Executing a mini project

Executing a mini project

[00:00:00] Well hello, this is The Daily Five with Aurooba. That's me, where we reflect on creating our best lives a little bit every day. Here we go.

[00:00:15] I've been on a quest to free up disk space on my hard drive. I was trying to record an episode of The Daily 5 this morning when the recording abruptly ended and my computer informed me that I had officially run out of space on the disk. I kind of sorta knew this was coming and it's been something I've been punting for ages and ages. I really need to do a deep clean of my hard drive. And now, I could avoid the situation no longer. So, that became my project for the day.

[00:00:49] Now, in any project you may want to undertake, you first have to figure out what you're trying to accomplish. I was trying to make space on my computer. That was my goal. Notice that organizing or sorting my files isn't necessarily required in order to achieve this goal. And I've been trying my hardest lately to keep the scope tight on my project and not let perfect become the enemy of done.

[00:01:14] So, In that spirit, I fished out two things from my office cabinets. One, the hard drive I was supposed to be using for Time Machine backups, and another hard drive that I could stash files onto.

[00:01:27] I connected the Time Machine hard drive and I set it to do a backup right away. Considering I hadn't run a time machine backup in, oh, you know, a year and a half or so, the time estimate for it was five hours. Not surprising. My other hard drive had a bunch of old movies on it that I didn't need anymore, so I cleared those out and got to work.

[00:01:48] In order to know what to do, you have to next, after you've figured out a goal, evaluate the situation and make at least a loose plan. I knew that the bulk of my disk space was being used by my development directories, my documents folder, and my downloads folder. Uh, you see, I have this unfortunate habit of letting things sit in my downloads folder instead of using it as a temporary place for things.

[00:02:11] So, I shifted the entire 40GB download folder onto my external hard drive. There was far too much in there for me to sift through right now.

[00:02:20] Then, I went through my development folder. There were repositories and client sites here from at least half a decade ago. And much of this was backed up on GitHub anyway. So I deleted any repository and local development environment for clients I hadn't worked with in at least five years right off the bat. That was easy. Didn't even have to move it to an external hard drive. Then, I worked through the rest of the local sites and deleted more that I didn't need. These directories were huge, but there weren't actually a lot of them, less than a hundred. And I could make very quick judgments about them, so it made sense to clean as I went instead of just moving them. I

[00:02:57] approached the documents folder with the same strategy. If I could see right off the bat that it was useless, I got rid of it. And then I moved anything I didn't actively need to the external hard drive. Again, these were huge directories, but there weren't actually a lot of them. For example, there was a nearly 30 gigabyte directory with the raw files for all of the Daily 5 Season 1 episodes. If I'm totally honest, I don't need those raw files, so I deleted those and shifted the compiled ones onto the external hard drive, because those I actually care about.

[00:03:28] Within two hours, maybe three, I had made quick decisions about what to keep on the computer, what to delete, and what I could safely move to the external hard drive. Now, actually moving them and deleting them took a while, because file transfer rates and different hard drives and all of that nonsense. I had actually done the active work already, you know?

[00:03:53] It took about five hours, I think, for all the moving and deleting to actually happen. But that was okay. I could walk away and I did, and I did other things.

[00:04:01] I kept the project scope really tight. The goal being to clear up space on the hard drive, not other things. I do want to go back and clean up the files I have. And now that I've seen them and it's a bit top of mind, I will make a separate plan to tackle that. What I did was I balanced the efficient with the effective. I let my goal inform my approach. I made a loose plan, which I evaluated again every single time I encountered a new bucket of files. And I adapted and adjusted as I went along.

[00:04:33] A mini project, executed and completed in a short frame of time. Now, wouldn't it be nice if only all the projects that we have to do in our lives were that easy to tackle and complete?

[00:04:54] Thanks for listening. Same time tomorrow?