Freelance Friday 040 – Feb 1 2019

This week was a busy one. The in-laws were out and I had 4 writing projects to get in along with calls for a content client to get to know their customers. I took the week mostly off running after a long hard weekend of activity and knowing that Monday is my birthday so I have a day away from the desk planned with a big long bike ride and run.

I hope you treat yourself to a day when it’s your birthday.

If you’ve found my content helpful then new in 2019 I’ve opened up a Patreon page. You can help ensure that more helpful content keeps coming.

I Shipped

Monday I reviewed the Jofelo Journal. It wasn’t quite for me, but my wife is loving it. I also had a reader reach out to tell me about Diary Mapping. I’ve watch the first two videos and it looks interesting enough that it’s down no my list to spend more time with in the coming months to see how it might enhance my productivity practice.

Tuesday I was feeling inspired and I wrote a longish piece about starting a business in the WordPress field now. It’s not to late to start a strong business in WordPress, you just need to make sure you’re finding a niche that you can fill. Link 2 below is what inspired the video and a look at where my time was spent.

On Wednesday I tried to look at my week to see if what I said was my priority actually showed as a priority in where I spent my time. I find these exercises enlightening because you are usually giving yourself much more credit than you deserve and reality is a good kick in the head.

Friday Five

1. Work is what you “have” to do

Good insights from Bojan:

Everything she was doing – every action she was taking, every decision she was making – was not done out of choice, but out of necessity. Her mind and body were working all day and I was too self-involved to realise this.

He’s speaking of his wife’s “workday”, which had a large part of it spent dealing with children.

Coming off a few weeks away from the office and with the family, in many ways I felt more tired and less rested. With three kids 8 and under, there are always lots of requests for this and that. So much of every day is spent running between different things that I wouldn’t choose to do.

A day at my office is mostly a day I can control and do whatever I want. Sure it’s work for clients sometimes, but I still get to set the pace and the environment.

This is not something that kids make easy.

2. Asian Efficiency – Importance vs Time

Thanh writing at Asian Efficiency:

Grab a piece of paper and draw down a line in the middle of the paper. On the left, write down 5 things that are most important to you (order does not matter).

Done?

Now on the right side, write down 5 activities you spend most of your time doing (order does not matter).

I’m planning on doing some video documentation of what I spend my time doing over the next week so that you can see if my five are really my 5 by my actions. My list of 4 items is:

  • Family
  • Outside
  • Reading/education
  • Business

Watch for this video in the coming weeks.

3. Embrace the pigeonhole

I just finished Steve’s book and it’s great. If you want to here him talk about niching down and why it’s important not to be a penguin, listen to this podcast.

4. Software Development is Not About Code

From Mario:

Software engineering is not about code. It’s about solving business problems through code deployed on top of a set of servers, running on a given operating system, interacting via the network and the like.

I agree and have written about the most valuable thing you have is your ability to make decisions. If you haven’t schooled yourself in how to think well then typing code is of little value.

5. Is a Book Summary Really Reading?

From Jamie:

I’ve been thinking about abridgments lately because of an ad that keeps popping up on Facebook. It’s for a service called Blinkist. The service claims it allows you to “fit reading into your life.” It does this by providing short (15 minute or so) key takeaways of popular nonfiction books. I took a look at some titles in the History category. Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, a book I recently finished, is summarized in 19 minutes of audio. The actual unabridged audiobook is over 15 hours long. Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals, which I read last year is summarized in 19 minutes. Actual unabridged audiobook length: 41 hours 32 minutes. This, to me, is abridge too far.

Yes, I do book reviews and know that others read them to see if it’s a book worth reading. I’ve thought about Blinkist, which was the trigger for the post above, but always thought that I’ll get so much more out of the book by sitting down and reading it.

If it’s a bad book, or a book that’s not for me right now, I’ll put it down and move on to the next book. I don’t sweat ending a reading session and you shouldn’t either.

Sure, do some research before you invest in a book. Make sure it’s helping you solve a problem you currently have.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that reading highly summarized versions of a book is in any way as beneficial as reading the whole book. The simple fact of investing your time into the book means you’ll get more out of it.

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