I noticed that I do a lot better when I’ve done some research beforehand, even a simple google search counts.
No matter the thing I’m trying to do, I like to have some initial ideas of how things look like and how they’re connected.
This is true for nearly everything I can think of:
- Eating out - If I’m going to someplace I’ve never been
- Writing code - How others did it? What can I learn from their mistakes? How can I improve and then adapt their way? What I’d like to do differently? What rules do I want to break, and why?
- Reading books - I’d like to know what kind of questions this book answers, or what kind of questions will it bring to my mind? I usually achieve this by reading the TOC, and few last paragraphs of each chapter.
- Bug Bounties - Are there any public writeups about this target? And lots of reconnaissance which count as research imho.
- Exercise - What kind of exercises am I going to do? Why?
I also noticed that even when I dive directly into something I know nothing about, I’m actually doing some research and gathering data on the go before I pull the trigger and finalize the output.
I should plan enough, but not more. I don’t want to be a master planner who never executes anything…