Curated by Beth Kanter
Good tips here. Especially like the term "yak" shaving from Seth Godin (http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2005/03/dont_shave_that.html)
A corollary and contradictory point to the last: Sometimes you need to indulge in yak shaving. “Yak shaving” is a term used particularly by geeks to describe the receding path of prerequisite steps you may find yourself on while completing what appeared to be a simple task.
Yak shaving can distract you from your original goal, (“I just wanted to get the text out of this PDF, and suddenly I find myself researching Java memory resources”), and it often means you’re overlooking a more direct route to getting the job done (“So, have you tried copy and paste?” “Aaargh!”).
But it can also lead you to learn things that otherwise would forever remain on the someday/maybe list. As long as a) it isn’t depleting all the time and energy you’ve reserved for the project and b) there is intrinsic interest and potential value for future projects, then I say “shave away.” Just try to follow Henry James’ advice to writers: “Try to be one of those on whom nothing is lost.”