Tell people about it

This evening I will have some friends over. The will stay after 12 o clock, as usual. This nights are always great, but also cost time. I want be able to take my usual time to write, as I would somewhere around 11 PM. Or will I?

That’s todays topic. Whenever you are trying to reach a certain goal, tell people about it.

The simple way

It doesn’t matter which goal it is. Make someone around you aware of it. It’s as simple as, telling your spouse, you are writing for 10 minutes everday. If she’s supportive, she will ask you every evening, if you got your ass down for ten minutes to write.

By telling some people near you, that you are going to write every day, you will feel more responsible to do it, than when you commit privately, without telling everybody else.

It’s simple; if you blog your writings, like I do, it’s easy to observe.

Go all in

Get an accountability buddy. It could also be your spouse, your best friend, some family member or everyone else. Someone that has some similar goals like yours, and can relate to your position. Be sure to check his promises also.

It doesn’t mean, you both have to do the same. But everybody has to make sure, the other one, is doing his job. You could also create some penalties, if someone misses his shot.

Use Tech

To end today’s writing, I want to give you some tech advice. There are tons of apps out there, for habit tracking and so on. For example, Habitica even provides support for multiple users; so feel free to check it out 😉

Getting in the zone

Sometimes you sit in front of your work and just everything else seems more interesting; YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, the pen you could play with. And you get overwhelmed by doing nothing. It happens to all of us. You have so many daunting tasks, that you just don’t want to work on anything. Here is my cure for this.

Isolate

First and most important thing, isolate yourself. Tell your coworker or anybody near you, that you are not available for the next half an hour or hour. Put your headphones on and start some music, but nothing that has too much text or meaning. I like electronic music in this case.

And the best thing you can do is, switch your location. Get out of your usual working space or position. Take your notebook somewhere else. Get in a comfortable chair, get outside if you can.

Set a timer

Nearly every phone has a default timer app, where you could set an hour on. On the notebook I use Befocused Pro, or I just tell Siri on my iPhone to set a timer to 60 minutes. Don’t watch at it every minute. Just wait for the 60 minutes to get by.

Pick the most daunting task

It sounds contra productive, but go through your list and pick the task that seems most annoying to you. Probably the one, that you have pushed from day to day.

And start working on it, don’t look on social media, don’t switch playlists in your music player. There is nothing else, only you and this little fucking task. It’s forbidden to do something else, put your phone away and turn the silent mode on, or even put it in flight mode.

You will see, after 10 to 15 minutes you got already so much done, congratulations, welcome in the zone 😉

What’s your secret weapon?

The procedure above works for me and many people I have told it, to do it like this. Maybe this doesn’t work for you the same way. Give it a try and come back. Tell me in the comments, what works best for you! See you tomorrow!

It’s a process – it doesn’t work over night

I think I don’t have to mention it, that I am quite into self optimization and stuff like productivity. But anyways, I am totally into this stuff.

I am thriving to get better and more organized, more productive. And sometimes people ask me for tools or methods, they could use. Of course, I am happy to help; but don’t think because you buy a tool or download the certain app that I use, or other people use, you are getting productive over night.

It takes time

Let’s use Pomodoro as an example here. When I am able to sketch out the tasks of a day, I split them down to 25 minute long tasks. When I estimated a feature I have to develop to 2 hours, it’s probably split into 4 pomodori, one for research and laying it out, two pomodori for actually writing the code and one for testing or integration. Only one example.

The thing is, you need to take your time to learn the system. You don’t wake up in the morning and think, today I am going to crush 15 pomodori, without having them planned.

Stick with it

It’s the same thing as everywhere in life; consistency counts and pays off. By using a system or an app for one day, it want stick long. Let’s stick with Pomodoro here. If you do it for one day, great, it’s a good start. But to develop the habit of working in 25 minute boxes, you need to do every single day, to get it into your head.

Consistency is key

Accepting that a new habit takes time to be implemented into your life can be frustrating. But it pays off. Stick to it and keep the momentum. See you tomorrow!

Daily Season 2 – Commitment

The first time I have written daily I made it for 69 days. It was a mind changing experience. I was obsessed with writing daily. Every day at 11 PM my inner watch started ticking and told me, sit on you ass and write. But then one day I ended the streak, because I wanted to give myself the chance to reinvent the idea of the 10 minutes writing.

Now it’s time for a new commitment. Last time it was 69 posting in a row. I want to double it. 138 isn’t a nice number, so let’s make at least 140 posts in a row. If I asked Google right, it’s until the 7th of November, which sounds a little bit overwhelming first. But that’s what’s all about; COMMITMENT.

Plus I want to make another commitment here. From now on, this blog will be written mobile only. That’s nothing too big, since I am writing it on the iPad most of the time, but from now on, it will be all written and published on my iPhone.

