Categories
Life

Building schedules through timeboxing

There are two types of schedule, which I’ll call the manager’s schedule and the maker’s schedule. The manager’s schedule is for bosses. It’s embodied in the traditional appointment book, with each day cut into one hour intervals. You can block off several hours for a single task if you need to, but by default you change what you’re doing every hour. […]

When you’re operating on the maker’s schedule, meetings are a disaster. A single meeting can blow a whole afternoon, by breaking it into two pieces each too small to do anything hard in.

Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule (Paul Graham)

I’m riding the fence between a manager’s schedule and a maker’s schedule through aggressive timeboxing. I block off my mornings for focused time (typically from 9am – 12pm) knowing that my afternoons will be chopped up by interruptions and meetings.

Whenever possible, I try to stack my meetings — often on a Tuesday or Thursday — so I can drop another block of “Get Stuff Done” time on my calendar for Monday, Wednesday, or Friday.

Colleagues who don’t understand timeboxing get confused — “why is your calendar fully booked?” — but it’s for a reason: to make sure there’s protected time to do the deep work.

My timeboxing estimates aren’t perfect. If a task takes longer to accomplish I’ll extend the time or add more time elsewhere in the week. But the exercise itself, of carving the hours out of my daily schedule, is incredibly useful.

Categories
Books Life

Rules for writing, according to famous writers

“Most writers have their own special “rules for writing,” even if they don’t talk about them. A lot can be learned by reading about other authors’ approaches to writing.”

40 Writers’ “Rules for Writing” (Authors Publish)

A roundup of “rules for writing” from 40 authors.

Good writing is table stakes for the future of work. I’m not a great writer, but I’m trying to improve every day, usually by learning and borrowing from others.

Categories
Books Life

Retaining more of what you read

Knowledge will only compound if it is retained. In other words, what matters is not simply reading more books, but getting more out of each book you read.”

7 Ways to Retain More of Every Book You Read (James Clear)

From James Clear: A helpful list of tips for retaining more of what you read.

I’m giving this a shot by treating every book as if I need to write a report on it afterwards. That means a lot of note taking. I’m hopping between physical notes on steno pads and using Notion more frequently as my personal knowledge base.

Categories
Community Life

Coffeeklatch

“Coffeeklatch is an online interview magazine filled with personal and interesting stories, shared by creative entrepreneurs over coffee in their homes.”

About (Coffeeklatch)

Beautiful visuals and thoughtful conversations. It’s a really interesting approach that I could see other orgs adopt, e.g. coworking spaces, team profiles, et al.

Categories
Life Tech

Visual storytelling in meetings

“Story telling matters as a foundational part of communication between people. You can tell stories by writing, speaking, filming, drawing, coding, and much more. […]

By adding visuals to your communication, you invite others in to participate and understand. You’re able to focus on the idea rather than each other, which is disarming and makes communication smoother.”

The value of quick visual storytelling (Automattic Design)

Shoutout to Joshua Wold for this blog post on visual storytelling.

I’m also a visual thinker. On the rare occasions that I’m meeting with folks in person I’m usually hitting the whiteboard.

Unlike Joshua, though, I rarely lean into this skill during virtual meetings.

It’s not that I don’t have the tools — I have a small Wacom tablet on my desk at home — it’s just that it feels so… weird?… to initiate this sort of thing over a Zoom call.

Maybe I need to change that?

Categories
Life

Make time management a habit

No matter what time management method you choose, you have to continue it until it becomes a habit. Only then, when you do it without even thinking about it and by focusing on your work, can you start experiencing all of the benefits of managing your time.”

How I Manage My Time To Be More Productive (Rafal Tomal)

As a remote worker, I’m constantly struggling with time management as I try to nail down a more perfect schedule. That’s why I appreciate other folks, like Rafal, sharing their experiences and approaches.

Categories
Life Tech

Sustainable Web Manifesto + Contract For The Web

“We all share and use the web, just as we all share and live on this planet. This manifesto is a public declaration of a shared commitment to create a sustainable internet. […]

If we embrace sustainability in our work, we can create a web that is good for people and planet. By signing this manifesto you declare your commitment to create a greener web.”

Sustainable Web Manifesto

The sustainable web manifesto covers five areas:

  1. Clean – Services we buy/create use renewable energy
  2. Efficient – Use the least amount of resources possible
  3. Open – Accessible services, users control their own data
  4. Honest – No misleading or exploitation
  5. Regenerative – Support an economy nourishing people & planet

Related, Tim Berners-Lee and his “contract for the web“:

The Contract for the Web was created by representatives from over 80 organizations, representing governments, companies and civil society, and sets out commitments to guide digital policy agendas. To achieve the Contract’s goals, governments, companies, civil society and individuals must commit to sustained policy development, advocacy, and implementation of the Contract text.

Contract For The Web

It covers nine principles:

  1. Ensure everyone can connect to the internet
  2. Keep all of the internet available, all of the time
  3. Protect fundamental online privacy & data rights
  4. Make the internet affordable & accessible to all
  5. Respect & protect peoples privacy and personal data
  6. Develop tech to support the best in humanity, challenge the worst
  7. Be creators and collaborators with the web
  8. Build communities that respect human discourse & dignity
  9. Fight for the web

I don’t agree with all of the above, but I do appreciate that these movements are taking shape. Internet governance is an incredibly important topic, and I feel like we’ve managed to dodge it for the last 20+ years.

Categories
Life Tech

ethical.net

“Ethical.net is a collaborative platform for discovering and sharing ethical product alternatives — whether that means purchasing from a social enterprise, thrift shopping, or learning how to fix your old phone instead of buying a new one.”

ethical.net

Check out ethical.net’s technical resources directory.

Categories
Life

How school boards can help the housing crisis

“When it comes to excess lots, the board shouldn’t sell the land; it should instead negotiate long-term leases with rental-apartment builders or such non-profits as Options for Homes, with the requirement that the projects be designated affordable.”

How school boards can help fight Toronto’s affordable-housing crisis (TVO)

This goes for excess public land in general. Put the property to use for the public good. Plant trees, lease to affordable housing developments.

Categories
Community Life

A new golden age of housing

“Co-ops often have units large enough for families, provide a stable place to live, and usually have below-market housing charges. (Some residents of Ontario co-ops pay even lower rents if they qualify for subsidized units.) After all, there’s no landlord trying to turn a profit.”

Ontario may be headed for a new golden age of housing co-ops (TVO)

Ontario went through a boom of co-op housing in the mid-20th century. Then it all fell apart in the 90’s with government cutbacks. I think we’re due for a resurgence, given the ongoing housing crisis.

+ Co-ops have piqued my interest lately. Housing co-ops are top of mind, but so are co-op organizations in general. From the Ontario Co-Operative Association:

“A co-operative is a legally incorporated organization that is owned by its members, who use the co-operative’s services or purchase their products. They can and do provide virtually every product or service, and can be either for-profit or non-profit enterprises.”

What is a Co-operative? (OCA)

A co-op feels like the logical legal entity to form around a community-centric, for-profit (or not-for-profit) organization, be it for housing or business.