October 2021

  1. October 31, 2021

    If you’re a software developer, you probably at one point or another have heard of the Unix philosophy of “small pieces, loosely joined.” The idea is that instead of creating giant monolithic applications that try to do everything, you build small apps that do one thing well and…

  2. October 30, 2021

    Goal Funnels (see You Need a Goal Funnel) can be overwhelming. So here is another strategy to use to help flesh out your Goal Funnel. Brain Dump. Spend 15-20 minutes just writing down every possible thing you’d like to accomplish in the next ten years. For example, what are items…

  3. October 30, 2021

    When you focus on the past (positive or negative), you’re creating inertia. That’s what habits are. They require effort to get started but then require minimal effort to keep them going. If you want to change your future, you’re potentially fighting inertia, just like when you’re…

  4. October 28, 2021

    When you’re driving, you shift into a higher gear so you can continue accelerating. If you continue accelerating at the current gear, you’ll wear out your engine and burn up a lot of gas. The same thing applies to people. You’re pushing yourself, you’re trying to do more and get…

  5. October 27, 2021

    When you’re trying to change your behavior, it’s easy to fall into old habits. You’ve practiced these bad habits for a long time and it’s foolish to think you can just decide to change and make it happen. It takes work and it takes practice. However, there is a skill that if you…

  6. October 27, 2021

    How often do you find yourself on autopilot? In the early 2000s, I had a daily 50 minute (each way) commute through farmland. On my way home, I would have to make a left turn or else I’d end up in another town. I would regularly find that I had no idea where I was, unsure if I…

  7. October 25, 2021

    The best way to grow is to implement systems that incorporate feedback loops. On Saturday, I talked about validating your lead metrics. This is one example of a powerful concept in personal development, Feedback loops. If you want to grow consistently, you need to implement…

  8. October 24, 2021

    “You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction.” — Jim Rohn Jim Rohn was one of the original personal development teachers. He mentored Tony Robbins when Tony was 17 and was a lifelong friend. His style was accessible, and his conversational…

  9. October 23, 2021

    Yesterday, I talked about the difference between lead and lag metrics and why they are essential parts of your goal-setting funnel. Today, I will discuss making sure your lead metrics lead to your lag metrics using validated learning. Applying Validated Learning to Tour Goal…

  10. October 22, 2021

    Yesterday, I mentioned (see You Need a Goal Funnel) that the 5th stage of your Goal Funnel is Lead Metrics. Today, I figured I would explain what lead metrics are and their partner lag metrics because it’s a crucial distinction that I think many people overlook. Lag Metrics When…

  11. October 21, 2021

    Whether it’s on January 1st or some other schedule (I recommend quarterly) it’s a good idea to regularly do a deep dive goal planning session. I hope by this point you know that a goal like “lose weight” is not very good. You’ve probably heard of SMART. goals which are great, but…

  12. October 20, 2021

    Today my essay is a little later in the day. There are a lot of things going on right now. I have an accepted offer on a house I’m buying and my daughter is sick with a stomach bug. This stuff is part of life and therefore needs to be a part of productivity. This is why leaving…

  13. October 19, 2021

    Yesterday I mentioned one of my favorite books. It contains many practical and useful practices for helping your subconscious help you. The book is “Ask and It Is Given” by Esther and Jerry Hicks. Now, I also mentioned that it’s a weird book. If you’re not familiar with Esther…

  14. October 18, 2021

    Yesterday, I discussed how to leverage your subconscious mind (see 5 Ways to Leverage Your Subconscious Mind). Today, I want to give special attention to one aspect of the subconscious. I had mentioned how your subconscious uses strong emotion to prioritize work. I also mentioned…

  15. October 17, 2021

    Do you ever have a problem that no matter how hard you work at, you just can’t figure it out? My inclination has been to power through, trying one thing after another until I figure it out, but usually, that leads to resistance and frustration. I’ve found another way that more…

  16. October 16, 2021

    How do you define productivity? For example, if I asked you if you’ve had a productive week, what criteria would you use? Defining productivity is tricky. Productivity content has an idea that the goal is to get as much work done as possible. Jade Bowler described productivity as…

  17. October 15, 2021

    I was very fortunate to stumble into my number one career hack earlier on. My first professional job was as a PHP developer, building content management systems for an agency. I was the only PHP developer at the company, and when I was hired, I barely knew anything about PHP. I…

  18. October 14, 2021

    Every weekday morning I either take my daughter to school, or meet her at school (when she’s with her mom.) That way, I can see her, give her a hug, and send her off to first grade. Even on days when all I need to do is roll out of bed, and drive to school, I still get up an hour…

  19. October 13, 2021

    You have things you want to do, but probably not enough time or energy. You can only do one thing at a time (multitasking is a lie), and switching between projects eats time and energy for lunch. Done is better than perfect One reason I don’t get as much done as I’d like is…

  20. October 12, 2021

    Does this sound familiar? You have a great idea for a new project. You’re so excited about this project that you immediately drop everything else you’re working on and focus on nothing else for the next few days, maybe weeks. Soon you hit a tough spot. You realize that this…

  21. October 11, 2021

    One area I’ve studied a lot is the area of personal productivity. If left unchecked I procrastinate like crazy. I focus on what I’m interested in and all those other pesky things that I “need” to get done just don’t get done, or at least until the last minute. When I’d…

  22. October 10, 2021

    What stories are you telling yourself? “I can’t lose weight! No matter what I try, I sabotage myself. I have no self-control.” I’m good at telling this story. I’ve been practicing it for years. Probably, most of my adult life. I’m a big dude. I’m six feet tall, and for most of…

  23. October 09, 2021

    Today marks the first day of the October cohort of Ship 30 for 30. It’s a writing challenge to publish an atomic essay (like this) every day for 30 days. Why did I join Ship 30 for 30? I’ve been writing online at least since 2004 and for the most part, it’s been pretty…


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Written by Andrew Shell, a web developer from Madison, WI.