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English citations of yak shaving
activities that are necessary for overcoming difficulties
- 2000 February 11, Brown, Jeremy H., “Yak Shaving”, in MIT CSAIL GSB archives, retrieved 2011-08-18:
- You see, yak shaving is what you are doing when you're doing some stupid, fiddly little task that bears no obvious relationship to what you're supposed to be working on, but yet a chain of twelve causal relations links what you're doing to the original meta-task. Here's an example: […]
- 2005, Mark Frauenfelder, Make: Technology on Your Time, →ISBN, page 11:
- Actually, all of this was yak shaving. Yak shaving is the technical term* for when you find yourself eight levels deep — and possibly in a recursive loop — in a stack of jobs.
- 2008 March 1, Shaw, Zed, “You Used Ruby to Write WHAT?!”, in CIO:
- "Yak shaving" is a programmer's slang term for the distance between a task's start and completion and the tangential tasks between you and the solution. If you ever wanted to mail a letter, but couldn't find a stamp, and had to drive your car to get the stamp, but also needed to refill the tank with gas, which then let you get to the post office where you could buy a stamp to mail your letter—then you've done some yak shaving.
- 2018, Jeff Porten, Take Control of Your Productivity, →ISBN:
- If you finish your original task, review the list for what remains to be done. If those items are nicely organized because of all the thinking you applied while you were yak shaving, keep the document and create a pointer back to it for any followups.
- 2002 September 22, Towse, “Want to knock someone off (or just give them indigestion)?”, in misc.writing, Usenet:
- So I was yak shaving -- checking up on the tachycardial effects of nutmeg being as billo hasn't popped in with information on dosage limits for those ingesting nutmeg for its psychoactive effects -- when I should be writing about tegestology or some such thing.
- 2008, Neal Ford, The Productive Programmer, →ISBN, page 67:
- Finally, don't allow your automation side project to turn into yak-shaving.
- 2009, New York - Volume 42, Issues 15-22:
- he found that they'd invented all kinds of clever little tricks— some high-tech, some very low-tech— to help shepherd their attention from moment to moment: ingenious script codes for to-do lists, software hacks for managing e-mail, rituals to avoid sinister time-wasting traps such as "yak shaving," the tendency to lose yourself in endles trivial tasks tangentially related to the one you really need to do.