Tom's iPhone Apps

Productivity apps for the iPhone and iPad

I'm an iOS developer with a few apps in the store which I loved making.

Pleasure != Happiness

I learned something recently, and I'm not happy about it.

The premiss I've come to understand involves pleasure and happiness, or rather the lack of similarity between the two.

A few weeks ago I had 12 days of no contract work. I love not having anywhere to be or anything to do. When I have no work to do, I spend the whole time doing work - but work I want to do.

Of course.

So I worked non-stop, in my bi-polar aspect, to crank out some updates to my apps. I made some vast improvements to my RoRemote app, including the addition of 9 other languages. I've desired to create an app in multiple languages, but, in my 4 years of making iPhone apps, no one's ever wanted their apps translated - so I did it to one of my own.

Paying for 9 professional translations for an app that's free probably wasn't the best business move, but the whole point of creating my own apps is the ability to do what I want. So I did what I want.

I'm getting off topic already. I had a lot of pleasure in staying home, watching TWiT.tv netcasts, and coding. Staying up late. Maintaining no consistent schedule whatsoever. I love it. Plus, I got a lot of work done, so it's okay.

But.

I feel terrible. No contact with the outside world, except the cashier at Duane Reade or the seamless.com delivery person. I love making my own schedule, but I'm no good at it.

I always have glamorized the artist withdrawn from society in order to finish their book/movie/song/code. Cranking away and not emerging until the work is finished and glorious. But I'm believing the fantasy is false - at least for me.

A common paradigm in computer coding: 90% of the project takes 10% of the time, and the last 10% takes the remaining 90% of the time. It's hard to explain why, but it's the way it is. I'm sure this is common to other disciplines as well.

In my week and a half coding binge, I got the first 90% done. Not very productive pursuant to my formula above - despite my trust.

Providing further evidence, RoRemote still isn't in the AppStore.℠ It's taken a few weeks of tweaking minor bugs and flaws resulting from longer text in the translated languages. The remaining 10%.

The lesson received: Just because something's pleasurable doesn't mean doing a lot of it will bring me happiness. I like to believe I'm in control, but this revelation smashes that reality model.

I've learned this once with alcohol, but the notion is more universal. I hate learning a lesson only to find I've learned the lesson before, but failed to recognize the similarities.

A friend of mine is a successful playwright who also has the pleasure of working from home. He gave me some tips which I hate.

  1. Wake up at 9:00am every day.
  2. Make my bed.
  3. Spend a few minutes relaxing - perhaps meditation.
  4. Eat breakfast - not a few chocolate chip cookies, which happens to be my favorite.
  5. Read a short piece of literature; a spiritual day starter or motivational favorite.
  6. Sit down at my desk and begin work. No TV. Turn off my phone.
  7. Do not be logged in to Facebook or any other kind of noise.
  8. Work for 3 hours.
  9. Eat lunch. Ideally, leave the apartment and eat elsewhere. Otherwise, eat in my kitchen (which is only three feet, 0.9144 meters, from my desk - I live in NY).
  10. Turn on my phone. Return any missed calls, if necessary. Turn off my phone.
  11. Work for 4 hours.
  12. Turn on my phone. Return any missed calls.
  13. Eat dinner.
  14. Spend the evening socializing - meet up with friends, go on a date, go to a movie... or play (again, I live in NY).
  15. Go to bed by midnight or 1am at latest.

Oddly enough, not all of the items above were courtesy of my friend. I added some while typing the list. This seems to certify my awareness of maintaining a healthy integration with society. I just need discipline.

Geez, I do not adore anything I'm writing here.

It's been two weeks since I learned the technique above, and I'm anxious to try it out. I'll update you when that happens.

Edit: I updated this post on June 19th, 2014 to correct my mis-spelling of maintaining, which I spelled maintaing.

©2017, Tom Corwine