Friday, March 30, 2012

- the road most taken -

I was the grammarian for Toastmasters this week. On the most basic level, our club's grammarian is supposed to keep track of how many um's and ah's speakers are using. This helps the speakers because they become self-conscious about using filler words; this also helps me because it forces me to pay close attention to the speeches.

During a Breaking Bad Habits speech, the speaker said:

"We're programmed to follow the path of least resistance. So what should we do? Make our bad habits the path of most resistance."

That flipped a 100-volt lightbulb in my head. If we only do things that are easy to us, we should make bad habits harder to do. Hide the remote control in the drawer. Uninstall the games. Turn off the internets.

I already knew that self-discipline is over-rated and why building systems gives you a better shot at doing the right thing. That's the basis of "Getting Things Done" (GTD). The sequel ("Making It All Work") was supposed to explain *why* GTD works. But Toastmasters gave me the clearest explanation: GTD breaks down our goals into simple, easy pieces - pieces that form the path of least resistance.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

- a mere planet in a galaxy of galaxies -

How do people decide what to do ? The logical steps would be to keep an open mind, try out as many different things as possible and then reflect on those experiences. My econ prof was advocate of trying out different things. He mentioned that people do generally try out different things... in the same area. His point was that you cannot do embedded development, web development, mobile development and say you've explored all your options.

The key here is to try different things that are as different as possible.