Let’s try something entirely new

Right now, I have this magical feeling of motivation. I have done a few things, that I always pushed to the next day, the next week or the next month. For example Codalong.

When you look at the registration date of codalong, it should be something around January or February of this year. And since then, I have put it off. I have always waited for some magical moment that will come and push all my doubts away, magically. I have planned and developed multiple versions of a frontend, with React and Gatsby and Django and so on. But I haven’t written any article.

I am sure, I will develop another frontend solution than a quite basic WordPress theme, but not for now. First let’s start with putting out some content. Even if I don’t promote it right now, the content can still work in the Google index and bring me some visitors. Better than waiting for another year until I come up with a solution I like.

And about the new thing; I haven’t put out a single video since September last year. I don’t want to talk about excuses here, instead I want to start putting out something again. So this morning I started filming some stuff and I want to put this together and narrate some of the parts. I have seen this on the channel of a game developer, that actually eats all the time on camera and therefore cannot speak that well, so I thought why not. Because when I am outside, I usually have a tight schedule, but I want to give you a story, that fits together and not only weird parts that come to my mind (Those weird parts are saved for later ;)).

Let’s see how this works…

Let’s try something entirely new

Don’t waste yourself

You know, today I encountered this situation again.

I need to grind through this and get it done, at all costs.

You know what, I didn’t. For a reason. It’s a simple formula.

But first, a little disclaimer: If you have a deadline, tomorrow and your job, your money and everything depends on it, grind. But if it’s not that urgent, don’t.

If I would have stood in the office, until 10 PM and finished this project, yes, it would be done and wouldn’t bother me tomorrow. But tomorrow is not the deadline for this project. I got plenty of hours finishing it.

The reason for not putting in the hours today are simple.

Let’s get through this. I would end this project by 10 or 11 PM. I would feel good but also exhausted. I would be at home by 10:30 PM to 11:30 PM. My girlfriend could be at sleep at this time, so I would have only seen her in the morning. I would need an hour to calm down, at least. I cannot come home and go straight to bad. I need some time to think about the day, write some notes and put some stuff in my journal. So it would get late. Tomorrow I have to get up at 6 AM. I would get less sleep than usual and since I am not sleeping that much anyway this would cause a bad mood in the morning and probably the whole day. I couldn’t deliver by my standards and would be mad at myself which results in even worse mood. As you see, this is a downward spiral.

If you would calculate it, you are trading a few hours for at least one day, where you can’t bring full power and engagement.

What I would recommend instead?

Make a clear cut. On whatever project you are working, you can find a time where one part ends and a new begins. In the most companies there are used some kind of project management like Jira anyway. So after you finished that task, go home. Or write a quick reminder for yourself, where you have been for the next morning.

Don’t waste yourself

Trip to Croatia

Good Morning, today we will start a rarely short trip to Croatia. We will be there from Friday till Sunday for a birthday. Since we have no car I had to rent one and I am quite happy with the outcome, it is a Ford Focus Tournier (a bit underpowered ;)).

We started around seven and now we are doing a little break at McDonalds for some breakfast. Sam is working and I am just writing this little post, since I have to drive again and I didn’t want to bring my laptop because I won’t have a chance to work when we are there anyway.

Since I stopped the pressure with writing my 10 minutes writing it is also way easier to write again. I don’t have to pull something out, I just can enjoy writing 😉

We still have 6 hours to go as we are only around Munich at the moment. Gladly the streets aren’t to full at the moment, because the school holidays are over now 😉

See you when we are there 😉

Trip to Croatia

Let’s end this now

I (again) haven’t kept up my schedule of writing everyday. Or not writing, better said publishing. I am writing every single freaking day.

But writing for the sake of just putting some words out everyday, it started to become annoying to me. I didn’t publish because I didn’t find the time to. I sat there and just didn’t feel like sitting there and just writing something to put it out there. And that’s the main reason, I won’t be doing this anymore.

Instead I will focus on longer stories. Maybe there will be also one daily, but maybe not, if I don’t think it’s worth a single post. Maybe there is also a one sentence post about a thing that I encountered that day, or maybe nothing.

That 10 minute writing thing also kind of limited me in the end. If I wanted to put out more I was afraid that I couldn’t fill the next day and so on. That’s why this 10 minute things ends for now. And no, I won’t publish anything like “here is season 3” tomorrow 😉

Instead of “See you tomorrow” here is a “See you when a new post is ready 🤷‍♂️

Let’s end this now

Life is no computer, phone or car

Today we had our lazy day. We watched a few movies, took a nap and besides that I decided to reinstall my MacBook. It was a relaxing day.

I have this MacBook since August 2016 and don’t have reinstalled it since then. This is quite unusual for me. When I used Linux Ubuntu on several ThinkPads I usually reinstalled it every month, just for fun and testing my automation stuff. And of course sometimes because I broke the installation while testing something.

The reason for reinstalling it, was quite simple, it was cluttered. I had so many projects on it. There was so much history on it. So many tools I didn’t use anymore. The menu bar was full of icons. It just felt disorganized.

After backing up the thing, which was a pain by the way, I had it reinstalled after an hour and worked on the automation I had back then with my linux installation. I started setting up ansible roles, for installing command line utils, my development environment and all the stuff I need to get back to work, like docker and nodejs.

“Now I do everything different”, how many times you have thought this, when you got a new laptop, a new phone, a new car. Or even a notebook? Now I will keep it clean. Note; you won’t.

With material stuff, this works. Everytime you switch your device or whatever, you can start fresh.

This don’t works with your life. So make thoughtful decisions and think of the consequences of your actions. You can reinvent yourself, but some things, just don’t disappear or can be deleted or cleaned up.

See you tomorrow!

Life is no computer, phone or car

Be a decision maker 6/140

Everyday there are a ton of decisions to make. Some are smaller, some are bigger. What should I wear, where should I eat, which job should I take, should I buy that car?

You see, big and small decisions. In one post I have written, you can neglect choice to make your life a lot easier, by just making a lot of decisions upfront. Especially what you could wear and eat that day.

You cannot prepare all the decisions in your life and that’s why you need to train yourself in making them.

Often I am around people where nobody wants to make a decision, because they don’t want top piss anybody off. Guess who makes the decisions then 🤷‍♂️ But don’t bel afraid to be the decisionmaker here. The most people are greatful that they don’t have to decide, for example where you will eat lunch.

But these are unimportant decisions. When it comes to business decisions or family planing decisions, most people push the answer to some point in time. And there never will be a decision. Of course in business and family there can be situations, where you have to wait for some data. Then make an appointment for the decision, when you are likely to have the data. But then, make the decision don’t say you will meet in 2 weeks and make the decision, do it NOW!

By making decisions over and over again, you will get trained in it and it get’s easier. So to close it for today, be a decision maker!

Be a decision maker 6/140

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 🤷‍♀️

Don’t blame the tools – blame yourself

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!

Silence your fucking phone

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! 👋

My Workspace – May 2018

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 👍

Blogging on the phone got real