Must-do lists

Todos are great, but I have a habit of letting them slip over time.

I’m going to try something new: keeping a daily must-do list of only 1-3 items.

My fiancee recently mentioned something she’d heard, probably on NPR (she listens on her commutes) about “your house or boat is taking on water until you do these things”, or something to that effect. The idea was that there are some things that you really must do, and do them first, because they’re that important.

A must-do list needs to be very small each day so that it’s very likely that I can maintain the integrity of the exercise. I MUST get these 1-3 items done before I end my day. But unexpected things happen, and other things matter, too. So the must-dos should be clearly less than 50% of my day.

But they help me prioritize the most important items, and keep those items visible. If I don’t see something, I forget about it.

Today’s list:

  • Write this blog post
  • Pay an invoice
  • Provide an estimate to a client

I should get more than this done. There are other items on my todo lists, but these are items I’m guaranteed to do.

Intellectual Obesity

Eating food is good.

Eating a lot of food is good if you’re Michael Phelps and use it all. Or anybody working very hard and using the calories in productive ways to improve the world.

Eating a lot of food and not using it leads to obesity.

Obesity is bad.

Here’s something that’s even more cool: the food that’s stable across the entire domain of food isn’t food: it’s information. It’s information, and we use the same bloody circuits in our brain to forage for information that animals use to forage for food. It’s the same circuit. Why is that? Because we figured out that knowing where the food is is more important than having the food. Knowing where the food is is a form of meta-food—information is a form of meta food, and that’s why we’re information foragers. That idea is embedded into the story of Adam and Eve: whatever it is that they ingest is a form of meta food. It’s information.

Jordan Peterson – Biblical Series IV

Like almost all software developers, especially the self-taught ones, I love learning new things. It’s probably even a coping mechanism for stress… the trick being to at least channel it toward learning useful things.

Throughout life, one of my greatest character struggles has been converting knowledge into productivity. This blog is part of my attempt to burn off the fact-fat into chiseled apps and a more powerful bench(mark).

I am intellectually obese.

Learning new things is good.

Learning new useful things is better.

Learning a lot of new useful things is great, as long as the knowledge gets converted into productive actions.

Learning a lot of new useful things and failing to use any of the knowledge gained leads to intellectual obesity.

Intellectual obesity is bad.