On getting things done

It’s the 6th month of me using one of the tasks management tools. I must say, that even if I raised several cases how the tool could be improved, the methodology of putting things in the inbox, grooming them and then executing already proved itself. Sure, from time to time a ball is being dropped, but it’s so much better than it was in the past. Let me share how I approach it.

Inbox

I use an inbox. Sometimes it’s easier to put a task in there rather than think where it belongs. These will be clarified later.

Projects

Different projects for different parts of my activities. There’s a “Life” project (I hope that this one will last for some time), which covers my personal things. There’s a “House” project that holds all the items that should be done in-da-house. There are different initiatives, like DotNetos, that are projects on their own. There’s a list of movies to watch and a list of presentations/courses to take. For books, I use my trustworthy goodreads account.

On grooming and setting dates

I try not to spend a lot of time on selecting things to do. My preferred approach is to put a date on it (if I know it). On a given day, it will magically appear in my things that need to be done. Once a week I review the lists and select what to do next. Sometimes, because of setting dates, there’s not that much to do – things are assigned for the forthcoming day/week.

Burning tasks

Of course there are still task that are not closed fast enough. I spent over 30 years of my life practicing getting things done without this system, so the change won’t happen in one day 馃檪 Still, the fact that number of dropped balls is getting lower and lower (with the new approach, they are not forgotten, but sometimes might be dragging).

Tooling

It looks that there’s no perfect tool for my needs and every single one requires some bending. I might consider writing an extension to the public API, if I truly need it, but for sure, I won’t be spending time on trying “all these other apps”.

Future

The future is bright 馃檪 I’m doing more, I’m forgetting less and there’s a still room for some improvement! Let me just check the tasks for today… Oh yes, there’s one about improving the process itself 馃槈

On morning routines that work

It took me some time, which included, reading, trying things out and testing myself, to come to the rule that works for me and that allows me to do more, especially in the morning. Let me share it. Hopefully it will change something for you.

Start small. The most important thing was to start small, with a thing that I could keep up with. This could have been something, like drinking a glass of water. All I needed to is to do my first thing every morning. Once it was a habit, I moved to another one. This created a spiral of self-reinforcement, helping me with moving more different things to the very morning.

It looks that it worked pretty nicely. Currently the morning set includes:

  1. meditation
  2. preparing meals for family
  3. reading
  4. reviewing things to do
  5. a morning journal (in a very very short form)

This brings me to 7:15 – 7:30 AM where “the real day” starts. The inspiring thing is, that before it starts, I’ve got a lot of important things done.

Next time, if you fail with building a habit, start small. After achieving a small success, you’ll be able to pick something bigger.

 

DotNetos – podsumowanie

12.03.2018 – 16.03.2018 to czas, kt贸ry zapisze si臋 z艂otymi byte’ami na dysku historii. Razem z Konradem Kokos膮 i 艁ukaszem Pyrzykiem w ci膮gu 5 dni odwiedzili艣my 5 miast w Polsce, prezentuj膮c kontent zwi膮zany z performance’em w 艣wiecie .NET. Czas na kr贸tkie podsumowanie.

Feedback

Wst臋pne spojrzenie na ankiety oraz na feedbacku kt贸ry otrzymujemy, nie tylko za ich po艣rednictwem, pokazuje, 偶e by艂o to wydarzenie, kt贸re:

  1. przynios艂o warto艣膰 – wynie艣li艣cie z tego wiedz臋
  2. podoba艂o si臋 – pod wzgl臋dem motywu przewodniego, akcji promocyjnej
  3. wyr贸偶nia艂o si臋 na tle innych

Niezwykle cieszy mnie ten pozytywny odbi贸r naszego przedsi臋wzi臋cia. Wsadzili艣my w nie niema艂y kawa艂ek pracy, ale to w艂a艣nie Wasz feedback, to owoce, kt贸re pokazuj膮 czy si臋 uda艂o czy nie. Patrz膮c po tych owocach: uda艂o si臋 bardzo.

Tydzie艅 z DotNetosami

To by艂 niezwykle intensywny tydzie艅. Codziennie pobudka, 艣niadanie, trasa+praca, prezentacje. Niezwykle interesuj膮cy i zupe艂nie niepikantny szczeg贸艂 to to, 偶e ani razu nie mieli艣my sytuacji konfliktowej. Alignment na pok艂adzie DotNetos wynosi艂 300% normy i by艂o to prawdziwie unikatowe prze偶ycie. Konrad, 艁ukasz, dzi臋ki! Z takimi amigos nawet Carolina Reaper jest niestraszna!

