Freelance Friday 041 – Feb 8 2019

I totally almost missed this one. Currently 10:44pm after a long day starting at 4:45am with a run of 10km with a friend with a late board meeting and now an email to send.

If you think that’s a long day, then you can guess how my week has been and felt. Lots to do and little time to do it. We’re working on more space each week since this is supposed to be a year of space.

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 went over my plan for February, including how I use my Bullet Journal and Things 3 together. Watch for Monday’s email with a deeper dive into the parts I like in Things 3.

Tuesday it was a vlog about my daughter’s first skating competition. No real business advice just some insight into my life and how it all works.

Wednesday I talked about seasons of hustle and being a dad in the midst of weeks like I’m having.

Friday Five

1. Dan Moren’s writing income

Dan:

Yep, that’s my income breakdown from 2018. I’m not going to break out dollar figures here, as that’s just something I’m not comfortable with right now, but to put this overall chart in context, my gross income does not reach six figures.

In part this gives me hope for my writing because I’m really not that far off hitting 6-figures and I don’t have any podcasts that earn anything of note. In part, this makes me a bit sad because he’s a respected writer and knows his stuff.

As I continue to increase my name in writing will I earn less? I certainly hope not?

2. Is it harder to do web stuff now?

DHH writes:

But as The Great Divide points out, regression is lurking, because the industry is making it too hard to work directly with the web. The towering demands inherent in certain ways of working with JavaScript are rightfully scaring some designers off from implementing their ideas at all. That’s a travesty.

I know as Gutenberg has come out for WordPress I’m evaluating if I really want to dive in and build all this JS crap1 and learn it all again. I still think that the web should be some server language (PHP being my choice), HTML, CSS and then some JavaScript for a bit of extra flourish. You don’t need the JavasScript, but it all works just a bit nicer if you have it.

I can say, I don’t love where the web is going and I’m investigating leaving WordPress as my content platform, and possibly my work in 2019. I’ll still write about it, but I’m not sure about my longevity with the code aspect of it.

In fact, that’s one of the things that appeals about a different CMS, not knowing it so I don’t get tempted to fiddle with stuff I shouldn’t bother with.

3. Tim Ferriss and Greg McKeown talk Essentialism

Listen to the whole episode here.

First off, I read the book and thought it was terrible so I almost skipped this podcast episode. I’m so glad I was running and it was just a bit difficult to reach into my bag to grab my phone and turn it off because this was a great episode.

In fact, Essentialism is on my list to read again in a different light. I came into it thinking of it more like a book about saying no to tech and stuff, but it’s really a book about figuring out what is the crucial stuff you care about so that you can build a life around those crucial things.

Funny enough, next Wednesday’s video/post is all about this exact idea.

4. Joe is cutting Slack

Joe Casabona:

This might sound crazy to people in my space, as Slack has become the de-facto standard for communication for the lot of us. But it’s also a HUGE distraction.

So Joe took these “drastic” steps:

  1. Log out of most Slack teams. There’s maybe 4 I feel I should be logged into.
  2. Turn off notifications on mobile. Thankfully iOS does make this easy.
  3. On my desktop, turn off notifications for each team
  4. Turn off badge indicators. I actually have no idea how to do this

I’ve done the same thing on Slack. It has no notifications, no badges and can’t alert me in the moment ever. I do get emails about things like a direct message to me, but since I may go days without checking my email it’s about the same communication time as email.

If you’re interested in less distraction I did a three part series on cutting distraction:

  1. Building a Focused MacOS
  2. Setting up iOS for Focused Work
  3. Getting Focused in your Physical Space

I’ve also written a book on being focused and decisive about what you do called The Art of Focus.

5. Consume or Create?

Shawn Blanc:

As you seek to build a creative habit, it is professional-grade to be intentional with that time. You do this by (1) planning ahead; (2) scheduling yourself time to work; and (3) removing as many distractions as possible. This is literally what any top performer does.

I said to patreon last week that I haven’t been “paying” myself first in that I wasn’t working on my own stuff before I worked on client stuff. That has been changing this week, except my wonderful children keep getting up early and interrupting my writing time.

Also, take a look at Shawn’s later statement about being intentional about what you consume.

What fills you up and what drains you? What helps you be a better father and parent and worker and what distracts you from those priorities? Only stick with consumption of those things that help you be better.


  1. I suppose it’s not crap, but I feel icky using JavaScript as much is everything calls for now. 

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