On removing distractions

In today’s digital day and age, it’s easy to get distracted or interrupted by the tools that were once designed to help us. I recently took stock and realized how easily I found myself heading down a rabbit hole and just how much time and brain power I was wasting on things that weren’t important. It’s easy to blame those tools - it is their job after all to keep you an active (captured) user. But really, I had trained myself to keep myself distracted, out of a deep work or flow state, using technology. It’s taken me the better part of 3 months, but I’ve started to see progress in unwinding those bad habits, and wanted to share them.

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On creating vs managing

At a high level, every organization has two types of roles: managers and individual contributors. It is easy to draw parallels between these roles and the two most common organizational acts: managing and creating. Managers manage and individual contributors create, right? Let’s look at why this is a bad mentality, and how we can shift the company’s mentality to make it bigger, faster, stronger by getting everyone in the act of creating.

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How to defeat procrastination

I won’t lie, I’m susceptible to procrastination. And that’s despite being fully aware of the negative consequences of procrastination. I just watched a video from Dr. Tim Pychyl, an expert on procrastination, on procrastination and how to defeat it.

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The Man in the Arena

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

  • Theodore Roosevelt; excerpt from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic”; Sorbonne, in Paris, France; 23 April, 1910

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How I Work

I’ll admit it. I’ve often struggled with time management. I have a million excuses, but none of them really matter. At the crux of this, its just about managing things I either don’t want or have to do so that I can get back to doing what I want to do. Over the past few years, I’ve made it a focus to improve in this and have adopted a few frameworks to help me effectively management my time and energy.

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Ruthless Prioritization

As an aside, most people think startups are fast because they work harder and are more ambitious. The truth is that most of the speed difference comes from having far less dependencies (and few customers to upset if something screws up), so it’s just easier to get stuff done.

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Ray Tsang's tips & tricks for Docker

Ray Tsang, Developer Advocate at Google, gave a presentation titled Docker Tips and Tricks for Java Developers to the Chicago Java User’s Group today. Despite having run Docker in production for nearly 2 years, I got a ton out of it. Ray Tsang is also an avid traveler and photographer and can be reached on Twitter, LinkedIn and GitHub (but mostly via Twitter).

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Servant Leadership

The highest type of ruler is one of whose existence the people are barely aware. Next comes one whom they love and praise. Next comes one whom they fear. Next comes one whom they despise and defy.

When you are lacking in faith, Others will be unfaithful to you.

The Sage is self-effacing and scanty of words. When his task is accomplished and things have been completed, All the people say, ‘We ourselves have achieved it!’

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I’m a man driven by lists. I keep a Kanban board to help me manage my life. Lists help me comprehend and prioritize both things to come and experiences past. Some lists are fleeting, like a shopping list for the grocery store. Others may live forever but constantly change to reflect what is most important to you at that time.

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Apigee - Adapt or Die Conference

I attended the Apigee: Adapt or Die conference and thought I’d share a few notes about it.

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© 2018