The Content of the Weekly Review and Planning

The Content of the Weekly Review and Planning

Howto, Self-help
I've kept the habit of the Weekly Review and Planning for a good while now and for the most part have not changed it that much. It's a solid habit from which I've benefited greatly. If you haven't started this habit I highly recommend that you consider it for yourself. The content hasn't so much changed for me as it has matured.  The basic idea here is taking 15 to 30 minutes to step back from the work and consider the impact you're having. Did you accomplish what you set out to do this week?  Were you effective in communicating with your team?  Do you need to make any adjustments next week?  Do you need to seize the opportunity to reach out and tell someone thanks for a great job?…
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Crank Your Workday Enthusiasm up to Eleven

Crank Your Workday Enthusiasm up to Eleven

Self-help
One key element that consistently adds to the success and enjoyment of a workday is having positive interactions with coworkers.  Anytime we encounter a person who has an upbeat attitude with a cheerful manner we tend to contribute more to the conversation and walk away from it feeling energized. The Habit I say BE THAT PERSON with the upbeat attitude and cheerful manner. While you may not naturally beam sunshine everywhere you go, there are a few simple things you can add to your day to increase the amount of fun you have, which will improve your interactions with others.  Anytime we can improve the days of those we meet we pave the way for better relationships, more opportunity, and in the process increase our sense of self-worth. The Method…
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Keep Email in its Box with Inbox Zero

Keep Email in its Box with Inbox Zero

Self-help, Technology
This post is part of the series The Best Tools and Techniques for Winning at Business and Life We all have a love/hate relationship with email, except maybe without the love. Yes, email is terrible, but it’s part of life so we may as well deal with it in this guide. I recommend looking at email at least once per day and no more often than three or four times per day, depending on the length of your work day. If you’re an eight-to-fiver, twice is plenty. If you run from five am to midnight, you may need to deal with email as many as four times a day. The Habit Check sometime in the morning. Schedule it AROUND your big rocks. Give it anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes and…
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On Sunsetting Code

On Sunsetting Code

Self-help, Technology
Today I took a call from a colleague asking if we could extend an existing app to support new changes that had been made in the business. When scoping the project and prioritizing we realized that we have outgrown the app and need to replace it with a 3rd party solution in order to provide the level of scale we want to provide without having to add weeks of development time and priority waits. Before I move on, just a quick note of nostalgia about that killer app. 15 years ago I wrote an application to provide us with a repository of information. We called it our knowledgebase. If we learned how to do something for a client our practice became to "add it to the KB" so we could…
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Set Boundaries with Your Time and Money

Set Boundaries with Your Time and Money

Howto, Self-help, Technology
This post is part of the series The Best Tools and Techniques for Winning at Business and Life The Habits TIME BLOCKING The Covey organization does a fabulous job of describing life as boulders, rocks, pebbles, and sand. You’ve likely heard the analogy a dozen different ways, but it goes something like this. Picture your life as a jar and things to do like things you put inside the jar. Fill the jar halfway with sand then try putting in 20 large rocks and you’ll run out of jar before your run out of rocks. Start with the rocks, however, and you’ll find that the sand just finds a place to live inside the jar. It’s a great analogy for life. If we prioritize the things that are most important, the…
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Say Yes

Say Yes

Self-help
Recently I was given the opportunity to help lead songs at our church and in the short time I've been doing this I have been amazed at how rewarding it has been. As it turns out, when you make time and room available for God in your life he can do way more with it than you ever could have done with that time or space.  If you have a nagging sense that you should be doing something for God, I highly recommend that you say yes to whatever that thing is, and then hang on for the amazing journey you're about to embark upon. Here are some of the fun and unexpected surprises that have come out of the experience in just a few weeks' time. I Get Out of It More…
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Weekly Review and Planning

Weekly Review and Planning

Howto, Self-help, Technology
This post is part of the series The Best Tools and Techniques for Winning at Business and Life For the past year I've kept a habit that has helped me significantly to grow professionally and to be more productive.  That habit is what I call the weekly review and planning pause.  This simple, 30 minute appointment is on my calendar toward the end of each week for the purpose of helping me assess what I did, whether or not I'm proud of what I did, and what I'm going to do next week to do as well as or better than I did this week. The goods with this one are in the repetition.  A wise guy once said to me "perfect practice makes for perfect performance," and I believe it.  What we practice…
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What Marbles Taught Me About Life

What Marbles Taught Me About Life

Self-help
Today started with a fabulous brisk walk in the cool autumn air, blood pumping, mind waking up and filling up with positivity. It was going to be a pretty good day.  We had an appointment with a doctor for one of the kids, and while waiting in the lobby I noticed this really neat mosaic sconce made from marbles.  Didn't think much about it at the time, but thought enough of it to take a photo. While at the doctor's office with my family the news we received wasn't quite what we had envisioned for the day.  Things were going to be fine, but we going to go a completely different direction than expected.  It struck me that life is a lot like the sconce. Life gives us a lot…
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Four Simple Steps To Actually REACHING Your Goals

Four Simple Steps To Actually REACHING Your Goals

Self-help
  In this post I intend to give you my best strategy to really achieve your goals.  With this strategy you'll reach your goals and do it more quickly than you thought was possible.  This strategy is simple, easy to remember, and costs nothing. There are a couple of great books on the subject, and I'll link to them at the bottom of this article. The concept is NOT new.  It's been around a long time, and thousands of people have been successful by following this principle, yet it's so often overlooked I just HAD to write about it. Here are the 4 Simple Steps to REALLY accomplishing your goals: Identify your roles in life Start with the end Back up into the present GO! Identify Your Roles In Life The first step…
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Fighting Away From The Rocks

Fighting Away From The Rocks

Self-help, Technology
Let me start by saying I wrote this blog post specifically around the image.  I didn't set out to do that for today's blog post; I intended to give a demonstration of how to use some really cool technologies to make your life as a developer easier.  Here's what happened. I'm cruising swiftly toward the end of a very frustrating week.  It's just been one of those weeks where nothing seems to work out the way I planned it, and each day puts me a little farther behind schedule.  At one point today I actually caught myself just staring off into space, thinking what-in-the-WORLD-has-happened-to-this-week? It's just like the picture.  Some people might see the ocean in all its blueness and vastness and potential.  I see that too, but what I see first is...…
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