daniel

Good Freaking Morning

Yesterday I started my new job. For the next month or so, I probably have to commute for 2 hours each, which honestly sucks. But since I am going by public transport, at least I can get some things done.

Codalong and the first course

You haven’t heard a while about Codalong for a reason. I am still working on the platform and I am also working on the first course.

I have changed a few requirements since I realized I missed some points. I think the first course will go live somewhere in October / December.

So what’s the course about? Basics! Web basics. But not as you might think, stuff like Javascript, HTML, CSS. Even more basic. I have realised that a lot of people don’t understand the basics on how HTTP and the web in general works. For example what’s a request and a response.

If you are interested in this, drop me a comment!

Even if you are a seasoned Javascript developer or earning your bucks as a frontend dev, I bet the course will be valuable for you.

New job

So let’s talk about my new job, at least for a second. I am working there as a Solution Architect, which basically means, I have to figure out, how certain things will be build and used and with which technologies.

Since I am not sure, how the company reacts to me talking about it, I will just leave it out here 😉

See you tomorrow morning! 👋

Turn down all the noise

At some day in January I have deleted all of my work accounts from my mobile devices like my iPhone and iPad, otherwise I would have freaked out at that moment. Since then I have experimented with a ton of other things. So let’s talk about my results.

The result is quite simple: TURN IT OFF.

I have turned of every notification on my phone; no badges, no sounds, no banners. I have three exceptions for this on which I will come back later.

It may sound hard to do this and yes, the first day was quite hard. My phone became to silent and didn’t flash all the time an email popped in.

Another positive thing here, I don’t grab my phone so often and don’t get distracted so easily. If I am now grabbing the phone it has more intention and not because a stupid newsletter popped up about something I do not care.

It’s a good feeling.

A few exceptions

I have indeed three exceptions. For example if you call me the second time, my phone will ring loud. Which is a simple kind of emergency rule.

Things 3 show badges for todays tasks. To quickly be able to look where I am for the day.

Whatsapp messages; I am not chatting with a ton of people, so I leave that one, because only kind of important people have my number and they know, I hate to be distracted by useless stuff 😉

Don’t be a dick

Last Saturday we bought a new closet for our bedroom. It was the one standing in the store all the time, so we got it way cheaper and of course we had to disassemble it.

For today I rented a transporter to get this thing home. My plan was to leave the two main part assembled and put them in the transporter in one piece. But while starting to put it apart I recognized there were a ton of loose screws broken brackets and more stuff like this. And this brings me to a thing in tech, that I sadly see every single day. People don’t think about what happens later. As the guys that build the closet and didn’t think about someone taking it apart to take it home. People write bad code and don’t give a shit who has to care about it later. We build systems and don’t think about, if it’s easy to update.

If we would all pay a bit more attention and think and care about the people coming after us, I am sure the world would be a quite better place. And it doesn’t matter if you are writing code, building closets, burning tires or doing something that harms you or your environment. So to close this, don’t be a dick 😉

Keep the momentum up

This fits great after yesterdays post about starting. Once you have started and have gained some traction it’s more important that ever to stay motivated and keep the momentum up.

Moment what?

Momentum, the product of mass and velocity of an object. If you started eating a pizza and it tastes so freaking great that you just can’t stop. That’s momentum. The pizza example ain’t that good, but exchange the pizza with a project and eating with working. Now that actually is momentum.

If you are in this state of mind, if you are on fire, keep it up, keep the words, the code, the videos, whatever flowing. But you ask, how?

Think of the little milestones you already got

What parts of the project did you already set up? How much lines you have already written? How many tickets you have moved to Done? If you think back about what you have already accomplished, this can keep you going.

Hold on to the vision

Why you started the project? To solve a problem, to cure your own itch? Will it make you happier? Will it serve other people?

By constantly remembering yourself why you do it, it will get easier and easier to keep working on your project.

There is no right time

This is a tough one, since I struggle with myself a lot. I bet you also have had this feeling of, it’s not the right time to start something or maybe end something.

There is always a reason to not start something. It doesn’t matter if it’s a goal, a project or anything else. How often do you hear something of this examples;

  • After vacation I will go start to eat healthier
  • After finishing with school I will work on my self management
  • Next year I will start different
  • I won’t watch as much TV after this week
  • I won’t drink any alcohol after this party

If you stick to this excuses, yes they are nothing as excuses, you will hardly get anything done in your life. There is always a reason to not do something that is loud enough in your brain to keep you from doing it.

Don’t hold yourself back. If you really think about what is holding you back from achieving a goal, mostly it’s fear. What could happen if you screw it up? Yeah, but what happens if you don’t screw it up. And how are the chances to even screw it up? In most cases, it won’t have any negative effects on your life. You maybe could waste time and money. But at least you’ve tried it.

The worst thing that could happen and will happen, if you don’t start working on your heart projects, is that you wake up one day and realize you missed all the oppurtunities and it’s too late. Don’t let that happen to you.

Productivity versus Deadlines

This post comes into my mind, because right now I am working on a task, that has kind of a deadline, tomorrow morning. So I need to finish it, before I got to bed 🤷‍♀️.

Pay attention to the effects

I will finish this task today, even if it means I have to stay up until 1 AM. But before you do something like this, think about the effect that it could have.

One point to think about is, trading your hours and your attention. If I put in the hours today they will miss tomorrow. If I put in 1 more hour today, I will sleep an hour longer tomorrow. If I don’t sleep that hour longer, it will work against my productivity.

Be sure about the costs

By trying to finish this one damn task today, you will get less sleep, or you have less power tomorrow and the day after.

Now compare, is it worth it? You are trading one task versus one or two days, on which cannot focus or put in all the power you would have had, if you just went to bad and worked on it the other day.

Drama baby

Yes, this post is by intention written more dramatic than it should be. I want to make sure, you get the point. 😉

See you tomorrow!

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!