How I Offloaded My Anxiety to Trello

I’ve never been good at what you might call “life admin”, but I used to keep track of it through having a high level of 1) recall, 2) guilt and anxiety. I can’t say this system was working well, I was pretty behind on this stuff (such as… still having an Australian bank account five […]

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Bi-Monthly Rituals: The State of All the Things

At the end of last year, I somehow found myself as the lead of a team that was 4x as big as my previous one. Many things were different, but one of the big ones was changing from having one person on each platform who really knew everything that was going on… to having some […]

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Things to Figure Out as a New Manager: Part 1, Your Schedule

danbo stands looking at the "geek calendar"

We normally talk about the challenge of moving to a manager’s schedule in terms of our desire to write code. But writing code is just part of it. As an IC, you probably had some kind of schedule that worked well for you. When we move to being managers, it’s tempting to try and slot “management […]

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The Kill List

Nearly a year ago now, I took myself off to Paris. I wanted to see the Eiffel tower, practise my French, and go for long walks in the crisp cold and contemplate. Starting work again after a year as an international fuckwit of no fixed address, one thing on my mind a lot was time. […]

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How I Run a Remote Team

Processes: Daily 123 in slack: 1 – what definitely will happen today, 2 – what will hopefully happen, 3 – what I’m filling in the gaps with. Daily standup: this is separate from 123, which I find is a better way to share?what. Standup is a little more about?how. Pairing: this just means “working together […]

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Being Productive Offline

shows a productivity of 89%

Normally I embrace flights as a chance to generally disconnect (who else is unenthused about in-flight wifi? Holla!). I read, sometimes I write, but I’m not too concerned about “achieving things”. Sometimes I try to find something to work on offline, typically at the last minute in the lounge and it’s not been very successful. […]

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Structure, Meetings and Other People

circles of colors

When I started on this self-employed adventure, I had no structure. This was the first adjustment. I allowed myself to be distracted by potential projects, pitching things, doing unpaid work in the hope that it would pay off (it didn’t). Over time I created habits for myself, drew boundaries, evolved to this 5 days on / […]

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Organising Things

priorities: because you can't help everyone

I  have finally figured out how to make Trello work for me. I found having a board for each project overwhelming, and the items in cards too heavyweight. Often a reasonably sized task have a bunch of subtasks, and I might not manage to do them all at once. 1. Check Lists I use these for task-specific TODO […]

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Rest Day – Buffer Day – Focus Day

(2 of 5) California Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris) resting in a colony of a dozen sea otters and wrapped in kelp ( ) at Target Rock near Morro Rock in Morro Bay, CA,02 June 2010. Photo by "Mike" Michael L. Baird, mike [at} mikebaird d o t com,; Shooting a Canon EOS 1D Mark III 10.1MP Digital SLR Camera, Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens with circular polarizer (to great effect), and a Canon EF 1.4X II Extender Telephoto Accessory, handheld, but braced on rocks while positioned at waterÕs edge about 0.5 meter above the water level. To use this photo, please see the access, attribution, and commenting recommendations at - Please, no invites with images, flashing icons or award/post rules.

My friend introduced me to this concept recently and I’ve found it really helpful. Rest days: complete break from work (I call them “no computer” days). Buffer days: get through the myriad of small things that pile up. Focus days: move the needle on Big Projects. Some observations: Rest days need to happen before they are […]

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Balancing, Integrating

cow up a tree

I bought my laptop home with me for the long weekend. I was writing code at 9pm on Wednesday night. Last week, I worked Sunday night. Sounds like I have a work-life integration problem, right? I used to have these strict rules – laptop stays at the office. No work at the weekends. I drew […]

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