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Tech Productivity

Issue #164  (It Doesn't Matter How Many Hours You Work) 04/04/22

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A Hacker News reader asked about how to overcome perfectionism, which can lead to many problems in your work, personal life, family relationships, and more.

The top comment quotes from LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman:

If you're not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you've launched too late.

The same user makes the following excellent observation:

A useful thing to remember is that you are the ONLY person that knows how beautiful the thing you were planning to build was going to be. What you've actually built is always going to be disappointing compared to the potential thing you had imagined.

David Blaine messing up a card trick

I love that line of reasoning, because it reminds me of how sleight-of-hand magicians work. I've studied sleight-of-hand myself and I've learned that when you're performing something in front of an audience, they don't know what the end result is going to be. So if you happen to mess something up, just roll with it and turn it into something else. If you want to see this in action, here's a video of David Blaine doing exactly that when a trick doesn't go as expected.

So if you suffer from perfectionism that hinders your productivity, it might be good to think about other people's perspective of your work and not just your own — which is likely a narrow-minded view of what you're accomplishing.

Now on to this week's hand-picked productivity links!

Tools & Apps

[x]it! — A plain-text file format for todos and check lists. You can do this in any text editor or download one of the extensions (Sublime, VS Code, GNU nano) to make it more interactive, like the demo on the page.

Pulltherope — A Chrome extension that's a reminders app that lets you create reminders for anything by simply 'pulling a rope', which is demonstrated on the page.

Setapp — A subscription-based service that gives you access to a whole slew of apps on Mac or iOS, for carrying out just about any task.

Cynoia — A single platform to manage your team's collaboration, communication, and projects efficiently via video conferencing, messaging, file sharing, project management, and more.

Snailbox — A batch email app for Gmail that enables you to schedule your email at specific times to recover the time you're losing to your inbox.

Luckynote — Mobile app for iOS or Android to bookmark and message yourself notes, bookmarks, files, and tasks in a single interface.

Mojeek: A Crawler-Index Search Engine — Most alternative search engines just source results from Google or Bing, not Mojeek! We have a growing index of over 5 billion pages, and crawl the web using technology built in-house. Discover something different with Mojeek.    sponsor  

Articles & Resources

Maybe You Should Do Less 'Work' — A good reminder about the importance of doing what is expected of us then moving on to other things, rather than trying to meet expectations that don't exist.

What’s the Optimal Workplace for Your Organization? — An encouragement for companies to determine whether to go with in-person, hybrid, or remote options by considering two specific factors: strategy for growth and number of personnel.

Plaintext Productivity — Writer and programmer Michael Descy lays out a guide based on his own experience developing a productivity system with plain text files.

20 Productivity Tips From Developers to Developers — Suggestions geared at programmers and the sub-headings alone in this one are useful enough without reading the full content (which isn't too lengthy).

Too Busy to Pay Attention — A very philosophical look at the amount of time we have and our mortality. Not exactly my cup of tea, but maybe you'll like this more than I did.

It Doesn't Matter How Many Hours You Work — If you wear long hours as a "badge of honor", this is a candid reminder that there are more important factors to consider.

Bytes: Your Favourite JavaScript Newsletter — I subscribe to a lot of newsletters, but this is definitely one I look forward to. Entertaining with lots of cool and useful coding tidbits and tools.    sponsor  


Have a suggestion for a productivity-related tool, article, or other resource? Send me a direct message via X (@LouisLazaris) and I’ll consider including it in a future issue.

Stay productive!


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