New Year, Intentionally Late New Start

So, I have been reading wave after wave of similar posts. I guess it is finally time to do mine..

Looking Back

Last year was a great year for me, I learned a lot about myself, GTD, sleep and TONS of stuff to help me continue improving my craft.

That said, all is not rosy. I can’t help but feel I did loads but got nothing done. Towards the end of the year, I really started “getting” my GTD process (mainly the addition of Personal Kanban). I crashed out with burnout, and then spent the holiday season thinking and reflecting on where the hell I went wrong.

Looking Forward

Personal Kanban (with “Lean” in the mix) introduced reinforced the concept of “only adding value”. I say reinforced, because us geeks should already be familiar with the concept. “Why is that?” you ask? – Well most of us geeks have heard the term YAGNI right? Agile peeps use it all the time. Put simply, “it it ain’t worth it – don’t do it”.

I need more YAGNI in my personal life. Writing badass code means shit all when you are either unhappy or running around in circles – or worse, both.

Timely Advice from Entrepreneurs

I have recently been reading some books that have been collecting dust on my “To Read” shelf. One of these is Sir Richard Bransons “Screw It! Let’s Do It”. Coupled with that, I also listened to a podcast (2 parts) on Freelance Advisor with Barbara Winter (author of “Making a Living Without a Job”). Both had a message that really struck a chord with me (obviously this is not their only message!).

In essence, what they said came down to this:

  • Corporate drones check their bank balance before doing something. If balance < required budget. It doesn’t happen.
  • Entrepreneurs think “that sounds like a great idea – how do I make it happen?

I think this is a really powerful message. Are you a drone or a driver? To be quite blunt, I don’t want my life to be dictated to me by a bank balance.

KISS – My 2010 Mantra

So, following the KISS principle - this year, my mantra is simply:


That’s it. I have it written in big letters on my desktop so I see it every day.

I want to look at something, if I think it is a good idea, then I want to make it happen. I want to survey the options before me, pick what will be best for me and then nail it.

Sample of Things Currently on My RADAR

  • Get an Open Source project up and running.
  • Add the features on the backlog for my website, and then get a designer in to make it look pretty (finally admitted design is not my core competency and would be best left to the pros).
  • Get more blog content up, especially technical bits (I know I have been heavily GTD-focused).
  • Review my current employment position.
  • Get more involved with the (geek) community.
  • Have an awesome trip to Vegas.
  • Have an awesome trip somewhere with snow and learn how to (snow) board.

So, are you a drone or a driver? Are you picking your shots or “spraying and praying”?


  1. Hey Rob,

    This is a fantastic post, well stated, funny and poignant. I especially like the part where you made a visual control of your primary goal.

    Having "Pick Your Shots" confronting you makes it needle you until you do it.

    I just wrote a post on the Personal Kanban site about being too productive and burning out - and here you've gone and done it. I wonder how many people will do the same thing - because work gets easier and we're excited to do we burst into it and don't pick our shots.

    We don't look for what will make us productive, efficient and effective. "Pick Your Shots" says to me "Prioritize, Dammit!"

    Fantastic, thanks for letting me wake up to this.

    Jim Benson


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