Write Down Your Goals

Newbury Street had a friend in me on Saturday, ’cause man did I shop the hell out of it.

On a fact-finding mission for prices on snazzy shoes and blazers / sport coats (what’s the difference?), I’d briefly chat up the retail folk and then break their little hearts; I am not currently at a place where I can spend $400 to $600 on a jacket. I had always wanted to roll through the Back Bay with my homie named Visa, but you need almost a full day and the energy and… a reason. I had all three.

The reason came from writing goals down. This creates focus.

You may have lots of reasons to do things, but the ones you write down, and especially the ones you look at with some frequency, are the ones that get to the forefront of your unconscious. Napoleon Hill dedicates a whole chapter to the concept in ‘Think And Grow Rich’, where he says the subconscious mind first acts on dominating thoughts and feelings (like faith), so make your desires clear: reduce them to writing. He goes on to talk about the next step: flashes / hunches / inspirations. Rhonda Byrne’s ‘The Secret’ refers to these as inspired actions, where you are acting on instincts.

I could have (should have) dove into much delayed Spring cleaning, but instead I went with my gut and did something unusual, yet something in line with one of my goals: acquire a collection of jackets.

Mission accomplished. Thank you, Marshall’s. On Boylston Street.

Profitability of Profit

Again, from ‘The 4-Hour Workweek’ by Tim Ferriss, I found this gem:

Profit is only profitable to the extent that you can use it. For that you need time.

Much later in the book, we have:

Stuff lingering on the brain from work ruin free time with preoccupation; time without attention is worthless, so value attention over time.

This last quote stresses the necessity of being in the now. You are not really free if your body is on the beach and your head is at the office. So to get the most out of your ‘Out of the Office’ experience, you’ve got to reattach your head to wherever you’ve decided to put your body. You’ve escaped for a week – you might as well enjoy yourself! This leads me to a couple of rather mathematical scenarios… bear with me. If we had a finite amount of attention and a variable amount of time, we have:

  • Scenario 1 – You take a lot of time off, but your attention is rarely there. (Low density of enjoyment per time)
  • Scenario 2 – You take a little time off, and your attention is completely there. (High density of enjoyment per time)

It would seem way more efficient to figure out a way to fully ‘be in your body’ to be fully free during your time off, whether it is an extra long weekend… or 5 minutes. Thus, if you’ve got time to play, and you’re a-gonna play, y’might as well play hard: profit from your… profit.

Ha – who would have thought that, “Work hard. Play hard,” can take on a very Taoist “be in the now” meaning.

Show Then Tell

Over the past few months/sprints, I’ve been developing a system to more easily adopt Agile Living. Stories have been mainly gathering and molding stories into a proprietary format I have been developing for a while. With bookmarks to Google Docs (‘cloud’-enough for now) on my smart phone pointing to a product backlog, sprint backlog, Scrum script, Daily script, and a few other things, the motions for my own ScrumOfOne have become significantly more fluid.

Progress has gotten me to the point where I am back to dedicating time to this blog, with posts planned for twice a week: once on Sundays after my mini-retrospective and once on Wednesdays as a temperature check on mid-week execution of sprints.

Part of this reboot has been after an acknowledgement of how different facets of personal growth, as well as the numerous projects I want to implement, all feel like they should be their own product backlog. Some products represent continual improvement (physical, cultural, residential) and some represent discrete states of accomplishment (this blog, learning to sail, own music studio), so the organization and prioritization of the numerous stories from the numerous backlogs has required some work, thus why I am only getting back to blogging now.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Daily Stand-up, Beyond Mechanics: A Measure of Self-Organization

The following are my notes from a Scrum Alliance article – its title is that of this post.

By Bachan Anand, CSM, CSP, he shares ways to tune the scrum / daily stand-up meeting. Building up to a very neat table, he outlines how to run the scrum of a high-performance team in terms of self-organization, focus, collaboration, rhythm, courage, and respect. My favorite example is a solution for one particular self-organization issue, where team members share status as if reporting to managers (ScrumMaster and Product Owner), instead of sharing status with their fellow pigs.

Each time a pig looks at a chicken during the scrum, the chicken should look at his/her shoes.

Ruthless Story Completion

It’s finally Spring in Boston! It’s nice outside! I want to BE outside! This yearning is effectively an impediment!

Thus, the balance of a game plan and reality results in a strategy that makes me feel less guilty for enjoying the weather while still accomplishing the most per time spent on these sprints: Ruthless Story Completion.

I am now spending time on getting one story done at a time – this results in two levels of satisfaction. Sure, I get the points associated with that story – a shallow sense of feeling good; however, I then know I have attained a piece of functionality associated with the story – THAT is the deeper level, the fulfillment.