2020 December. Stress and Rest

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New posts #

Keystone habits. What are keystone habits, and how I'm using them?

Meditation. I've gathered my recommendations if you're interested in learning more about meditation.

Books I've read #

Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky. #

Such a lovely book. Lot's of practical advice while it's so much fun to read. I was reading it more for pleasure and perspective than the practical advice, but I've found myself trying out a couple of ideas (like the empty screen on my iPhone), and they help. The book inspired some of my new Keystone habits as well.

Working Effectively with Legacy Code by Michael C. Feathers #

I have mixed feelings about recommending this one. On the one hand, it's great. It has lots of useful and timeless insights. On the other code samples and practical tips didn't age well. I would still say it's worth reading, but not cover to cover.

Rhythm of War (The Stormlight Archive #4) by Brandon Sanderson. #

I couldn't wait for the Polish translation, but reading in English was a mistake. It took me a lot of time to get through the book, and I don't think it was worth it. But that's more on me. I've enjoyed the book outside of my language struggles. If you're looking for the first book in the series, then it's called The Way of Kings or in Polish Droga królów.

Elsewhere on the Web #

Prioritize strengths by Slava Akhmechet.
Neither feedback alone nor strengths on their own seemed like a complete picture. This model puts them all together.

They patch their weaknesses, but they know weaknesses are a bad foundation to build upon. So they invest the most energy in maximizing strengths. Your weaknesses are your showstoppers. You have to patch them just enough for the invisible hand to press "buy", but it's your strengths that get the market interested in the first place.

Surviving disillusionment by Slava Akhmechet.

TL;DR: Develop a routine to keep drudgery away and the romance of technology close. Practice it religiously. Physical mechanisms and analog circuitry are better than digital; used hardcovers are better than Kindle. Know your long-term goals. Brewing beer and baking bread are canaries in a coal mine. If you find yourself interested in either of those, quit your job immediately and go to Akihabara for a month.

You may want to contrast that view with the cynical book Developer Hegemony by Erik Dietrich that I'm reading right now.

Looking back #

Stress #

My unsustainable schedule started catching up with me in December. There is probably nothing new for many of you in what's causing it for me:

  1. New slack messages all the time (most of them unrelated to my work)
  2. Checking email all the time
  3. Zoom fatigue
  4. Long hours

Having a little more relaxed schedule at the end of the year is helping me a lot. Following the equation of Stess + Rest = Growth from Peak Performance, I'm prioritizing the Rest, and it's helping a lot.

Focus #

Optimizing for my responsiveness on Slack and email doesn't work that well for me. In the next month, I want to dial it down a bit.

  1. Check email and Slack as late in the day as possible (and have a calendar event for it).
  2. Schedule tasks in my public calendar. It's the opposite of what James Stanier recommends in Become an Effective Software Engineering Manager, but I don't think his advice works for me that well.

Keystone habits #

I've put my new habits for the next year at Keystone habits.

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