I've been facing a project that keeps growing in complexity (as if things are meant to be built on budget and on time). This has been draining my available time at an alarming rate. As I've investigate further it seems to be something that I can work with a little bit different.
Take for instance that part of the time drain is trying to get Google Sheets function to work as I expect. I would spend hours trying new combinations and experimenting with getting close to the desired results. Now while that is method that might yield some results from time to time, it's not good enough for people with finite amount of time to work on these things.
So today I'm going to try to actually work on it in 1 hour chunks. Basically my time budget for all building and problem solving is 1 hour. If the elegant way doesn't work in 2-3 attempts then its on to the ugly hackish method. Even if that doesn't work in an hour then I would still walk away.
This is to put all the planning and execution in one cycle. That's ok, I can plan again later when I pick up this work. As plucking away at it doesn't equal problem getting solved, I'm just not seeing the solution or solution in-progress yet. And really going out for a walk doesn't prove to be more ineffective than dumping another solid hour at a stuck point.