7N

Gigantyczne kudosy nale偶膮 si臋 naszemu sponsorowi, firmie 7N. Zdj臋艂a z nas caaaa艂膮 mas臋 pracy zwi膮zanej z logistyk膮, szukaniem sal, kontaktami z hotelami. Mog臋 wyobrazi膰 sobie jaki to by艂 wysi艂ek. Dzi臋ki wielkie!!!

Co dalej? A moje miasto? Jak nie alokowa膰, no jak?

Zar贸wno podczas samego tournee jak i po nim, otrzymali艣my pytania dotycz膮ce tego, czy wyst膮pimy w jakim艣 mie艣cie, co dalej z DotNetos. Obecnie regenerujemy si臋, aby w kolejnym tygodniu zrobi膰 retrospekcj臋 naszego wyjazdu. Zapa艂u i pomys艂贸w mamy mas臋, teraz czas na plany, a potem wykonanie, kt贸re b臋dzie na poziomie poprzeczki, kt贸r膮 sami postawili艣my. DotNetos nie powiedzieli jeszcze ostatniego s艂owa!

Linki:

  1. Meetup
  2. Tweeter
  3. Facebook
  4. Strona

Meritocracy: all-in or all-out

There are books that are powerful. One of them is for sure Principles of Ray Dalio.

One of the most interesting ideas presented in this book was the meritocratic approach to decision making. Using a weighted voting and gather these data over and over again to improve the whole system. Noticing and measuring. Doing it over and over again. The interesting thing was an ability to veto any decision made by this system. Even more interesting thing was, the fact that this ability (as author claims) was not used any single time. I think it’s so true to the core of meritocracy. Imagine vetoing or changing one decision and then another one and then another one. How would it support the proposed approached? Once you play this veto card, it’s all out. It’s either all-in or all-out. There’s no middle ground.

On playing (long) game

So you heard that this company used this awesome tool and was able to ship their product in 3 months? So you heard that this book helped somebody to optimize their time spent on X in some way? So you heard that he/she dropped 10kg in one month?

With every success story comes a peril. It’s easy to celebrate a success. It’s even easier to celebrate it if you don’t mention some of the dimensions you were optimizing for.

A fast shipping company could be a software house not caring about the maintainability of their product. Ship fast, ship cheap, earn fast. That’s the background of the story.

The time optimization could be measured for 1 month. What about the following 5? Could this be maintained? Maybe the book was about drinking more coffee and doing more?

Dropping 10kg in a month is not a problem. You can just starve yourself. What about following months? Are they ok? Can you maintain it?

Every single time you hear these awesome news, this miraculous solution to the problem, ask yourself what kind of game is it. A long game or a short one? With this, act accordingly.

On saying “Yes, and…”

“Yes, and…” is one of the rule of improvisational theater. It’s so simple and powerful. You acknowledge what have already been said, adding more, and building up the narrative. It’s not for theaters only though.

Brainstorming

Supporting and adding new things to the idea you’ve just heard. A positive snow ball? Why not?

Co-presenting

So you’re presenting something or doing a workshop with a colleague? There’s nothing more supporting and encouraging than saying “Yes, and”. You can use different phrases like “as X mentioned before” or even “as X awesomely presented”. Sometimes, I call it “high fives”. It works for presenters, it works for the group.

Life

Having a serious conversation? How about saying “Yes, and” instead of “No, but” and stating the same but slightly rephrased? You make a positive move, the other side makes as well. It’s a win-win.

Yes, and…

it’s your turn to acknowledge and pass it forward. The positiveness of the affirmation of yes, and…

On structures that last

Last year I read over 20 books. One of them was Antifragile, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. One of the ideas that I found intriguing, was the following statement (I’m quoting from memory): things, that have been here for some time, are much more likely to stay, than all the new and shiny.

Herds & ownership

This is my herd. You and me, we’re in the same herd. This person is from another herd. In herd we trust. We, the herd, share secrets, stories and fun. The herd lasts, building its strength over time. Support, knowing each other, help – you get it for free. No matter how you call this herd, a team, a group, people did not change that much. We need herds.

This is mine, that is yours. We own things. Collectively (we, the herd) or individually (“don’t you dare to touch MY phone”). We care about things we own. We care less about things we don’t. We need ownership.

Say Conway’s law, one more time

If you haven’t heard about this law, here it is:

organizations which design systems are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations

This one sentence was a reason for never-ending debates, tooooo many presentations and many people nodding and murmuring “Yeah, this is because of the Conway’s law”.

Now, think again about structures, the Conway’s law and things that last. Is it a valid approach to organize things in different way? If it is, what things are included in the new order and what are excluded? Is there any chance that by designing a new approach, the proven approaches are being thrown away? Whatever you do, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.