Until November, there should have changed a few things, that will bring some interesting topics to the blog. In July I will go to Croatia for about a week. In August I will start my job at another company. I hope until November we will also have visited Hamburg and Amsterdam for a weekend. Last but not least, Codalong will be online until November and the first courses will be available.

A lot to come, and I hope that’s not all that will happen 😉 You never know! See you tomorrow morning!

Maybe I finally got it – who knows

I am sitting in the car, waiting for my girlfriend until she has finished her dancing class and I thought, I‘d use the time. The frog page for Codalong is ready for a month now, I haven‘t published anything and of course this has a reason.

Some of you may know the sticker on the front of my notebook which says „Weeks of programming can save hours of planning“. Yeah, I missed it this time. I have just build something. It‘s a good product, it works, it has good test coverage, but it‘s just not what I need. Instead of refactoring it, I have thrown it away and refer to it as a demo project 😉 At least I have learned something about GatsbyJS.

Now to the new stuff. I haven‘t been doing nothing of course. While staying in Greece for almost two weeks, I thought a lot about Codalong and have made plans and plan and plans. The complexity of course has grown, but it‘s also a learning project for me 😉 And I don‘t have to build everything out, before I publish it.

The project is split into several micro services. One for the frontend app, one for the videos, one for blog posts, and so on.

For starting out, I just have to complete the frontend and the video service, all the other stuff gets static for now and will be built afterwards.

I hope this is the last time for Codalong, that I will say, I think I got it. See you.

Templating your days

Yesterday we have been invited to a 30th birthday party in Ingolstadt, which got from 1 PM to 9 PM. This required me to travel 220 kilometers which took about 3 hours, which resulted in about 6 to 7 hours in the car without being any means of productive, because I had 4 people in the car, so I wouldn’t say, “Hey shut up, I want to listen to my audio book”. Also the 8 hours there, I couldn’t just sit into my car and work. I also don’t want to at this kind of days. To not fell like I suck and didn’t get anything, these days need special treatment. And that’s what this post is about. What a long intro.

There are more kind of these days, where you can’t find lots of time, to getting stuff done. So I thought about a way to create templates for different types of days. This post isn’t about the templates for each type of day, just about the idea, how to identify them and get the most out of it.

Yesterday I have written down a few template names, that came to my mind and I am sure, some of them are also relevant to you. They are either work or personal related:

  • Meeting Day
  • Driving Day
  • (Parents) Visit Day
  • Gym Day
  • Weekend
  • 4 hour day
  • Sick Day
  • Lazy Day
  • Writing Day

If you are relating to one of these days, you probably know, how many time you are going to have on that day. For example, let’s take the meeting day, my least favorite one.

If you are in a higher position, or working for yourself, I bet you know them. A full day, where your agenda is packed with meetings. Meetings can be useful, but they usually soak the energy out of you and interrupt you from important work. You could create a template, to make sure 2 hours before your first meetings starts, you are ready and sitting at your desk, to work on your most important task for that day, before getting your brain fried by meetings.

Even if you now spend 6 hours in a conference room talking about more or less useful stuff, you have gotten the important work out of the day. End this day with something like going to the gym, to balance out your all day sitting and you will feel better about that day, then before.

Another good example would be the visits day. Anytime I visit my parents I need about three hours to get there. Since I am always going by car, I cannot open my notebook or tablet and work on some tasks. Usually I am going to listen to my podcast list or an audio book. So at least I learn something new on the road. If I am spending more than a day at my parents, I can put in some work in the evening hours, which mostly results in some research for projects that I am working on. So I can end it easily and still have my work saved in Ulysses or Evernote.

Conclusion

Everyday is different, but most of them can be broken down to a template. By using daily templates it’s easier to stick to a plan and know in advance how you will handle the situation. If you need help scheduling your day or need ideas on what to do in a certain situation, drop me a comment, see you tomorrow!

Don’t blame the tools – blame yourself

How often you have heard or even said; I couldn’t finish the project because my <tool> hasn’t let me, or something similar. Let me tell you, that’s bullshit.

The tools are only as good as you are

Let’s create a example for this blog post: A todo list or GTD app. This also works for project management tools like Jira.

Your project management won’t go from 0 to Hero only because you buy a great app that helps you managing your todos. It’s still you that has to work on the tasks on your list. There is no magic application, that processes your list and automatically get’s it done.

If you don’t work on it, another application won’t help you out here. Another ton of notifications also won’t help you out. The tool is only a helper, to remind you and help you organize your day.

Master a tool, don’t replace it

How often I have heard something like; Oh, Todoist doesn’t work for me, I have tried it for a week and I haven’t gotten done anything. Well, also BS. When you subscribe to an advanced tool like Todoist, that can do wonders in terms of organizing and scheduling, than you also need to put in the effort to master the tool. All in all, there is not much difference in task lists, like Todoist, Things or Wunderlist. The difference is what you make out of them.

