Year: 2015

My Thinking On Various Topics

Vacations as a Forcing Function

One thing I continually try to do in my career is to work myself out of a job. My goal is to move things into a state where I could step away and all of my projects would keep running. That usually means that I am then free to take on other, more challenging tasks. That is how I grow. I do this by: automating the monotonous parts building tools so others can help themselves instead of needing me delegating items where eager owners arise putting lightweight process in place to keep me out of day to day dropping anything that isn’t adding value In reality, this isn’t always easy. There are challenges that don’t go down without a fight, processes that don’t get adopted, fires that pop up and my own ego that ties me to things that should have long ago been abandoned or delegated. Vacations are a forcing function. Especially truly

Yearly Focus

Living Slower: Increasing Variance

As I try to live slower this year I’m also faced with increasing pressure to get more done at work & at home. At first I thought these were opposing forces, but as I’ve been contemplating on it I no longer believe that has to be the case. When we talk about pace we often think about the mean (average). The thing that doesn’t take into account is variance – the spread between the data points that make up that average. Variance Here is a great illustration of variance that shows two cases – each with the same total & same mean. The one that is more spread out in its distribution has more variance. For me, life started to feel a bit like that dark green cluster – always moving at a similar pace. Low variance. At work I have a lot to get done, then I come home and

Yearly Focus

Living Slower: The First Hour of the Day

In 2015 I have committed myself to the theme of living slower. This involves me spending time thinking about what that means, putting it into practice and sharing my learnings. This is the first update in that theme. Good Morning The first hour of the day sets the tone for each that follows it. In seeking to live slowly, the way we approach the moments after we wake are among the most important. For many of us, our days start with a jarring introduction of the infinite. The moment after our eyes open, they turn to a glowing screen that waited patiently for us while we slept. We begin to catch up – reading emails, text messages and social updates, before we’ve gotten out of bed, and as such we dive into the day’s issues like a plunge into icy water. It is hard to find peace in the morning

Yearly Focus

2015: Goal, Theme & Challenge

For the last two years I’ve blogged about a efforts I’ve decided to take on during the new year. I’ve enjoyed this activity. It helps me strive to complete things that I think are important or interesting but more importantly it give me focus by allowing me to say ‘no’ to other things. After two years of this process I’ve learned a few things that I want to account for in my third year. This will dramatically impact how I spend my year. In 2014 I decided to train for an Ironman. That ended up being how I spent almost all of my free time. In some regards this is great because it allowed me to focus for a single year and achieve a solid result. I couldn’t have done that if I had split my time between multiple activities. But, now that I realize this, it is important for me to take

Yearly Focus

2014: Goal, Theme & Challenge – Review

At the beginning of 2014 I wrote about my goal, theme and challenge for the year. I’ve posted a few updates throughout the year but want to take some time now to do a final review. 2014 Goal: Read 24 Books Self Grade: 7/10 My goal was to read 24 books – I finished at 17. I had hoped to cover 12 fiction and 12 non-fiction. I actually read 3 fiction and 14 non-fiction. I also got 50 hours through the 60 hours of Les Miserables. I started the year off doing pretty well. I cruised through the first 8 books, thanks largely to utilizing audiobooks. I hit a rut in the summer when I stopped listening to audiobooks as I trained and got stalled in the paper books I was reading. That resulted in months of no progress. I eventually got back in the habit though & finished strong by