So how do you get started?


I’m back from a long break and still struggling with those post vacation lethargy blues. I’ve got a few things that I want to get to, but oh… It is so hard to start. I will be blogging again very very shortly, but I’m curious.

How do you all get going again after a hiatus from doing something? How do you kickstart yourself towards the next 1% change you want to see?

Agilique Strategies

Getting back in the saddle is really difficult for me because when I check out of something I really divorce myself; vacations for me are for family and relaxing (and sending @ryan inappropriate text messages) and I struggle getting centered when it’s “once more unto the breach.” I try to just concentrate on one small thing (typically not vital or critical path, so it’s ok if I take longer than really necessary) and get that done, and that starts the pistons firing on all cylinders again.

On the other hand: if I see myself losing motivation or center when I’m working on something…I walk away. I try to concentrate on something else entirely to distract myself and then I let gravity pull me back into what I was doing before I lost my way. It’s like when you’re doing a home improvement project and you get stuck, best advice is to take 10 and walk away, you’ll find you come back and solve the problem by taking the minute to distract yourself.

Works for me, but YMMV!


I’m shifting roles within my company, @bradstokes, and finding myself in a similar dilemma. I’ve taken the radical step of creating a personal Kanban board to visualize my work (which would be the tip to offer you, assuming you’re not already doing this). But I find myself questioning - ‘what’s the most important thing’?


I have my own “board” (tools shift with time), but I have to hit it every morning, and I have to knock something off it every day. Getting back in the groove from time off is as simple as grooming my board and finding something to close.

Pomodoro can be helpful to build good habits too:
(disclaimer: I was an editor on this book, but get nothing from peddling it)


+1 to pomodoro

What get’s me going “again” is making meaningful progress on something every day.

Sometimes small, sometimes large…


I hadn’t even considered Pomodoro. That is a great idea. I might try it today.

It is a good bit of advice provided you walk back.

A few mentioned personal Kanban and I’m with you. I use it. I haven’t yet this year, maybe this is a perfect day to start it up again. Thank you. I’m still keen to hear other peoples’ tips and tricks.


That book is a very fast read and has some great information about mental focus beyond pomodoro… Last I saw, you could get a free electronic copy from InfoQ.


I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Brian Eno & Peter Schmidt’s “Oblique Strategies” as a kick-in-metaphorical-pants tool. @andycleff and I are playing around with how this concept can be used in the agile setting.


How do you get started < = > How do you get stuck

@thostaylor a line of inquiry… no?!