November 25th, 2017

Reading for November 2017

We’re trying something a bit new. I read a bunch so on the last Saturday of a month I’ll bundle up the best stuff along with a short summary on why you should read it too.

If you don’t like it let me know. If you do like it let me know. I’ll do it for a few months and then decide if I continue.

Advice From A 19 Year Old Girl & Software Developer
Great piece from Lydia about getting a job with literally no job experience and not getting up at 4am or working 22 hours a day. If you’re saying there is no opportunity out there, don’t read this because it’s going to be hard to lie to yourself.

‘In a world of social media, complex writing gives freedom’ | Tes
Interesting thoughts around writing and complex thought. Are we stifling complex thought because we write mostly on Twitter? Earlier this year I had stopped blogging weekly because I felt like I had so much shallow content going out. Funny that now I have a daily email going and daily blog posts. I’m still struggling with that and the fact that I want more time to write/read/think and then share it with you all.

So yes, my emails may be changing yet again in addition to this longer email that’s starting.

6 Ways to Improve Your EQ for More Productivity at Work - Asian Efficiency
Good post at Asian Efficiency on EQ. How much do you think about that for your work?

Gentle Reminder: Still No Public Email | Lost Art Press
Oh email I really don’t like thee. I haven’t quite quit email but it may take a week or two to get back to things. I was speaking at a conference in November and afterwards talked to a bunch of students about this. They were all surprised when I said they could email me but I might take a few days, maybe a week to hear from me. I spent all day as I write this working on a video course. Didn’t open email once. Won’t open it tomorrow maybe Thursday if I have time. Friday I’ll probably get to it all and no one will be upset. When I moved to this schedule I was nervous and no one ever said anything.

The Success Path for Writers & Artists
Good article, particularly the part about giving yourself permission to create. Actually the book Finish, which I talk about later in this post, talks about the same thing. Being paralyzed by your ideas and perfection.

Every Man a Marketer
Great reminder that we are all in marketing and sales. My friend Brian wrote the same thing a few years back. True then and true now. If you’re not comfortable with sales get comfortable with the way you do sales. Not some sleazy marketer way or used car salesperson.

The da Vinci Pause - Study Hacks - Cal Newport
We may think that there were not as many distractions back in da Vinci’s day but it’s not quite true. It was his ability to pause and exist in the midst of distraction but focus on one thing that led to so much. At least according to his biographer.

The blue-collar WordPress worker and the 2,500+ websites built to grow the CMS
Great post from my friend Matt. I do think that consultants for WordPress built so much of the popularity by recommending it all the time. So yay me.

State Bar Associations Keep Former Inmates Out - The Atlantic
I’m really not sure what happens in Canada around a criminal conviction and jobs or the bar, but there really should be some time limit to needing to check a box about your history. You just keep paying and paying. They talked about this in All In as well which I cite later.

Making Time Off Predictable—and Required
Time off is super important. This is a fairly short piece that talks about how you can get just as much done while taking time off. Goes very well with Rest, (which I reviewed earlier this year.). Christmas is coming, how much rest are you planning on taking?

Lessons Learned From 3 Years of Black Friday / Cyber Monday Sales - Holler Box
Nice post from my friend Scott as he looks at the exceptions set for customers with sales and what it means to his revenue numbers. He tweeted a follow up to say it’s hard to argue with 2x the revenue even if it does cause a slight dip just before:

Scott Bolinger on Twitter: “@innerwebs @curtismchale I know you’re not ;) It certainly can be a drawback, personally I’m not concerned unless they expect a discount all the time. Once a year i…”

The Life-Changing Magic Of Taking Long Walks | Thought Catalog
I usually work from 6-9 and then have a walk home. Sometimes a run. I try to find somewhere green out of traffic and away from the city. Doesn’t always happen but still I try. That lets me recharge so I can dive back in for three more hours of focused no interrupt work. Take walks and find somewhere green.

Second Life Still Has 600,000 Regular Users - The Atlantic
Yes I tried Second Life years ago. No I didn’t stay for more than a few hours. To much stuff to do out in the world. Still very interesting to see how disabled users have used Second Life to get together and experience things they wouldn’t otherwise. Not sure I jive with the rest of it thought. Just doesn’t make sense to me.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: 'People Are Frightened of Saying What They Think' - The Atlantic
Yes I’m a white dude middle class. I’ve got it good in ways I’ll never appreciate but I get the feeling about being scared to place one word wrong online. I’m super willing to talk about gender and stuff but only in person where we can have a reasonable conversation. I don’t argue on the internet.

