The old adage, “If you want something done, give it to the busiest person you know” is probably one of the truest messages you can pass to a technologist. The first thing I want to point out is there is a difference between busy and always doing something. Just because someone is doing something, doesn’t mean they are busy. If they are sleeping, they aren’t busy. But if you know someone who is constantly working on side projects (contributing to their own blog (more regularly than I do), building a web site, working on open source), or they have many hobbies, that is busy. If you ask them to do something, you can guarantee that they will find a way to get it done.
You’re probably wondering why I putting this in a blog where I primarily spend time writing about technology and the things I figure out therein. Well, it is generally applicable because I come up with the most time saving, interesting, and generally reusable solutions to a issue when I am the busiest with other things just trying to get it done.
Recently Joel Spolsky wrote about being a Duct Tape Programmer. And many of the solutions I am referring to here are duct tape style solutions (also known as the ones that stick). It’s usually the quick and dirty solutions that last the longest because they are the simplest and yet somehow most effective (and no, I am not only talking about programming). I’m talking about getting things done. So be the busiest person you know sometimes and just get it done. The solution will probably be better and more effective than you think while you’re doing it.