Efficient use of time, getting things done
After coming back from a 20 day vacation in Belize and Guatemala, I have been revisiting making my work flow as efficient as possible.
The first thing that I am doing (a "New Year Resolution" made several months ago) is to concentrate on mastering just two technologies: Java and Ruby server side development. I find it fun to spend about 10 hours a week spread out over research and learning about AI in general, trying many software frameworks written in Lisp, Smalltalk, Python, Ruby, and Java - a New Year Resolution is to limit myself to a few hours only to Ruby and Java, and a few hours on AI research.
In the last few years I have tried to streamline my development work flow to minimize time wasted: use CVS for everything, use standard web server setups and automate deployments, etc.
For Ruby development, I just came up with another developer's trick that is saving me time: I set up a Ruby standard class library project with Eclipse (and RDT and Rad Rails) than has all of the source code in $RUBY/lib/ruby (standard Ruby libraries, gem installed libraries, and my local site installed libraries). Now, in a few seconds I can look at the source code for Ruby class libraries that I am using - very handy!
In streamlining my Java server side development, I have a fairly standard setup with IntelliJ and Tomcat (I have for all intents and purposes given up on EJBs) so the startup time on a new project is about 1 minute.