Anton Krupicka – Injuries and Related Thoughts
Something about Anton just appeals to me but it’s not his injuries. Yes his site sucks on mobile but still read this personal thought on injury and still wanting to do so much. I’m not injured but I do find myself looking at my kids sometimes when I’m sitting at the arena watching figure skating think “Why am I here I have so much I want to accomplish in the mountains.” That’s not fair to them and I’m only 37, I have lots of years to do stuff left. Just need to keep picking parts off as many weekends as I can.

005: Austin Kleon – Pencil vs Computer - Hurry Slowly — Hurry Slowly — Overcast
Been loving the Hurry Slowly podcast. So much goodness. This one in particular looks at how you work. Digital or analogue or both? Just pick the right tool for the right job for you. Side note: I’m doing some video content for Asian Efficiency on analogue productivity but you need to be a Dojo member to get it so sign up.

For Depression and Anxiety, Running Is a Unique Therapy | Runner's World
I haven’t suffered from depression but I know people that have. Good look at how running can help treat depression.

I'm David Heinemeier Hansson, Basecamp CTO, and This Is How I Work
No you won’t be DHH by adopting his work practices but it always love reading about how others work. That is one reason I have listened to Daily Rituals 20 times or so.

Andrew Anglin: The Making of an American Nazi - The Atlantic
Crazy look at one of the most popular faces of Nazism we have today. Emphasis on crazy. I read stories like this and have no idea how people come anywhere near believing the type of lies spouted by this movement.

Death at a Penn State Fraternity - The Atlantic
Man I don’t even know what to say about this story. I’d like to say that I would never participate in a story like this but if the old experiments after WW 2 have anything to teach us it’s that most of us would do something similar.

Some of the links above came from Jocelyn K. Glei and I love the Hurry Slowly Podcast and her book Unsubscribe was great. Make sure you get on her email list. Newsletter • Jocelyn K. Glei


Finish by Jon Acuff

Good book about perfectionism and how to avoid it. Makes me think of my shirt from WooCommerce which says “ship your ideas”. Ship those ideas people. This is a good book for the Ready, Aim, Aim, Aim type. The next book is good for the Ready, Fire, Aim type.

Perennial Seller by Ryan Holiday

Another book on creativity and this one talks about making awesome work that will last decades. Not so much advice to procrastinate but to do the work that it takes to make an awesome product and then the marketing work it takes.

First Break All The Rules

This book is based on a whole bunch of research around what makes a good team and manager. It says that you shouldn’t expect your employees to change so don’t bother. Make sure you have them doing the right thing instead of trying to force them into a role that doesn’t suit. Not sure how I feel about it saying that people can’t change since I’m in the business of helping people change and I’ve seen it happen many times. I would agree that if someone doesn’t want to change they won’t so don’t bother with them.

All In by Josh Levs

This is a look at how we have pushed for gender equality for women which is great but then men have been held out of typically female roles like being the main child rearing parent. Yes this is a US specific book so if you’re like me and have way better parental leave laws parts of the book may feel foreign. Still, to get more women in tech we need to make it okay for men to be at home.

Grit by Carol Dueck

This is a great book about being someone that keeps going even when things are hard. I loved the chapter around building Gritty kids. Make sure you do the Grit score. We will be reading this as part of Bootcamp so if you want to talk more about it, join us.

Eat That Frog

By the well know management and business consultant Brian Tracy. The main idea is that you need to eat your biggest ugliest frog first everyday. That big ugly frog is whatever task is most important for your day. If your looking for somewhere to start with your productivity this is a good book. If you’re a bit further down the road read Deep Work and The ONE Thing. They cover the topics in greater detail.

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

I always want to love Rubin’s style but I don’t. Dot like her podcast or her writing style. Good content but I don’t think I’ll pick up another book from her again without some huge force of recommendations.

I also preorder this book about education in the future. Very much looking forward to it.

photo by: pinkpurse