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!

Vacation Anxiety or something like that

On Thursday we will start our trip to Greece. I am totally excited but also I am stressing myself out about the things that I could forget to get with me, or the things that I need to do before going to the airport.

This time I got a huge fuckup right before the vacation. On Friday night, after we have been at the cinema for Avengers: Infinity War, which is awesome by the way, I got a letter from the finance department, which pointed out that some papers where missing and if don’t send them by the first of June, I had to pay a penalty of 200 Euros. Actually I never received a letter from the German bureaucracy that meant something good… Thankfully my accountant could resolve the issue quickly today. But anyway, this scared the shit out of me, if this gets resolved until the start of our trip. Nobody wants to fuck with German bureaucracy 😉

But back to normal. Since my last trips have been to Sweden and Norway, I don’t have everything here for a trip to Greece and I need to get swimming shorts and all this things together that I usually don’t use that much. And that’s when the vacation anxiety drops in. Can I get everything until Thursday? Shorts, shoes, sun screen (I am so white, I freeze mayonnaise for ice cream; I don’t know where this joke is from..)? Most problems are totally solved by Amazon, with Prime delivery ;).

For all the other things I usually set up a project in my todo manager called “Before Vacation” and jot down everything I need to get done before it.

Yep, that’s it for today. How do you deal with travel anxiety? Or don’t you have this kind of problem, be honest 😎

The fresh smell of progress

23:46:56 – Ouh, late again. We have been on a 30th birthday tonight. It was a nice party 👍

I made a lot of progress today on one of the apps I am building for Codalong. As you might have guessed, I won’t put out the platform without having anything to show there. Would be stupid 🤷‍♀️, I guess.

Earlier this year I started working with Meteor, but also websockets plain, so without any framework. I am still a little bit hyped about real time stuff. So I am working on 2 video series about it. One with Meteor, and one with express and websockets.

Today I mostly finished the application for part one, which is a time tracking app like Toggl or Hubspot (I think it’s named like that). The backend is entirely Meteor and the frontend is React. I think the whole application will be finished this weekend. And maybe some polishing next week.

Today I only added about 20 lines of code, but removed a lot of unnecessary stuff that could add confusion to the video series. I also cleaned up the markup and the CSS, which often causes headache in courses.

This is what it looks like:

Not that beautiful, but it does it’s job.

For part one of the series that’s it. But I plan to make the videos some kind of endless. So I start building an application and built on the former video or so, that’s why it’s called Codalong( —> Code along).

For example, to this app I could also build a mobile app with React Native. Or show you how to setup continous integration and deploy it to AWS. I want to give you the whole experience how it works, and not only snapshots.

That’s it! Be awesome and have a great day! 👋

The note

22:45:29 – Good evening ladies and gentleman. Today I want to talk with you about a very important concept of mine.

A while ago I have written about neglecting choice. Neglecting choice can help you focusing on the things you really want to accomplish. Today I want to give you an easy recipe, on how you can implement it in a very basic step.

The only thing is a pen and a piece of paper or paper cards or something like this. Right below my monitor I have a staple of paper cards and each day when I have a few calm minutes I write down the most important thing for the next day on which I want to work on.

When I leave my desk I put it in front of my monitor. And now the magic happens; When I come back to my desk the next day, the first thing I see is this single note, even before the notebook or tablet is turned out. Before everything else starts I know exactly what I have to do.

So I am totally neglecting any choice. This is first thing I have to do. Before checking email, before checking my task manager, before doing anything else.

This method removes any clutter from me in the morning and it is simple as hell.

That’s it! See you tomorrow! 👋

How paper can save your sanity in a digital world

23:09 – It got late today, but I made some significant progress on Codalong. Anyways, I want to talk about something different today.

In the past one or two years, I got nearly 100 percent paperless. I took notes on the iPad, tracked everything with various apps. Have written my reviews in Day One or Grid Diary and so on. Always fully connected. Even the apps I use are highly connected and trigger each other on certain points.

Since the beginning of 2018 I felt kind of overwhelmed, always on fire. But not in the positive way as I am usual. I felt pressure to make Todoist happy and keep up the daily streak, to tick my 5 todos each day. To write daily into Day One and record my habits in Habitica. I like to track myself and optimize myself. But I also need to take care about myself.

And that’s why I went back on paper for some reasons. Let me tell you why on a few examples.

