Sometimes weeks go well, and sometimes you have a few days with over 8 hours on the clock. I had one of the former this week with two days of 8 hours of solid “focus” time.

One thing I noticed is that the second day once I crossed 5 1/2 hours is that I was pretty much done. You can’t keep going like that forever. Luckily, everything is back under control so I can get back to the normal 5 – 6 hours of focused work in a day.

What I Shipped This Week

Going to be a short list because you’ve already got some emails on parts of it. The big thing is a look at the book Scrum and it’s available in audio format. To make sure you don’t miss a book subscribe to Should I Read It. This is the third Agile Project management book I’ve looked at. The other two were Extreme Programming and Personal Kanban.

Friday Five Awesome Freelance Articles

With the content change, now you’re going to find the five best articles I’ve found. These articles will help you run a better business and get to see your family.

1. Contracting – Keeping your skills sharp | CGCSoftware

Being a contracting web developer, you need to keep on top of your skillset, they are what you use to keep employed. So ‘practising’ your skillset is part of the job, which you need to do regularly in order to keep these skills sharp.

Good post from my friend Stephen. What are you doing to keep your skill sharp.

2. What self-employed folks need to know about investing for the future

Finances are hard to talk about and I think that most freelancers put on a good face when it’s hardly good under the surface. This is a great talk by Carrie Dils with a financial planner about things you should be doing with your money as a freelancer to stay on track. I also want to recommend Profit First as a read. It changed my finances and I know many businesses that revamped how they did things after reading the book in a way that made everything feel so much better in their business.

3. Critical Thinking: A Cheatsheet – James Shelley

I’ve said before that the best skill for a freelancer is to be able to make good decisions. If you’re looking for a short list of questions to ask yourself to make sure you’re thinking properly, then James Shelley shares a bunch with us.

4. Understanding Speed and Velocity: Saying “NO” to the Non-Essential

Love this!! When I was a JR Dev I would always just ask my boss what didn’t need to get done on my list to do the new task they just came up with. They never removed anything from my list and always went to someone else to get it done. Yet, I was the one that kept getting great performance reports and a raise because I was the one on the team that always had their main tasks done every sprint.

5. Creative Ways to Prioritize your Time – CynthiaMcHale

For those working moms and dads, my wife shares some of her best to move her business forward. I watch her do them and we keep learning together how to be better at this whole business and marriage thing.

Photo by: songzhen