I’ve been staring at the same bug report for 6 days now, unable to get started on it. I often have this strange hesitation to start big projects. (Actually, it seems like it’s mostly anything that’s going to have a “main” method in it.) Fortunately I usually snap out of it and start making good progress as soon as I’ve figured out the whole thing in my head. Usually this process of figuring it out goes on while I do other stuff, like spend 6 whole days doing nothing but reading email and usenet, surfing the web and playing Palm Pilot solitare.
I shudder at the thought of having to explain this process to my boss some day. “Why yes, you did pay me $HUGENUM to play solitare for 4 days, but you got your money’s worth out of it. Honest.” Fortunately it’s never come up. And I’ve had a few little projects or things where I’ve had to help other people. Sometimes I say “Ok, that earned my pay today” and go back to checking my email, and other times I say “Damn, why can’t I get started?” as I hit refresh on Slashdot for the 18th time this hour.