Weekly Review

Usually I would open up my todo manager and take a look what I have done in the past week. And just looked at the number of things I have crushed and feel happy about it.

Now; I open a new site in my notebook (a softcover xlarge dotted moleskine, if you are curious), write the last calendar week on top of the page followed by Weekly Review. Followed by that I have two headlines; WINS and FUCKUPS. And than I put out, what was great this week and what annoyed me, or what I didn’t get done for some reason.

Planning the week

Usually I would open up my todo manager and schedule the tasks for each day. I still do this, but everything afterwards. For a reason. When I don’t look at my apps at this time, I have to think about, what really matters and what’s really important.

There is a column for each day, where I make checkboxes for my habits and write down important events for that day.

On the bottom of the page I write some things I need to take care of this week, which sucked last week. For example if I didn’t work enough on my design skills, I need to find more time in that week and make an appointment for this.

That’s just two

Ok, the 10 minutes are over now, so this will get a second part, or a full blog post on how paper can keep you sane.

The most important thing, I want to point out here is, when working with paper and looking at all the todo items, you clearly think about what’s important and not only urgent. See you tomorrow!

My Workspace – May 2018

As I enjoy to see other peoples workspaces, I thought to also share mine.

Here you can see the desk in my homeoffice. It’s build with a kitchen table top from the hardware store on top of an IKEA Alex drawer and two normal legs.

1. MacBook Pro 13.3 Inch

This is my main work station, my daily driver. It is maxed out, except for the hard drive (which I regret now). I use it to write, to code, to edit video. Just everything.

2. Acer EB321HQU (32 Inch)

A beast of a monitor. It has only WQHD, which means 2560 x 1440 pixels, but at this size it has the perfect amount of pixels.

3. Batman

This is a little figure, which I got as a present from my girlfriend to Sysadmin Day last July.

4. A little wooden shelf

Nothing special. I built this by myself. It’s the same wood as the table top.

5. Shitty tiny Thinkpad

A little Thinkpad from Lenovo I use for testing some stuff.

6. My Airpods

The most incredible headphones I’ve had so far and not because of their sound quality. The accessibility is just amazing. Put them out of the case and they connect magically to the Apple device you are using at the moment.

7. Das Keyboard 4C Ultimate – painted white

I really enjoy mechanical keyboards. I love the clicky sounds and the feeling when you write for a long long time. Last year I painted the cover white to match the look of my custom painted MX Master. When it comes to keyboards I am a huge nerd. I own about 12 of them. But this one, is still my favorite.

8. Logitech MX Master – painted white

I am not a huge mouse person. But when I nearly damaged my finger from using a Trackpoint all the time, I needed to switch back to a mouse. Since then I only use the Logitech MX Master. I own like 3 of them 🤷‍♂️

9. Rode Podcaster

Simply one of the best affordable USB Microphones I have tried. Cool thing here is, you have a direct monitoring output on top of the microphone where you could connect any headphones.

10. Bose Companion XYZ

I don’t know the exact model number. They were around 100 bucks and still sound amazing.

11. THE NOTE

For a week or so I am using the note everyday. I will explain to you what it is, tomorrow 😜I will link it in this post.

12. Softboxes

I mounted to softboxes above my desk to have a descent light while working and filming.

That’s it!

If you have any question or recommendations on my workspace, let me know in the comments. Otherwise, see you tomorrow! 👋

Why do I blog?

I am a huge fan of Simon Sinek and his book Start with why. And that’s why I regularly ask for the WHY in stuff I am doing. So let’s talk about the why especially for this blog.

This blog is my 5th blog or so. The first was about programming, the second about productivity, the third about sysadmin stuff, the fifth about productivity but in German. And I always mixed in personal stories, especially in the productivity blogs on how I dealt with certain situations or how I progressed on some topics.

The last part is the reason for this blog danielhauck.net. But why do I blog in general?

Think better

Blogging, especially my daily 10 minutes writing, made me a better thinker. I have to order my thoughts faster and structure the content in my head. And this bubbles up to other areas in your life. My thoughts are clearer since I began to blog.

Personal brand

Another thing that you should consider is your personal brand. If your blog grows and grows, you will get known. People will remember you if they stumble across your publications online. They will connect a certain mindset, positive or negative, with you.

Learn everyday – by writing and reading

As I am not a native english speaker, I have to look up words some time, nearly everyday. So this trains my english skills. Especially when I am proof reading my posts with Grammarly and I learn about the mistakes I make and what I could do better.