Let’s look at another example for this point; IDEs. IDEs are Integrated Development Environments. They are used by developers for writing code and getting their stuff done. If you just use and IDE like a text editor and not use the powers they have builtin, you may throw a ton of money out of the window. And here it is even more important to familiarize yourself with the application. But only if you use an IDE, you won’t be super productive from hour one. You need to learn the tools and the functions to master it.

All in all it won’t do you any good, to switch from application X to Z to Y. In my opinion it can take a year or more, to really master an app. So before you haven’t dived into it, don’t even think about switching

It’s you

Unless you don’t decide to develop an application you have to use what’s there, it may not everything fit 100 percent to your style of working, but still can adjust. There are tons of solutions, with plugins or external services to connect and combine any tool with. There is always a way, so stop bitching around and get shit done 🤷‍♀️

Silence your fucking phone

At the time of writing this, I am still on Crete. Still relaxing at the pool and enjoying doing less. Enjoying the nothing and the silence. B it there is one thing, that can still drive me nuts here. PHONE NOTIFICATIONS.

BEEPBOP, RING, DONG, DING, BLUBB. It’s this default ring tones, you know them, from Samsung, Apple, and a ton of other phones. The most time I wear headphones and listen to some audio book or calming music, you start getting into the zone. Either you are short before drifting away or really getting into your audio book. CLONG, somebody gets notified by his phone about some useless bullshit near you. They don’t even realize that they annoy everybody around them. They are used to the tone, damn zombies. They don’t recognize it, because they don’t care about life.

They won’t calm down anyway, starring on their phone, just for the next DING-DONG. No matter if it’s a game notification or some relatives that send funny pictures everybody has seen already.

I don’t blame you for this, I have times too, when I wait for messages or where I was addicted to my phone. BUT I blame you for not silencing your phone in public. Especially

In situations that are annoying enough, like commuting, waiting in lines. I bet there are more people like me, that just want to get away from this situations and listen to audio books or read in such situations. DING CLONG, CLICK, RING are the most alarming sounds and it’s just freaking impolite.

SO PLEASE, SILENCE YOUR FUCKING PHONE!

Enjoying the “NOTHNG”

The past year wasn’t easy. I left my former girlfriend, worked a thousand of hours, run Hauck.io and a lot of other so called side projects. In January 2018, I decided to quit all the side projects and try to find back to myself. This may sound stupid, but it worked out. Now in May, I have quit my job, found something else, where I can start new and also have worked out a new side project, that’s going to be freaking awesome.

At the moment I am on Crete in Greece with my girlfriend. It’s our first vacation together. And its also the first time I planned exactly nothing. The third day is over and all we did is laying at the pool, take some drinks and eat. We haven’t had any trips or activities. We just did nothing. And that was totally enlightening for me. By doing nothing and just letting my brain wander, I soaked up so much energy. The second amazing thing was, that while relaxing so many valuable ideas flooded my brain. I have work for months right now, but it doesn’t stress me out, I have time to do all this things.

A good portion of this also has happened, because I don’t have a broadband internet connection here. I am not able to google a ton of things. I have to focus on the thing that is available right now; my brain and my experiences.

Ok, that’s already it for today. I have written a few other things, which are about vacation and some events that happened here. I will publish these things, when I am back in Germany. See you maybe tomorrow!

2 Weeks blogging from the phone

I have a little challenge for myself, a want to prove it to myself that I can maintain my blog totally from the phone, except for some administration stuff.

 

The next 12 days I will be in Crete, Greece. This delivers the perfect opportunity to try this out. I also have my notebook with me, but only for some coding sessions. Right now I am sitting in the plane and writing this initial blog post on my phone, which is connected to the Logitech Keys-to-go keyboard, which makes this experiment way more enjoyable.

At first I thought the screen size might become annoying, but it’s quite ok. The cool thing about the small screen is, that not everybody can take a quick glimpse as it is on the iPad or MacBook. I had a few starting problems here on the plain, since I didn’t know where to lean my phone against. It’s now on the top of a can of beer in front of me. It works 😉 It’s not too comfortable, since I have to look down all the time, maybe I need to figure out a hanging solution, that I could put on the seat in front of me. But this idiot would manage to drop it down anyways. And as I am writing it, I got an even better solution. I hung up my SnapBack on the seat and put the phone inside it. But still not high enough.

The 10 minutes are over, but since I got nothing else to do, because stupid-me has forgotten to download any magazines or movies. So I have to entertain myself. I haven’t mentioned the dickhead in front of me yet, I think. Bouncing around on his seat all the time. Or the girl behind me, that is afraid she could die if she stops speaking for a minute.

I hope the transfer from the hotel won’t last to long, since I am done for today 😉

That’s it, see you tomorrow, with some great footage of Crete.