I picked up a road bike for my birthday today. I’ve been wanting to train for and ride in the MS150 for a decade and today I took the first step. I love to ride my mountain bike, but this will be an all new experience. Next up new shoes and helmet,
I’ve recently started a new job and when making a big change I like to take the opportunity to assess my workflow tools. I’ve been a fan of Getting Things Done (GTD) for several years. I’ve been marginally successful implementing parts of it in the past. I’ve taken this time to setup Evernote using The Secret Weapon Manifesto. I use Evernote daily for note taking, but this should allow me to keep my GTD tasks updated from anywhere. One of my new daily tasks is to start writing again. If all goes well, I’ll post an update in the future of How EN and TSW work for me.
To compliment GTD I’m also working on implementing the Pomodoro Technique. I really struggle with keeping on task. I currently work in an open office environment and while I enjoy the collaborative nature of the environment it can at times be detrimental to getting things done. The Pomodoro Technique is a method of estimating the effort of your tasks and a way to work towards avoiding distractions. I’m thinking about implementing the Pomodoro Technique into the meetings that I run. It would be an interesting experiment.
Today I’m taking the time to modify my template and cleanup things around here. I must come up with new images for the banner.
One of my resolutions for 2010 is to read more. I’ve already finished the first book and it’s still 2009. Breaking the Missional Code by Ed Stetzer and David Putman. It touched on one of the areas that really bugs me. When someone uses the word relevant, they are usually talking about their personal preferences and what is relevant to them. We need to do more to understand the people groups we are trying to reach and we are not trying to reach those that are already in the Church.
I’ll be paying close attention to this today. After two years of wanting an iPhone, I’ve decided to go ahead and buy one. Of course when I made the decision I still had a few months left on my current contract. So I’ve patiently waited and it expires at the end of the month. Now we have the coming release of a new iPhone OS which may also bring a new version of the iPhone itself.
Freddie Hubbard died yesterday after having suffered a heart attack the day before Thanksgiving. I was listening to Freddie on Wayne Shorter’s Speak No Evil this morning on the bus. He is the trumpeter that gave me an appreciation for real jazz. I grew listening to 70 and 80s disco influenced jazz, but in High School someone (I wish I could remember who) told me to pick up something by Freddie. His playing really opened my eyes.
My trip to California last week gave me the time I needed to read all of Andy Hunt’s Pragmatic Thinking and Learning. I was surprised at the number of ideas in the book I was familiar with.
- Dreyfus Model
- Logo – Seymore Papert
- Inner Game
- Getting Things Done
- Rubber Ducking
It was great to see them all put together in one place and brought together. I’m going to try and put some of the ideas in this book to use. Chapter 8 – Managing Focus really struck a chord. Lately I always seem to lose focus easily. I’m always jumping around from email to IM to my phone to my development tools and never really seem to accomplish much. One of the ideas that I immediately started doing was carrying a notebook with me at all times. It really helps to keep those ToDo lists on paper and out of my mind. I also immediately made a first pass thorugh my work email inbox and deleted a lot of clutter and started categorizing the other emails to tackle at a later time.
There are two things that I’m really struggling with. We are forced to used a program at work that limits the amount of time we are allowed to use the keyboard and/or mouse. Due to my level of typing I am seen as a High Risk for RTS and am forced to stop every 7 minutes to take a 10 sec break. This is really distracting when I’m in the middle of working out a problem. This pop-up comes up and I have to stop typing and cannot type for ~10 seconds. While 10 seconds doesn’t seem like long my mind immediately shifts to things I could get done in that time. I have to retrain my brain to stay focused during that time.
The other is a personal Wiki. At home I’m a Mac user. I like the ease of use of the plain-text wiki bundle for TextMate. But at work I’m forced to use a PC. I’d like to have one personal wiki for all of my thoughts and it would be great for it to be accessable to me wherever I am. I toyed with setting up a full blown MediaWiki that I could access from anywhere but it really just seems to be overkill.
I’ll write later about some of the other topics….especially Rubber Ducking.
Having just re-read The Pragmatic Programmer, I checked out what new books the guys at The Pragmatic Programmers have released recently. Andy Hunt’s latest Pragmatic Thinking and Learning: Refactor Your “Wetware” really caught my attention. I read the Chapter excerpt that discusses the Dreyfus Model. I must pick up this book. I constantly struggle with my progression through the 5 stages of the Dreyfus Model in acpects of my career. I feel like I’m constantly stuck in Advanced Beginner stage. More on this later….
Here’s an interesting article. I suggest that anyone blaming the current administration for all of the current credit mess read Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending
Fannie Mae, the nation’s biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.