I spent much of the day worrying that the next step in modifying my software project would plunge everything over a cliff.
You see, there are more or less two kinds of changes you can make in a software prototype: Small changes that have a large chance of success, because they work within the existing structure, and big changes that modify the structure itself.
These latter changes can be scary. If you get them wrong, things can quickly come crashing down around your ears.
So I procrastinated — watched a trashy TV show on NetFlix, raided the fridge, read a chapter of a book about Joss Whedon, exercised, went onto Amazon to buy a copy of Keith Richards’ “Talk is Cheap” album for a friend, raided the fridge again, read the New York Time Book Review cover to cover, as well as all the letters and OpEd columns, both Arts sections, and every NY Times weekend puzzle (there are seven altogether).
Then sometime in the late afternoon I came into the lab, took a deep breath, and got to work. Before I knew it, all the changes were made, the new structure was in place, and everything worked beautifully. Didn’t even take that long.
I suspect I was actually working on those changes all day, without even realizing it.