Robert Melton's Writings

Just Don’t Do It

Alright, buckle up folks, because I’m about to drop a truth bomb that’s going to blow your mind and maybe even make you a little uncomfortable. Ready? Here it goes: if you want to get more done, try doing less. Yeah, you heard me right. Less.

I know, I know. It sounds like some sort of hippy-dippy, counterintuitive nonsense. But stick with me here, because there’s a method to this madness.

When you take on less, you actually complete a higher percentage of what’s on your plate. It’s like magic, but without the cheesy top hat and rabbit.

Think about it. If you’ve got two things to do and you finish both, boom! 100% success rate. Take that, overachievers. Nothing gets stuff done like not doing it in the first place.

Now, before you start accusing me of promoting laziness, let me clarify. This isn’t about being a slacker. It’s about being intentional. It’s about having the guts to say no to things until you know you can see them through. It’s about defending your time like it’s the last slice of pizza at a party full of hungry teenagers.

You don’t have to do everything right this second. Buy the pre-built computer instead of convincing yourself you’ll build it from scratch. Hire the maid instead of stressing about deep cleaning your house. Some things just don’t need to be done, and that’s okay.

Case in point, my friend. They’re a busy parent with a dining room that looks like a computer parts graveyard. Why? Because they bit off more than they could chew. Here’s what they told me:

“I need to remove dust from some of the used parts. I’m not putting dusty parts into a new build. I looked into buying a 3 or 6 lb air compressor and then put it off. I have to remove dust from a case that was brand new and is now dusty because [my eldest] took it out of a box. Have to find a few parts that are not all together with the newer ones. I may need to do a CPU musical chairs with an older CPU to get a motherboard to POST so I can update the firmware for it to support a newer CPU I bought. I have an essentially already built machine I bought off [a friend] that I need to fully blow out all the dust and integrate a few hard drives. I need to get Windows 10 licenses, ideally the super cheap ones that work.”

This person is scary smart, makes bank, and is already drowning in responsibilities. They started with the best of intentions, but now they’re stuck in a demotivating, yak-shaving nightmare. Their dining room is a no-go zone, and their kid is still waiting for that promised computer. The lesson? Try less, my friend.

It’s the same in programming. We can’t predict the future perfectly, so why kill ourselves trying? Do the minimum viable work for now. You’ll probably have to redo some things later anyway, but that’s life. The point is, you’ll get more done overall and have a higher completion rate.

Trying to do everything is a surefire recipe for getting less done. It’s like trying to catch every Pokemon in one go. Not gonna happen.

So, focus on what matters most. Guard your time like it’s the One Ring. And for the love of all that is good and holy, just try less. You’ll finish more, and you might even preserve a shred of your sanity in the process.

Trust me, your future self will thank you. And who knows, you might even have time to finally catch up on that Netflix show everyone’s been raving about.