Over the last week or so, work has been somewhat hectic, for a variety of reasons. We’re gearing up to enter new markets, announce new products – all the sorts of thing that keeps Tangozebra in the news as the next big thing (apparently).
Anyway, we’ve been identifying new roles that need filling, whether internally or by hiring new people. As part of this process, I’ve made a list of administrative things I need to do. It’s about a page long which, in my experience, is about the largest it ever gets. Or at least the largest it ever gets before I forget things.
Which brings me to my point, which is that up to about two hours ago I was carrying this list around in my head. There are other lists, including development ideas for current products, and thoughts and ideas about new ones that will be starting soon. And lists of things nothing to do with work, like “sort out auditions for the new UD show”, and “buy some new boots that don’t leak”. Where does it all go?
Assuming each list is at most a page long, and that I have perhaps twenty lists at most, we have maybe ten sheets of A4, written on both sides, living in my head. Of course, they won’t fit just like that – they’ll have to be folded. Some crude measurements suggest that we need to fold them twice, at which point they’re about the same size as the horizontal cross section of my head. Leaving space for eyes, ears, and all the stuff around my mouth, I reckon there’s a good three inches of space of that size at the top. A rough estimate shows that ten sheets of A4, folded twice, will take up about half an inch – so I have two and a half inches of space, or a little over half an inch of full-sized A4 for all my non-list thoughts. That’s about the size of, say, Extreme Programming Refactored, or slightly smaller than Government and Politics of The United States, to compare with two volumes that are to hand. Which is presumably where the notion that everyone has a book inside them comes from – that’s what you can fit into your head.
Of course, if the pieces of paper are scrunched up, there won’t be any other space at all. If this is the case, where do my thoughts go?
One of the entries on my administrative list is ‘tidy my desk’. I suspect, when I get round to this, that I’ll find yet more things to do. I can’t win.