Daniel Lemire's blog

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Staying organized without planning

In a recent post, I told you to stop planning and start prototyping. Cyril—whose web site you should visit just to admire his simple design—objected that efficiency maximization was a very personal matter. I conclude that I must have misrepresented my idea. I seriously doubt that anyone can manage his time better than with a greedy algorithm. In truth, I spend an hour every few days deciding on what I need to do next. What I never do is decide in October what I will do in February. I tried a few times and it never worked. Unless you are a cyborg, I doubt it can work for you.

Deciding on what to do next is not the same as planning. Or rather, my plans are crude:

  1. do step A;
  2. do step B;
  3. (missing steps);
  4. prove that N=NP (or achieve true AI).

I realized that trying to fill the blanks was useless. As long as I know what the next few steps are, I am in good shape. The trick is to constantly revise.