Routie for Apple Watch. And it's just too much. There are too many loose ends and it's hurting my ability to focus on one thing only and give it the best I can. Plus, it's stressing me out.
So the lesson here for me is to try to become better at considering priorities, and always focus mostly on one thing and one thing only.
So much for 'being brief'..
This is way too long, I know.. I promise to try to make the next update a lot shorter.
To be honest, I am seriosly considering posting three times a week. Twice a week just seems like too little, and the stuff that I wanted to write about cumulates fast.
What do you think? Is there anything you'd like to add? Or do you have some secret hacks how to avoid the problems I am experiencing?
Let me know in the comments bellow. And if you made it through the whole article, thank you! I deeply admire your attention span.