I completed my first week as a full-time independent developer. Things I learned:
1. It’s easier to get solid concentration going in the morning if I work somewhere outside of the home. Concentrating in the afternoon is not as hard at home, especially if I have momentum from the morning. I still need to learn how to get going in the morning at home, though. Coffee shops cost money.
2. Having a broad plan for each day of the week helps. This way, you don’t spend too much time thinking and re-thinking what you should be doing. (I had guessed as much from my experience with meal planning, which severely reduced our decision fatigue.) You also cut career existential doubt out of the loop completely.
3. I can kill ideas that are unlikely to work by starting to plan out the work for it. It might not be a true death, though, as they keep popping back into my head. But at least I didn’t spend time on them.
4. I thought I liked listening to podcasts and music while working, but that turns out to only be for work that I have to push myself to start. I think they distract me from my resistance to starting. If I don’t have a problem starting, though, as is the case with a lot of what I worked on this week, podcasts and music are just distracting. The sounds I’ve enjoyed the most this week are near-silence and background chatter that’s busy enough that I can’t distinguish individual conversations.
5. It is really good to have an “American dream”-style weekend in which you don’t expect to do much work and thus are not disappointed when you don’t. When you’re a part-time indie, concerns over whether or not you really are getting as much as you should out of the weekend hover over you like a cartoon stink cloud. They’re a lot easier to dismiss when you know you’ve put in a solid week.