Focusing on Productivity

I’ve been spending some time the last few days thinking about ways I can improve my overall productivity. In general, I’m not working at a pace that I’m satisfied with, and while part of that is due to long hours at work, a lot is also due to not fully taking advantage of the free time I do have.

Accordingly, I made two major changes today that should:

News. A few months back, per Marc Andreessen’s advice, I subscribed to the Wall Street Journal. At first I attempted to read it on a daily basis. Now, I’m lucky if I scan it through twice a week. The problem is twofold: 1) I don’t understand a lot of it and 2) It takes time. The original purpose was to learn the important things going on in the world and in the tech industry. I think a combination of Hacker News, Inc magazine, and a few of the major blogs take care of the tech half of that goal. Usually, when my time was limited, I would just flip to the Business section and see if there were any internet related articles. For the news half, I’m going to subscribe to Time, which I think is excellent. Since they’re a weekly publication they generally avoid a lot of the irrelevent news, and they write less in one issue than the WSJ writes in a day. Starting tomorrow, I’m putting the WSJ on hold. There will hopefully come a time when I have the time and the need of reading it on a daily basis, but that time is not right now.

Computer Usage. I’ve been using InstantRails on Windows Vista in conjunction with UltraEdit for learning and programming Rails. InstantRails, as far as I can tell, is a hack that let’s Windows developers work with Rails. It gets the job done, but it just doesn’t feel natural. And so, today, I took the plunge and bought a Macbook, which I’m currently writing on. It is a breadth of fresh air; I wish I had made the switch earlier. It’s taking a bit of getting used to (I didn’t know what the traffic lights at the top of the windows were), but it’s incredibly straightforward. Usability was clearly a focus for the Mac developers, which is why it’s been such an easy transition. The plan is to do all my web development on this computer from now on.

My goal is to launch Domain Pigeon by the end of the year.

I’m going to try to write more often, as I find that it helps me to write things down.

Thanks for reading.

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