My First Web App, Part 1: The Origin Story

Image: Jill Binder on the rickety balcony in Montreal with the plants and the view of the brick buildings, July 2016


On July 14th, 2016, I was being pretty hard on myself.

Normally a Vancouverite, I was sitting in my July-in-Montreal sublet adventure—on the rickety balcony with the plants and the view of the brick buildings—and I was staring at my screen.

I had a website coding deadline for a client.

I didn’t want to do it.

That’s not right. I wanted to do it, but I just… couldn’t. All I had in me that day was staring, not doing.

“Well this is silly,” I told myself. “I’m a productivity nerd. I’ve lectured friends about productivity a thousand times. I know how to do this. In fact, I could write out the steps to do this and then follow those steps.” (I love lists and steps.)

Before I knew it, I had written out an (unpublished) blog post.

Was I then ready to do the thing? No, I had more procrastination left in me. “It would be better if I had a web page that walked me through doing these steps, carrying the info forward to each step, giving me a timer, etc. Then I will be able to focus on my work easily.” (I have excellent procrastination logic.)

For the rest of the day, I brushed up on my Javascript skills and I made one page that made going through my steps a breeze.

At the time I pointed to someone else’s online countdown timer that I could change from my page. I set it for 25 minutes, a standard Pomodoro sprint. I still just couldn’t. The thought of even the “doing nothing” step (more on that another time) was too much.

I told myself, “Ok, 10 minutes or bust.” I changed the timer to 10 minutes and you know what? I finished my original task in that 10 minutes.


Read: My First Web App, Part 2: I Was A Weird Kid

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Published by jillbinder

I like web development, ukuleles, and avocadoes.

3 thoughts on “My First Web App, Part 1: The Origin Story

  1. Ha! Rickety balcony, indeed. That’s one of the things that stood out for me when we visited Montreal last August and AirBnB’d at an apartment in one of those old buildings. Geez, those railings sure felt low as I ventured out onto the third floor balcony! Did they even have building codes in the Thirties or were people just that much shorter?

    Anyway, what with the peeling paint and general ricketiness, I didn’t spend much time out there, even though it promised a highly entertaining, people-watching “Rear Window” experience.

    Great post BTW and I look forward to working through the entire saga!

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