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Tech Productivity

Issue #30  (How To Avoid Burnout) 09/09/19

A good question posed on Hacker News in this thread about reading habits and reading retention. If you read a lot but feel like you don't retain as much as you'd like, you might appreciate the discussion.

The top comment gives some great advice:

"One big big big thing I learned ... is to not read a non-fiction book like it was a novel. There’s nothing wrong with skipping ahead and finding out what happens later, in fact you should absolutely skim the book first. I end up finishing a lot more books by doing this since so many books aren’t actually worth careful reading."

And another comment explains correctly why many things are easily forgotten:

"Personally I think the most important part of reading is picking up the general idea being conveyed, not to be able to precisely recall an idea. Like a support vector machine (SVM), I think your brain mostly retains information about model defying events. Most people won't remember what they had for a meal a month ago, because the event likely had little surprise - but you'll probably remember the meal that gave you food poisoning."

Finally, something that I think most of us in the tech space do:

"In my opinion, reading is more for shaping your thoughts over time. I generally don't read for recall value except for technical things, and even there, it's better to build a good mental model of the subject through a combination of reading and exercises, then use a book as a reference."

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

Tools & Apps

Rezi - Free software that creates a hiring-system-optimized resume for any time you need a resume.

Web Clipper - Chrome extension. Save anything on the web, with support for GitHub, Yuque, and other platforms.

NetNewsWire - Re-launch of an older product. A free and open source RSS reader for Mac. - A service to store and manage your bookmarks. It has a clean and simple design and respects user privacy.

Client Portal - Integrates with WordPress to help you manage your client projects, without bulky project management software.

Articles & Resources

Why Slow Mornings May Be the Secret to Tech-Life Balance - A bit of a different take and an alternative to the tech "detox".

How to learn things at 1000x the speed - Click-baity title, but the suggestion is based on the concept of affordances. In this case, the more you learn, the faster you can learn.

Burnout is real – here’s how to avoid it - Discusses the symptoms of burnout along with some practical suggestions for avoiding it.

Founders of Successful Tech Companies Are Mostly Middle-Aged - Not sure if correlation equals causation in this case, but an interesting fact to consider.

Creating Authentic Human Connections Within A Remote Team - Randy Tolentino looks at how remote soft-skills can help with the challenge of building authentic connections with remote team members.


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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