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May is a Mental Health Awareness Month. I've tried to be present by meditating and put some time into reading about mental health and related topics.
New posts #
Why You Shouldn't Aim To Feel Productive?. Feeling productive and being productive are two different things. Notice the difference. The number of posts this month is a direct consequence of this change in my mindset.
Why YAML is used for configuration when it's so bad, and what can you do about it?. YAML replaced JSON, which did the same to XML as a format for configuration files. I go through those transitions to explain how to deal with YAML right now.
The best advice for conference or meetup organizers, virtual or physical. List of resources I keep recommending. You should start with Presentation Zen if you're interested.
Are you doing everything right, but find yourself unfulfilled? Lesson I've learned from ACT Made Simple by Russ Harris.
Does scarcity of time cause burnout?. Transcript from a podcast that caused me to start reading the book Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir.
Books I've read #
Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers by Robert M. Sapolsky. It's a great read during the pandemic, but it can raise your stress levels. Stress is terrible for the body and the mind. The most important coping strategies are:
Exercise (but only do the exercises you like)
Spend time with family and friends
But, generally try to avoid stress as much as possible.
One of my friends challenged me that eustress is good for you. But, I have to disagree that eustress even exists. Read "Eustress and Distress: Neither Good Nor Bad, but Rather the Same?" by Julie Bienertova‐Vasku, Peter Lenart and Martin Scheringer.
Silence: The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise by Thich Nhat Hanh. I wasn't expecting Buddist book about meditation, awareness, and the value of slowing down, but I've quite enjoyed it.
Alfabet mitów menedżerskich, czyli o pułapkach bezrefleksyjnego działania. It's a Polish book. If you want something similar in English, the Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader's Guide to the Real World looks promising.
The Art of Making Memories: How to Create and Remember Happy Moments by Meik Wiking. Unfortunately, I was mostly disappointed by the book.
Imperium Achai (#3). Virion 3. Adept by Andrzej Ziemiański. Pretty good polish fantasy to relax a little.
Elsewhere on the Web #
This Is How To Have A Long Awesome Life: 7 Secrets From Research by Eric Baker. What do people that live long and fulfilling lives do differently?
A Nuanced Take on Preventing Burnout.
In other words: first your job demands too much of you, then you feel anxious and emotionally exhausted, then you cope by becoming cynical about work, and then you quit.
1 in 5 Employees Is Highly Engaged and at Risk of Burnout
What about stretch goals? Challenge, we're told, is motivating. While that can be true, we too often forget that high challenges tend to come at high cost, and that challenging achievement situations cause not only anxiety and stress even for the most motivated individuals, but also lead to states of exhaustion. And the research on stretch goals is mixed – for a few people, chasing an ambitious goal does lead to higher performance than chasing a moderate goal. For most people, though, a stretch goal leads us to become demotivated, take foolish risks, or quit.
The Burnout List by Frank Chimero
Rules of thumb for a 1x developer. I like how straightforward he is about his priorities in life, but he still shows care, effort, and takes time to share what he has learned over the years—recommended for tech people.
"Good Enough" Architecture by Stefan Tilkov. The talk describes a bunch of bad architectures and lessons learned from them. It's excellent.
Please stay safe and take care of yourself and others.