How did I free up my mind to focus on ONE coding step at the time? While live coding, late at night.

My Sunday Skill Builder Sessions:

This Sunday, I did 2 live Skill-Builder-Sessions, and the second was terrible! 🙀

I knew it when waking up, so I prepared. I needed to prepare to keep myself un-distracted even when tired.

My daily morning Skill-Builder-Session went well because my mind is fresh, alone, and un-distracted up in my labyrinthine loft. Just my code, my coffee, and I.

But my second Skill-Builder-Session would be worse because live coding is distracting. You know, making sure video and audio are ok. And comments, putting them on screen, reading them out loud, removing them from the screen. And then my own talking, getting carried away into a story, for example. Distracting. But smooth sailing compared to later, in the dark and stormy night.

However, the terrible third session would find me physically and mentally tired for four reasons.

  1. 08:00 PM is LATE for me. Most normal days, I am literally in bed reading a book about heroes in ancient Greece.

  2. No coffee. For many hours.

  3. I would have come straight up from a great-tasting but rich fish dinner cooked by the Queen herself.

  4. Before the dinner, I would have come straight in from bicycling Lillian (7 🏴‍☠️👸) to the wintry woods. Bicycling around after the skiing Pirate Princess between the ski tracks under snow-laden branches and bicycling back home on icy and car-filled roads. Lovely, but tiring.

So I knew I'd be tired and distracted. How did I prepare to free up my mind to focus on only one coding step at the time?


What did I do?

I used an acronym to name the steps of my task. I wrote «iACTiONS» on paper.

Why did I do it?

Looking over at «iACTiONS» freed up my mind to focus on doing each step. Like i. id.

How did I do it?

I wrote down the «iACTiONS» on paper like this:

i. id A. actions C. contentDigest T. type i. internal: { O. (OLA_TUBE_ID) N. node S. singing

Every time I got distracted, I could take a quick look at my paper. But because I KNEW my paper was there, I relaxed and stayed focused enough to remember that I was on «T. type» and get back to coding. I remember this happening several times 💪😺.

Keep your skill-building-ship afloat this week!

Ola Vea
Cap'n of his own skill-builder-ship

PS: Here is the video of my late-night live Skill-Builder-Session starting at 5 minutes when I start coding from «i. id» If you watch for 1 minute, you will see gorgeous Giggles-the-pug in the video of the id I am using. Giggles is one of Sid's two dogs. Sid, formerly at Gatsby, now at Cloudflare.

PPS: You can find my cheat sheet for the live coding [this GitHub issue] (

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