October 2nd, 2020

More Rules for the Lazy - Friday Notes 118

Last week I talked about some of my new rules so that I didn't fall into it inferior good activities regularly, well I've got a few other rules that I operate by as well that help keep my life calmer than most.

Email Rules

One of the terrible ideas that we easily fall into with email is that just because we get an email we have to respond to it. It's far too easy for anyone to send you an email which takes them no time at all but requires lots of work on your part. I get this regularly about some code I wrote, or some product I reviewed. Someone asks me a question, and I'm sure they think it's a simple question that takes only a bit of my time. Said question will take me more than 5 minutes to think about which doesn't seem like a lot.

Now, multiply that by the 30 of those questions I get a week and we're looking at a decent amount of time.

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If someone emails me now I figure it's up to them to prove to me that it's worth my effort responding. They can do that by doing a bunch of research themselves and showing me they did it in their email. Recently I got a question about my Anne Pro 2 and based on all the information in the email they had clearly done their homework. I learned something about how my keyboard functions. They wanted to know about programming it for an iPad with media keys and if anything was missing.

I answered that email because it was easy and narrow in scope.

A second rule is that I feel free to drop out of a thread as soon as it's taken enough of my time. There is no reason anyone needs to engage in an email thread if it's no longer worth their time. This usually happens when a company is offering me a free product to review.

An exception is if the email contains a decent idea for a video or post. Then I'll reply to tell them that I've added the answer to their question as an idea I may get to answering publicly. No reason not to answer the question where anyone that has it can get the information.

Exception 2, people responding to my email list or former coaching clients. They always get a response and I invest in those emails. Both groups have taken the step of showing they're interested in what I have to say which means I try to return the investment.

Product Review Rules

This is a new one, but if I wouldn't spend my money to purchase a product to review I don't bother with any wrangling about getting it. Want to send it to me for free just to see if I review it, I'll take it but I'm not running around to get it.

This came up recently with a microphone company that reached out to me. It started with them saying they'd send me a microphone. I said sure and provided my address. They replied that it takes a while to send to Canada so I should purchase it and after my review came out they'd refund the purchase price.

Then it got even more complex and I added my new rule. No more figuring out how to get something I wouldn't purchase with my own money in the first place.

Exception, if Apple or some other big company was doing a deal like that I'd probably take it.

Event Rules

For events, if I wouldn't say yes to the event happening next week I don't say yes to it happening in a few months. Curtis in a few months has no more time than Curtis today. Further, future Curtis is going to be pissed because he hates going to events just as much as today Curtis.

Today Curtis is an asshole though and feels free to make commitments for future Curtis. At least he used to.

Exception, I got invited to WooConf in Seattle a few years ago to speak. That seemed like a good enough opportunity, and the organizer knew me so pushed all the reasons why this was one I should say yes to. It was close to Vancouver (I live about 100km east so that meant it was close to me). I could take the train down and they pointed out a few spots I could stay that were out of the way enough I'd get some privacy without being crazy.

So I spoke at WooConf.

I'm also doing a webinar for the business organization in Chilliwack. It's going to be over Zoom so I don't even have to leave the house. It also pays, and has paid consulting after for me to help the other local businesses in town get online. It ticks a number of boxes that are perfect for me.

I don't have to leave my house. I get to pick the time the webinar happens. It helps fill my bank account. I have material from teaching at BCIT a few years back that fits perfectly. It will be a way to get paid to flesh out another course I had planned for SkillShare anyway. I can demo the content in a free webinar before to see how it works. Said webinar will be a decent marketing thing for further work for me.

I get to help local businesses be better, which is probably the best part of it.

Far from being terrible, rules give me freedom from so many decisions. When someone asks me to review something I send them an email that includes my rules and they take it or don't. If the email is something I'm not interested in, I delete it. If I get a "follow up" I mark it as spam and stop worrying about it.

Do you have any rules?

I Shipped

Monday I shipped a video about the task managers I recommend. I recommend checking out the comments on the video because there was a good discussion about when you 'do' a task versus when a task is 'due'. It has me rethinking my need for TickTick's calendaring feature.

Today you can head over to my site to check out a look at Man's Search for Meaning. Not a book review, I don't feel qualified to review this book, but a look at the parts I found interesting. Some talk of incel culture, and musing on how it's coming about.

I had a stack of posts come out at Nexcess this week.

Watch for more testing posts on Nexcess and if you're really into testing check out this new course: WordPress Unit Testing Explained.