Contractors were working on my house all last week. I needed to be home to let them in, to answer questions, etc., but the noise and interruptions meant that home wasn’t a good place for me to work. In addition, my Internet connection was out for most of the week and I had a hard disk failure.
Looking back on the week, my first thought was that the week had been an almost total loss, neither productive nor relaxing. But that’s not right. The work I did do made a difference, reinforcing my belief that effort and results are only weakly correlated. (See Weinberg’s law of twins.)
Sometimes you have a burst of insight or creativity, accomplishing more in a few minutes than in an ordinary day. But that didn’t happen last week.
Sometimes your efforts are unusually successful, either because of the preparation of previous work or for unknown reasons. That did happen last week.
Sometimes you simply work on more important tasks out of necessity. Having less time to work gives focus and keeps work from expanding to fill the time allowed. That also happened last week.
I did get out of the house last Tuesday and wrote about it in my previous post on quality over quantity. This turned out to the theme of the week.