Either you run the day or the day runs you. Jim Rohn I always try to sell the “write down everything that you need to do” mantra to everybody. It’s not just because it works for me, it’s because it works for everybody I ever worked with, everybody I asked and just about every productivity book I ever read mentioned it. The mantra is very simple: I use a piece of paper (usually a page in my notebook – paper notebook smart-ass) to create a…Continue Reading “Writing it down is good, doing it is better”

I’m always telling everyone that I’m not a programmer, not an analyst, not a trainer not a tech support guy, not a technical writer or presales… I’m a problem solver. If there’s a problem, I’ll be able to solve it… and if not, by God, I’ll die trying. Just ’cause that’s the type of person that I was brought up to be. And that’s how I see things. That’s the kind of attitude that seems to piss people off these days. If you’re not a…Continue Reading “4 types of developers that roam the cubicle forest”

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. Douglas Adams January was a tough month, with a lot of new projects and initiatives that needed pushing and pulling to get up and running, consuming a huge chunk of my time… and most importantly, my energy. As I realized that work started consuming more and more time… I chose to suspend things like participating in communities, writing this blog, working on my other various projects, so that I can give…Continue Reading “The pileup”

Adopting the Pomodoro Technique

I’ve known about time-boxing and the Pomodoro Technique for a long time. I’ve even tried to implement it twice…. I didn’t succeed… so now I’m enforcing it. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia What the technique boils down to: Keep all tasks that have to be completed today in a To-Do list – I already do this so it’s zero cost Work in a 25 minute time-box (called a “pomodoro” – named after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer 🙂 ) After each pomodoro take a short break After 4…Continue Reading “Adopting the Pomodoro Technique”

Why releasing new versions is like shaving

Some time ago I was talking about the similarities of shaving and product releasing, especially the impact of release frequency on velocity. Returning to this idea, i realized that,increased releasing or increased deployment frequency has a beneficial effect on the overall velocity and quality of the release or deployment, while also improving team morale. Because of this, I’ve been trying to create and respect strict deployment schedules, matching every development or bug-fixing iteration, namely(and usually)… every week. It’s hard at the beginning and the first…Continue Reading “Why releasing new versions is like shaving”

TLDSP: Fraternization, or creating friends and allies

Customer immersion is not a dirty secret; the acceptance is not eased because they get a greater sense of ownership, it is eased because you are actually doing what they want. While working with the customer’s project team, during long projects, you will undoubtedly start to know them better, especially the team members that tend to interact often with your team. Nurture this interaction, accept them as part of the team, be honest and always respect their opinion. Remember that they know what they want and your job is to help them achieve their objectives.

4 tips on how to avoid a Twitter-induced productivity loss

It hasn’t been a long time since I’ve been using Twitter. I’m just getting the hang of it, following the bloggers and the book authors who’s materials I enjoy, news tweetters (local and global) and some random people that make my day happier through their tweets, so I don’t consider myself an expert and you shouldn’t either. Photo by Louis Abate What I have noticed though is that Twitter is pretty addictive once you really understand what it is, and what it’s not. Once you…Continue Reading “4 tips on how to avoid a Twitter-induced productivity loss”

This week I had the pleasure of reading Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog!, one of the best productivity shorts I’ve ever read. I’m not that into reading self-help books, but I do enjoy reading short ones on how to improve personal productivity. The book isn’t fresh (2002 vintage) but it does cover a lot of aspects in a funny way, starting from the title and ending with the chapter quotes. One example of a funny parallel is the one that gave the book it’s name:…Continue Reading “Eat your frog in the morning”