Some years ago I worked for a large UK bank-assurer as a contract software developer. One project that I became involved with was to provide a bug tracking / change management system. As with all software systems, we decided to give it a ‘cool’ name and someone in the team suggested ‘Jedi’.
After stifling an inward sigh and wondered how I, a Star Trek fan, had ended up in a world full of Star Wars geeks, I asked the chap who originated the name why he’d thought it was a good name. The answer was simple; in this context, Jedi was going to stand for something. Jedi actually stood for Just ‘Effing Do It! After that I had no problem with the name at all.
Just ‘Effing Do It – as one of the world’s great procrastinators, anything that helps me kick the habit has to be worth thinking about, and as an acronym JEDI is great. In the intervening years I’ve called upon JEDI many times, and I think that it has helped me break at least part of my procrastination habit. By analysing my activity on projects (one reason why I keep a log book) I found that the actual time spent on various tasks is quite often significantly less than the time I think I might spend upon them. However, I spend a fair amount of time thinking about doing the job, planning it, worrying about it, determining that I haven’t the time to do it, doing something that’s urgent but not important, doing something that’s neither urgent or important, drinking tea and, in extremis, having a bath. In other words, the way of the procrastinator can be strong in me!
Procrastination is probably my biggest time-bandit; the putting off of tasks for some indeterminate and usually inadequate (and often non-existant) reason. I now recognise that some of the tasks I put off are tedious, some just seem overwhelmingly difficult, and others – well, some are just so unpleasant that I want to ignore them altogether. The latter tasks can just keep nagging away at you, though, and this is where the concept of a banjo playing Jedi comes in useful…
Banjo stands for Bang A Nasty Job Off – in other words, if you have a stinker of a job to do, that you find unpleasant for any reason, the best way to get it out of your life is to get on with it as effectively as possible – in other words, Jedi.
So there you have it – you want to get ahead in this world, then start contemplating banjo playing Jedi knights.
And on that note…where’s that code I have to write today?