Writing stuff down makes you think about things. Take the “balls in the air” piece. I had a problem, I didn’t realise what the problem was until I wrote about it and now, a week later I see the problem coming up again and know what it is and how to avoid it. Magic!
Some things that take 4 hrs can be done in 8 30 minute segments. Some must be done in one 4 hr session. Lesson learned.
This week I had an obvious “big lumpy problem” that needed a good four or five hours constant thought to deal with; I knew I didn’t have a slot for it until after the weekend. So I got the client to fill out some other stories. We dug up some new requirements on issues that weren’t as important as the big lumpy problem but were easier to break up into small thoughts.
So now I have several smaller problems that can be spread over the time available between other commitments and one large hulking lumpy mother that will get dealt with when there’s a slot big enough for it.
Net result is that the client doesn’t get the big lumpy problem finished any quicker but they do get some other stuff done whilst I’m waiting for a slot that’s big enough - rather than me just fretting and wasting the small slots trying to break the lumpy up into lumpettes.