iam - Not getting distracted

Posted in January 2013 by under sysadmin

There has been a lot of discussion recently about the amount of time that is wasted in each day from recovering from interruptions whilst programming.

Ninlabs research has written an excellent post called Programmer Interrupted and Swizec Teller has written a book on the subject and an interested article on why programmers work at night.

Something a lot of people do when getting interrupted is to make a note somewhere in a file or even the code they are working on, as a prompt to come back to. I have a similar approach but as I work mainly on the command line I have a simple bash script called "iam" to make this a trivial thing for me to do.

If I need to make a reminder, i simply do

$ iam writing a blog post about iam

And when the distraction has passed, if I find myself wondering "I have forgotten what I was doing now", I run the command again

$ iam
At 21:07 on 22/01/2013 I was writing a blog post about iam

If you want the script, iam is on github and there are some more examples in the README file.