Ten resolutions for 2017.

It’s funny how taking a week off work can feel so much longer.

This was the first full-on vacation I’ve taken since May. I never checked my work email, Slack, or Zoom. I even unplugged from my non-work projects. (Being under the weather for a few of those days certainly helped with the disconnect.)

That unplugging gave me time to reflect.  Now, as I reboot my routine for 2017, I have a set of resolutions (or themes, or goals…) on my mind for this new year.

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Empathy and self-control.

Empathy depends on your ability to overcome your own perspective, appreciate someone else’s, and step into their shoes. Self-control is essentially the same skill, except that those other shoes belong to your future self—a removed and hypothetical entity who might as well be a different person. So think of self-control as a kind of temporal selflessness. It’s Present You taking a hit to help out Future You.

Source: Self-Control Is Just Empathy With Your Future Self – The Atlantic

Does time management ruin lives?

Yet as the historian Ruth Cowan demonstrates in her 1983 book More Work for Mother, the result, for much of the 20th century, was not an increase in leisure time among those charged with doing the housework. Instead, as the efficiency of housework increased, so did the standards of cleanliness and domestic order that society came to expect. Now that the living-room carpet could be kept perfectly clean, it had to be; now that clothes never needed to be grubby, grubbiness was all the more taboo. These days, you can answer work emails in bed at midnight. So should that message you got at 5.30pm really wait till morning for a reply?

Source: Why time management is ruining our lives | Oliver Burkeman | Technology | The Guardian

A particularly relevant read as we roll into January. It’s a month of declaring resolutions and setting goals for self-improvement – including time management and productivity, according to Google Trends.

Pursue your personal projects.

If you can look at personal projects as investments offering long-term benefits, you’ll find that they are an important part of your growth and development. They provide value in many forms, from a potential future commission to bolstering your artistic toolkit to giving you the freedom to run wild with your beloved, batty ideas, unafraid of a client’s critique.

Source: The 5 Types of Personal Projects (And How You Can Justify Pursuing Them) – 99U

Phone cases mean the colour doesn’t matter.

If you’re going to put your iPhone in a case, then it doesn’t really matter whether you get regular black or jet black, because when encased, they’re nearly indistinguishable.

Source: Daring Fireball: iPhone 7: Jet Black vs. Black

I’m frequently complimented on the bamboo case for my iPhone 5S (photo below, taken with my Macbook’s webcam, apologies for potato quality). It’s relatively distinctive and adds a non-negligible layer of protection.

Bamboo iPhone case

I subscribe to the notion that phones should always have a case, because this is a friggin’ expensive piece of equipment that will be exposed to all sorts of abuse. And since I try to run on a 3-ish year hardware refresh cycle, the device needs to hold out for that long.

(It’s the same reason I have a hardshell for my Macbook Pro. It adds a layer of protection, and also gives me a guilt-free surface to place stickers on!)

Now I get that not everyone agrees with this philosophy. I see all those unprotected phones when I’m on the subway. And I get that the aesthetics of a naked phone matter greatly to some people.

But if you’re going to put your phone in a case, the colour doesn’t matter.

Audioblog 01: Continuing education vs. learning by doing

I spoke with Adam Warner a couple weeks ago about having podcasting as a “someday” item on my wishlist. My motivation was to learn more about working with audio. Adam’s reasoning for starting his podcast echoes some of my own curiosities about the medium. Well, seeing as it’s after Labour Day, now seems like as good … Read more