Also reading what other people write about a certain topic refers to learning everyday. I am a huge productivity nerd and consume tons of writings about certain methods and apps in this space. Not to mention all the coding stuff I read every day.

Build great habits

If you start to write and eventually write every single day, you start building a great habit. Even cooler, it makes it easier to build other habits too. Your brain gets used to get other stuff done as continuously as your writing.

Conclusion

There are a lot of reasons for starting or maintaining a blog. What’s yours? If you have any questions about, how to start a blog, tell me, and I will do my best to help you!

I am sure I missed something here, so either this will be updated, or there will be a part two in the future, see you tomorrow!

Speeding Up by Slowing Down

21:36:27 – The past weeks have been hard for my brain. I got a lot of things down, but also a lot of things like Codalong haven’t gotten much attention. That’s usually the time, when I try to slow down. Let me explain…

I am very curious about productivity if you haven’t recognized it yet. I am trying to improve all the time. Getting things done faster, more efficient. But just working faster, typing faster and cutting off other things isn’t making you anymore productive, it will just cause you to burn out after some time. For some earlier, for some later.

Sometimes getting more done, means slowing down. And that’s what I am doing right now. I take way more time than usual, to make plans and to reflect. After writing this 10 minutes, I will sit down and review my last week and plan the next week. This happens first totally analog in a notebook and after finishing it, I will write it down into my task manager and give reminders and schedule the stuff.

This seams to be the double amount of work, doing it twice. And yes, maybe it is. But just focusing on your notebook let’s you really focus on what is important and not urgent. I could also use the sprint view in Jira or the upcoming view in Things, but that would spam my brain with too much things that are urgent and not important. And I enjoy these minutes of just doing this, instead of dragging around tasks.

That’s it for today, see you tomorrow! 👋

Stop putting it off

08:12:27 – Uh, I woke up at 07:44 today, which is quite late. We picked up her parents and gave them a lift from the main station home. That resulted in sleeping at 2 AM. So that little extra sleep worked well for me 👍.

Today’s topic is; PUTTING IT OFF. I am huge in putting things off, especially when I don’t like it. For example analog stuff, like letters, why people keep using them 🤦‍♂️. As I don’t use much paper, I don’t have stamps laying around, neither an envelope… So don’t send me letters, send me mails, or instant messages, easy as that 👍 Except you want to wait 6 weeks getting back an answer.

And that’s why we put things off, in most cases, we have an uncomfortable feeling about it. It requires some parts we do not like or we are uncomfortable doing. My advice here is; to break down the task in as many little parts as possible and isolate the daunting task, that you don’t like. And what to do with it? Put it as the first task on tomorrows todo list.

By getting rid of this task, as the first thing of the day, you will free your mind for the rest of the day, easy as that 🤷‍♀️.

A bit a short writing, but I like it, see you tomorrow! 👋

Blogging on the phone got real

The postman just was here and delivered me my 12th keyboard. BUT this keyboard is not for my notebook, desktop or tablet, it’s for the phone.

While I was visiting my parents last time, I had to write one of my 10 minute posts on the phone and came to the conclusion, that nearly everything is fine, except the thumb typing, which is exhausting.

Then three or four days ago, I saw a video by Tim Ferris, where he presents, what stuff he has in his backpack all the time. Most of the stuff wasn’t to interesting for me, except the keyboard. Tim always carries this little Logitech keyboard with him, to be able to write just anywhere and that’s awesome. So I didn’t think about it too long, and just ordered the same keyboard for me. And today it was delivered.

The packaging was nothing special, but that doesn’t matter anyway 😉 I unboxed it quickly and now I am writing this blog post with, to give it a try.

Setup

The setup worked fast and easy as it should these days with a bluetooth keyboard. I cannot experience any lag here. So quite good.

Feeling and Handling

I should be about 200 words now. To be honest, you have to get used to the switches and the feeling. Since it’s spill resistant it has this rubber surface, which doesn’t feel nice, when you are used to apples magic keyboard, but I will give it a try.

The keyboard itself has a nice weight. The included stand is to light in my opinion, as it only works when it’s attached to the keyboard. I probably won’t carry it with me, the plan is to just lean my phone against something or so 😉

After 300 words, I am slowly getting used to the keyboard.

First conclusion

After writing this blog post entirely on the iPhone and this keyboard, I have to say; It works exactly as it should. If you can get used to he rubber surface, it’s definitely worth a try 👍