Obviously Awesome

Productivity articles (Pocket), 12/23/21

My productivity app for the past 12 years has been a single .txt file (Jeff Huang)
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The biggest transition for me when I started college was learning to get organized. There was a point when I couldn't just remember everything in my head. And having to constantly keep track of things was distracting me from whatever task I was doing at the moment.

5 Whys (Karine Bengualid)
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When your productivity takes a nosedive, it adds stress and anxiety, as you don't have enough time to accomplish your goals and do what really matters to you. Understanding why your productivity is flailing will help you get back on track.

Being "Glue" (Denise Yu)
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IYour job title says "software engineer", but you seem to spend most of your time in meetings. You'd like to have time to code, but nobody else is onboarding the junior engineers, updating the roadmap, talking to the users, noticing the things that got dropped, asking questions on design documents, and making sure that everyone's going roughly in the same direction. If you stop doing those things, the team won't be as successful. But now someone's suggesting that you might be happier in a less technical role. If this describes you, congratulations: you're the glue. If it's not, have you thought about who is filling this role on your team?

GTD in 15 minutes – A Pragmatic Guide to Getting Things Done (Hamberg.no)
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GTD—or “Getting things done”—is a framework for organizing and tracking your tasks and projects. Its aim is a bit higher than just “getting things done”, though.

Scott Hanselman's List of Productivity Tips
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What follows is Danny Schreiber's summary of my Productivity Talk. If you'd like me to give a version of this talk at your company or event, contact me.

Henry Rollins on defining success
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Henry Rollins is an American musician, writer, actor, radio host, activist, spoken word artist, and comedian. He was the singer of the hardcore punk band Black Flag and later the Rollins Band among other solo projects and collaborations. He won a Grammy in 1995 for the spoken adaptation of his 1994 tour memoir, Get in the Van. Since the early 1980s he’s released too many things to list here.

Deep Work
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How to master the #1 job skill that will never be obsolete

Something Small. Every Day. (Austin Kleon)
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It takes time to do anything worthwhile, but thankfully, we don’t need it all in one chunk. So this year, forget about the year as a whole. Forget about months and forget about weeks. Focus on days.

The Dreaded Weekly Status Email (Elegant Hack)
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I remember the first time I had to write one of these puppies.

My Magic Response to "Can I Pick Your Brain?" (Stacking the Bricks)
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The first few times it happens, it feels like a positive signal.Somebody wants your advice and perspective. You must be good at what you do. And that’s gotta translate to your career…somehow, right?

Getting Ahead by Being Inefficient (Shane Parrish)
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Inefficient does not mean ineffective, and it is certainly not the same as lazy. You get things done – just not in the most effective way possible. You’re a bit sloppy, and use more energy. But don’t feel bad about it. There is real value in not being the best.

Hustle as Strategy (Tom Tunguz)
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In a world where there are no secrets, where innovations are quickly imitated or become obsolete, the theory of competitive advantage may have had its day. Realistically, ask yourself, If all your competitors gave their strategic plans to each other, would it really make a difference?

I'm not really a Good Web Developer, I'm Just Good at Googling things (dev-diaries)
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Being a web developer means having a good grasp on a wide array of topics: navigating the terminal, html, css, javascript, cloud infrastructure, deployment strategies, databases, HTTP protocols and that’s just the beginning.

Two Things to do After Every Meeting (Paul Axtell)
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Steve Jobs insisted that every item on a meeting agenda have a designated person responsible for that task and any follow-up work that happened. He called that person the DRI—the Directly Responsible Individual. He knew the public accountability would ensure that a project or task would actually get done, and he wanted to set clear, organized instructions for his team to follow.

2020's Best Productivity Apps (Kelsey Wroten)
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Let’s get one thing out of the way first: You do not need any of the apps on this list in order to be productive.

How to conquer work paralysis like Ernest Hemingway (Zaria Gorvett)
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The author wasn’t all about literary masterpieces, dry martinis and rakish charm – he also invented a technique that can beat procrastination and boost productivity.

Work is a Queue of Queues (Andrew Montalenti)
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Do you ever get that feeling like no matter how hard you work, you just can’t keep up? This isn’t a problem uniquely faced by modern knowledge workers. It’s also a characteristic of certain software systems. This state — of being perpetually behind on intended work-in-progress — can fall naturally out of the data structures used to design a software system. Perhaps by learning something about these data structures, we can learn something about the nature of work itself.

Productivity Lessons from Artists & Entrepreneurs (Brad Stulberg)
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Put simply, the overlap between professional, creative, and athletic success is huge. Here are a few timeless productivity lessons, or principles of performance, that apply no matter what you’re doing.

One man's obsessive 40-year pursuit of the productive life (Stephen Wolfram)
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Stephen Wolfram has always liked using technology to get stuff done and monitor personal progress. Here are the secrets that help him power through his workdays.

What Silicon Valley "Gets" about Software Engineers that Traditional Companies Do Not (Gergely Orosz)
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I've noticed that Silicon Valley companies consistently "get" a few things that their traditional counterparts fail to either understand or implement in practice - especially in Europe.

8760 Hours: How to get the most out of next year (Alex Vermeer)
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The end of a year is the perfect time to review one’s life, goals, plans, and projects, as well as plan for the upcoming year. I’ve been fine-tuning my own review process for several years and thought others might be interested to know what I do and how.

the diminishing returns of productivity culture (Anne Petersen)
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This is the midweek edition of Culture Study — the newsletter from Anne Helen Petersen, which you can read about here. If you like it and want more like it in your inbox, consider subscribing.