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Doing Things Every Day

Let's say you're going to put ten hours of effort into something, either a project or a habit. Your goal, or one of them, is to get as much out of those ten hours as possible. What will be important at the end isn't the number of hours put in, but the results.

One of the factors contributing to how effectively you spend your time is how you divide it. Do you do it all in one chunk? Ten one-hour chunks? Six hundred single minute chunks?

The answer to that depends heavily on the task, but for many habits, daily execution is ideal. You can break something huge like language learning into daily chunks that are manageable. You get the benefit of constant forward momentum. It's easy to remember that you're supposed to do something every day.

Someone asked, at a recent reader meetup in Budapest, how I do things every day. At this point it's such a fundamental part of who I am that I don't have an immediate answer other than: I just do them. But having to answer an earnest question made me think about it in depth. I used to be the kind of person who couldn't do anything on a regular daily basis. What changed?

90% Done Project? Do 2% more, then ship it 92% complete. Or, what's your take, dear reader?


An interesting discussion with a reader follows. While you're reading, if you have experience with half-finished projects/apps/websites/businesses/etc, please think to yourself, "What would I do?" and answer in the comments.

Hi Sebastian,

First off, thanks for making yourself available to talk. I just saw the comment saying you're surprised more people don't take you up on your offer, so I figured I'd send you an email :)

I have a project which has potential, but I'm not sure I can be the one to take it places.

It is a task-oriented team chat application, similar to campfirehq. Its task-oriented nature sets it apart, because you can make a task as easily as typing !implement history search and hitting enter. This makes it very easy to see who is working on what, and discuss it. The barriers to communication and organization are lowered, helping teams move more quickly, and stay organized.

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