Precepts of Work
- What impact does it create ? (What world problem does it solve ?)
- Long term, working on something relevant in 1, 5, 10 years?
- Learn from and follow the top success people in the field.
- Are are you contributing something back to the ecosystem that is helping you?
- Build (& don’t burn) bridges. Cultivate friendships.
- Allocate time to learn.
- Allocate time for the slow but long-term important work. Don’t be trapped by the urgent short-term rat-race tasks.
- Don’t work too much, brain needs down time, burning out slowly creeps in.
- Say what you think =Be Assertive.
- Step outside confort zone, have always a little challenge, never be too comfortable. too comfortable -> laziness -> no learning. Need to force expand the comfort zone
- Be humble, but keep a balance between humble and over confident.
- Sometimes is good to let ideas sit for a while and see if they still make sense in a few months. Especially the ones that need a big investment up-front.
- Setup an environment for productivity: like my guitar rig, that is always kinda ready to go, thus makes it very easy to pick it up and play nearly every day.
- Simplify, reduce - are great rules of thumb to follow.
- Curating perfects a product, often 1st version has holes, maturity / curating is what makes it good and reliable. Important things need curation. But is not that all that is new is bad: they might be a game changers who’s immaturity might be minor nuisance compared to benefits.
- What to output? An application, a physical product, a book, a code library? - A Paper! a paper is the explanation of a new idea that advances the field, a well explained paper / idea does not go old, like a software application goes.
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aH2Ppjpcho - Dan Ariely: What makes us feel good about our work?
- http://www.rosshudgens.com/thoughts-from-paul-graham/ - not only about work
- writing a paper: https://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/simonpj/papers/giving-a-talk/writing-a-paper-slides.pdf
Precepts of Productivity
- Brain dump, write down a todo list, define priorities, pick the one at the top and forget about them, don’t keep worrying about things. (see Kanban, GTD)
- Set notifications to remind important things (google calendar or outlook.com)
- Kill notifications that can interrups: email / IM are a major source of distraction, schedule times for it, don’t be driven by it (is better to drive it)
- Block quiet time (for a Maker’s agenda see reference)
- Avoid Multitasking. Adds the overhead of context switching that drains attention / energy from the tasks at hand, same problem with meetings interrupting work.
- Calculate how much time it takes, often we procrastinate something becuase we don’t feel like doing it. But often figuring out in 20 mins i’ll be done with it, helps.
- Brain gets tired as day goes by (some say only 4-5 hours of full on concentration)
- Health in general, and lack of sleep play a big role in productivity.
- Keep a done list - when time is spent on something (> 30mins), write it down in a done list, per day, a quick 1 line description. This helps to avoid getting to end of week without remembering where the time went, great for postmortem analysis. - Seinfeld method, look at what has has been done and incentivates to keep it up.
- Track how you work, pick up weak points & time wasters, AB test / experiment for a week alternatives way of working (less mail or no IM, or no internet, etc…) and compare productivity. (tools: manictime, rescuetime, etc…)
- http://www.paulgraham.com/makersschedule.html - Maker’s schedule vs Manager schedule - Paul Graham
Precepts of Creativity
- Writing is a great way to think about something.
- Reading a book helps creativity. (Maybe because I do so little of it and it takes me away from the computer distractions).
- Exercise (even just 20 mins, even walking), greatly boosts productivity / creativity.
Precepts of Tackling a Problem
- Step away from the computer for important problems, computer is a major source of distraction, the analysis & design phase is key to decide how to tackle the problem, focus and write it down - this is the loading up phase of Hammock Driven Development
- Don’t do important tasks all in 1 go, accept first interaction is not perfect. Ideally come back to it overnight - the background mind is better at synthesis, consolidating new information and making new associations.
- Hurrying often overlooks the fine details and introduces errors - sloppy work. Ideal is quick and no-dirty, but often this is not possible.
- When trying to get head around a complex thing, is better to document it, write it down in a clean way, for easier understanding. A diagram provides high level view for example. (probably related to the limitation of keeping 7 vars in the head). Mind Map is a great tool for this.
- Practice to recognize complexity and how to avoid it and simplify it. Break a complex thing into many simple / independent composable parts. It is easier to work with simple - See Simple-Made-Easy talk.
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f84n5oFoZBc - Hammock Driven Development - Rich Hickey
Precepts of Tools
- Best tool for the job, a means to an end
- Make each program do 1 thing well
- Make each program a (standalone)filter
- Be very familiar with just a few
- Tools will change / deprecate: Avoid investing too much into tools (because will as side-effect resist change in future)
- Prefer output to console instead of writing to file, easier to filter output, when used from other programs.
- Get it running ASAP =agile
- Do tests for important things, they can save you from trouble
- Math is a great tool
- The Unix Philosophy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unix_philosophy#Mike_Gancarz:_The_UNIX_Philosophy
Getting Things Done Process
- Write down all the stuff to achieve an empty mind from worries
- Review the written list, for each item
- what is the next step to do?
- if not actionable delete it (and save as reference).
- less then 2 mins then do it!
- longer than 2 mins defer for later into TODO list (defer tool: calendar reminders)
- Organize the TODO list by priority
- Do it
Tackling a project (a bigger task)
- Purpose - the why
- Outcome visioning - what should look like / behave.
- Brainstorm solutions
- Organize what (components) needs to be tackled in what priority.
- Identify next actions
Always thought that competition on money can also be a good thing (although is evil most of the time), because it is in an incentive for sellers to create disruptive technology to get the competitive edge. But just realized is not about the money in particular, is more about a specific “scarce resource”, any scarce resource will work just as well as incentive (as a goal) for competitive breakthroughs. Money is just the current civilization most valued resource. Also just realized money in itself is not evil, evil are (evil culture background) people who make unfair shortcuts to get more of the scarce resource (money), and potentially make other people’s life worst.
- The problem seems to always come back to “evil (culture background) people”. Although competition and money seems to get blamed for it. Because money is where the most intense competition is going on and naturally that also attracts bad people.
- Having a scarce resource, or even in more general terms “a goal” can be a great incentive for breakthroughs that can contribute to make everybody’s life better: Food, Cars, computers, Airplanes, etc…
The key to a safe presentation, is in preparation, prepare the script that runs by the whole presentation beforehand, simulate in mind the previous day all the whole presentation. (Simulation is a great tool, not only presentations)
With experience the ability to improvise it, will increase and, thus requiring less up front preparation.
Is a tool. Using Mathematics is about abstracting a problem into the math language (equations & functions).
And then using the Math language manipulation features to solve the problem (within the Math context, already abstracted away from the domain problem). It abstracts away from the domain problem into a Math problem, that can be manipulated all in Math context.
Using Math: first step is actually learning how to represent a problem in the math language. (for that you need to have a background know how of the language, but that background is actually not the purpose - math education nowadays).Tweet
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