Sometimes we are all under the hammer of time, and things have to happen Right Now. But now and then most of us get lucky, and slack time. I treasure those days, because I can drag out that mental, digital, or physical TODO list of things that need to be done for the future. And I pound on it, because that it some of the most interesting work that I do, and there is always a reward of some sort.
Most times, it involves working on infrastructure; the scaffolding that we have to have in order to keep doing what we do, only better. So slack time doesn't mean go sit on a beach. Which is just as well, in my case. This is December, and Oregon almost perfectly fails to resemble Hawaii. I touched on this back in August, in Optimize for the Exploration of Ideas.
So, What Did I Do?
I organized some stuff. I have a directory named 'REDACTED' (naming specific directories and what they contain is a huge information leak, if you care about security) that accumulates ideas, design notes, TODOs, etc., on where various internal projects need to go. It can accumulate a lot of cruft, and lose value as a planning tool. It needs all the care I can give it, and I measure success in this at least partially in how much useless crap I deleted.
I rebuilt some stuff. Because sometimes it only takes a few changes in a tool (either physical or software) to radically improve your capabilities. The bad guys are innovating at a tremendous pace, with the value and speed benefits that innovation always provides. If we cannot more than match that, we are hosed. Economics does not much care whether your hat is black or white.
I wrote some stuff. I never intended to become a writer of any description, but I have always admired talented writers. It was writers that turned me into a technologist at an early age, and the power to steer a life is something to be respected. But I follow a couple of writer blogs, and they tend to advocate things like writing a minimum number of words per day, which my life completely fails to allow. I wrote a lot of fragmentary, but hopefully clear notes to myself. I wrote this post, and hopefully moved a few others closer to publication. I also wrote final versions of template files that will change my software documentation workflow completely. Perhaps that should have fallen under 'rebuilt'.