For a couple of weeks I’ve been on low information diet. It means that I don’t browse the feed of any social media and I don’t browse general news sites. I had not been watching TV for a long time. Like that I’m much less distracted, but much more focused. The news which are really important still reach me. Either through my wife, through friends, or through the radio I listen to while driving to/from work. I don’t eliminate the radio for the moment, because I find it useful for my French.
The same time, I implemented first daily goals (about three personal and three work ones) which I tackle first during the day and then I moved a bit forward at least on my personal level. I created a quite strict schedule about when I read certain kinds of books, when I write blog, when I learn new (programming) languages, when I work on some projects. And if I find some time, even better, I invest it in some of these activites. I just have to consult my schedule, instead of mindlessly browsing the internet.
It has happened to me a few days ago that I had an almost free afternoon. How cool is that!
I turned to my document where I dump my ideas and I took the first outstanding one. To build a dead stupid app which is based on an experiment I read about in Charles Duhigg’s book Smarter, Faster, Better. In the experiment people were asked to play with a game for only as long as they wanted to. They had to guess if the next number will be smaller or bigger than 5. But there was a little secret. The game was rigged: everyone always won the first round and lost the second, and so on. Certain players played a lot. Really a lot. I had the idea to implement this, just for fun. For the fun of implementation, not for the fun of playing my own rigged game.
So how did I do it? Building such an easy app still seems a bit complex in one shot. But why would I do that? I started to apply what I just learnt by our agile coach. So I created user stories for myself. Here are a few:
As a Player I want to see a random number from one to nine inclusive
As a Player I want to be able to guess if the random number will be smaller or bigger than five
As a Player I want to be able to start a new game
As a Player I want to be notified whether I won or lost
As a Player I want to always win the first game
As a Player I want to always loose the game after a winning one
As a Player I want to always win a game after a loosing one
As such I really did not feel overwhelmed, everything was so smooth and simple. I managed to complete these stories (which are too short in real projects) in a few hours overall and by the end of the afternoon I published my app with the name Rigged.
So being more focused thanks to low information diet helped me to produce an app, learn Android and practice Agile story writing in just a few hours.
I still hope nobody will play too much with it.