Actionable Ideas Lead To More Actionable Ideas

When working on ideas, a consequence of that can lead to more ideas.

Currently during this Thanksgiving break I’ve been working on some programming projects. This consists of writing code to produce simplified user interfaces for the users. The goal is for the user to be able to update their websites with ease. So far so good in regards to accomplishing and checking off the list.

I’ve been surprised at how frictionless this has been. Meaning that most times when I need to write programming code I tend to do it at a slow pace because I run into so many issues. Reason for that is because of my novice knowledge of programming basics. The difference this time is a mix of determination, curiosity, and pressure. I’ve had some of these projects in my to-do list for awhile now and I’ve come to the point that they need to be done NOW. I can’t wait any longer because they relate to deadlines that are already passed which is no good. The pressure is very much there now. Strangely though, kind of on the same channel with the pressure has been the curiosity factor. Some people day dream, I think about how to solve these to-do issues in my head. Most of these are programming problems. Fortunetly like math problems you can solve them in your head if you take some pauses and patience to try them out.

It all started with some Automator projects I had been working with. I LOVE the mac utility Automator. Perfect for someone like me who wants to quickly try out ideas. Automator makes it very easy to get you started. As well introduce you to other utilities. Also recently hearing about Apple’s decision to closed down the automation technologies division bums me out. At work my co-workers know how much I love these utilities. Most of us at work are on Macs. I’ve created automator apps for them. Well point being, I really don’t want for Apple to shut down these utilities.

Alright to get to my point of actionable ideas leading to more actionable ideas! I started solving some easy issues utilizing Automator and AppleScript. One example was how to pause and play a quicktime file while iTunes is playing background music. If you’ve done this before where you press the Play/Pause key on your keyboard it’ll pause both iTunes and QuickTime player if BOTH were playing. I tend to play soft melodies in the background in iTunes when I’m listening to audio playback of articles I read online through QuickTime. Yea I’m fancy like that. My issue happened when I needed to pause the QuickTime audio because I had to go to the bathroom or something like that BUT I didn’t need to pause the sweet soft melodies. Just the QuickTime audio. So when you press the Play/Pause key on the keyboard it’ll pause both which I didn’t want. AppleScript and Automator to the rescue! I created an AppleScript that pauses and plays the QuickTime Player if it is paused or if it is playing. Pretty simple and straight forward. Open up Automator and add a “Run AppleScript” command box and insert my AppleScript code. I create this Automator as a Service type of document in order to then create a keyboard shortcut in the Services shortcuts settings in System Preferences. End result, I have a designated keyboard shortcut to pause/play QuickTime Player without interferring with iTunes honey good caramel tunes playing. This actionable idea that came to fruition got me so encouraged that I then started pondering about my programming projects that had me stumped on how to solve them.

So I fired up my code editor and before I started typing any code, I wrote and drew out the visuals on how I wanted to see the end results. Once that was complete and felt assured of that being the answer to my problems I started writing my code. This is how I approach my problems. I have to solve it in my head first, then write it out in paper, and finally in code. Before I knew it I had already solved three of my hardest issues I had on my to-do list. The momentum that has built as consequence of my determination has been so beneficial. The combination of all these factors of determination, curiosity and pressure have this time worked to accomplish my goals of finishing off projects. But you got to put the effort otherwise those ideas just live to be ideas and never become realized if you don’t put any action into them.