Yet another week of school is happening that isn’t a full week. Today my kids are home and in theory I’m still getting work done, but with noise cancelling headphones on because kids make a lot of noise. Seriously, I think that Starbucks is a quieter place to work than a house full of kids.

We are disturbed and deceived by what’s on the surface, by what others see. Then we make bad decisions, miss opportunities, or feel scared or upset. Particularly when we don’t slow down and take the time to really look. – Stillness is the Key

Right now the email list is reading me talk about client vetting and how not to be deceived by first impressions with clients. If you want to get that type of content, go subscribe.

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

I Shipped

Monday I talked about my first attempt at finding a new keyboard. This time it was a mechanical one called the Akko 3068. Not the choice you want to make if you’re on iPadOS…or macOS, but Windows users should be happy with it.

Wednesday I talked about Indistractable. It covers some of the same ground that Digital Minimalism and Atomic Habits covered, but it handles family and relationships in a much better way.

Friday Five

1 Best Handbrake Settings

I’ve been working on setting up a Plex server, and of course wondered about the best way to encode my videos for said Plex. Clearly smallest file size possible with highest visual quality.

I’ve tested about 10 settings and these directions are giving me the best results

2 Passion Doesn’t Have to Be Part of the Work Equation

From Paul Jarvis:

Passion or love doesn’t have to be part of the work/job equation. The value of work is that you get paid to do it, not that you’d do it even if you didn’t get paid. It even bothers a lot of other writers that my main reason for being a writer is that I get paid to write. Sure I like it, but I don’t like it more than my other hobbies. Writing can be difficult, exhausting when it’s done well, and leaves you a little beaten up (or at least it does to me).

Earlier in the article he talks about the need to be working. That’s when you look around and can’t think of a specific thing you need to do, but you stay at the desk anyway and grind it out…doing nothing important.

3 One Action Shortcuts

One action shortcuts from Rosemary Orchard.

I can’t tell you how much Shortcuts has automated in my work…actually I can. Every time I am on macOS and don’t have Shortcuts I feel handicapped. There are a very few things that macOS is better for. Browsing CSS selectors in web developer tools being one of them.

Today I automated 5 different project builds in Things so that I can hit one master Shortcut and then pick the type of project I’m building. Shortcuts will take care of the 10 items I need to create in Things and only ask me for relevant information.

This week I also automated:

  • posting via Working Copy to my site
  • Building my Friday email, and the blog post that goes with it

I’ve got a list of four or five other things that need automating so I can be as lazy as possible.

4 Does Your Work Show Your Values?

From Derek Sivers:

Once you realize that one value is more important to you than another, you have to ask yourself if you’re living accordingly

A great question I’ve been asking myself lately. Is the work I’m pushing forward on conforming to the values I have? Does it allow me the time I want to be a father? Am I always feeling stressed when it comes time to be with the kids?

How can I end my friday in a way that leaves me ready to head into the weekend without stress?

I talked more about values when I reviewed Indistractable.

5 Pair Hard Work With Corrective Action to Win

Chase Parnell reminds us to pair effort with analysis of how things could be done better next time.

Now sure, working hard is admirable, but there are a lot of people out there that work their ass off but never progress to the next level because they don’t take that critical next step of pairing their hard work with taking actual concrete corrective action.

At the end of every project, for clients, for yourself, for anything, you should be doing some sort of review of the ways that it wasn’t as smooth as it could have been and then…figure out how to fix it. Even if it’s just a guess and it takes you a few tries to nail down how to fix the issue, you’re at least taking a step towards getting better at your work