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Tech Productivity

Issue #258  (Overcome Your Fear of Deadlines) 01/22/24


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I really like this X post from startup founder and software engineer Laura Wendel, which I'll quote most of here:
A lot of very smart people work in strange ways / with a lot of quirks (e.g. contemplating for hours and appearing to do nothing, while then suddenly having 100x output burst).

This usually makes them not a great fit for traditional corporate world, where you often have to fake being busy & work around fixed structures.

The great thing about small teams working in a flexible structure with high autonomy is that you get to witness these quirks manifest into greatness, time and time again.

Many genuinely productive people are misunderstood because their perceived methods many not ‘look’ like hard work from the outside.

I love this take because it demonstrates how people can differ greatly in their overall work ethic while producing similar results. In fact, the implication in her post is that those who often look like they're doing much less than others are the ones who tend to be more productive in the long haul.

It reminds me of that episode of the U.S. version of The Office where Pam (the receptionist) is asked by the corporate VP to write down everything that Michael (the manager) does for one whole day.
The Office Pretzel Day

Anyone who's watched The Office knows that Michael always appears to be getting nothing done while ultimately having the best branch results in the company. True, that's fiction. But it's kind of the same idea as what's presented by Laura in her X post.

If you're one of those kinds of workers, I hope you are in a place where your quirks are appreciated and those around you recognize that you can get good results even if you don't do it in a corporate, cookie-cutter manner.

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


Tools & Apps

Knowledge — An open-source native app for Mac, Window, and Linux, powered by ChatGPT, for saving, searching, accessing, exploring, and chatting with all of your favorite websites, documents, and files.

HEY — This is the email and calendar solution from 37signals, claiming to offer a better alternative to Gmail, Outlook, and Apple Mail.

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Password Tech — An open-source, professional password generator and password manager, for Windows, with full Unicode support, strong encryption, and individual customization settings for different passwords.

LibreOffice — A free and powerful office suite, a successor to OpenOffice and an alternative to MS Office and Google Drive, that has a clean interface and feature-rich tools for creativity and productivity.

Flowrite — An AI-based tool for generating replies, outreach, and other business email communications, integrated with Gmail, Outlook, LinkedIn, X, WhatsApp, and lots more.

AudioNotes — An AI-based voice notes recorder app that converts your random voice notes and unstructured text notes into structured text summaries in a style and length of your choice.

Articles & Resources

Passive Income: Can Easy Side Hustles Earn Big Money? — This is one of the more realistic articles on passive income that I've seen. In brief, passive income is not as easy as it sounds, as those interviewed can attest to.

The Big Idea: Are Our Short Attention Spans Really Getting Shorter? — A historical look at we have adapted in terms of reading and our attention spans, putting forth the idea that our 'era of distraction' is more complex than we realize.

Free Your Newsletters From the Inbox — The inbox is full of distractions and too many subscriptions lead to inbox chaos. Time to liberate your inbox and move to Meco, a newsletter aggregator built for reading.     sponsor  

A Simple Programming Productivity Trick: Leave Work Unfinished to Reach Flow — From Leonardo Creed's popular Substack, this is actually a set of four different programming productivity tips, including the one mentioned in the title.

10 Ideas for Lists You Can Write to 10x Your Life This Year — If you like to make lists as a form of brainstorming and weeding out bad ideas (or if you'd like to adopt the approach), this should provide some inspiration.

Overcome Your Fear of Deadlines with Parkinson’s Law — The law in question is based on the idea that a job will expand or shrink to fit the resources we give it, and the article provides some practical business uses for it.

The ‘No. 1 Predictor of Future Success’ on Your Linkedin and Resume — Based on advice from a recruiter who's worked with Google, DoorDash, and now Continuum, the specific thing he looks for is putting down that you got promoted and haven't had the same job title for the duration at one company.


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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