Posts

The Year of Being Agile -- Agile Risk Management, Entanglement (Office Space Edition)

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Bet you thought I forgot about this series, didn't you? I admit I got distracted by the EBER project but 2017 is still the year of being agile.

One of the things that bugs me about traditional risk management is that you have a "risk register" where all your individual risks go to live and are then mitigated, one by one, through your risk process. This makes no sense to me.

Risks aren't discrete and independent units. In fact, risks come in interrelated webs, with dependencies that impact each other's likelihood and potential severity. Let me give you an example:

Randolph has been dealing with chronic stress-related health issues. They come from his job, which is 12 kinds of shit in a shit box. He can't afford to quit his job, first because they don't pay enough to build up a cushion of savings and second, because they pay his health insurance. He also can't find a new job because, hello? health issues again. So his health is a risk, his job is a risk…

Life is Too Short to Eat Shit -- Media Edition

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As I mentioned before, one of my personal maxims is that life is too short to eat shit. And it turns out that even the Pope agrees with me.

So in thinking about self-imposed limits on media, I've been subjecting everything to a smell test. If it smells like shit, I've been cutting it out. But this is tricky because I want to distinguish shit from things that aren't shit, but that have a smell I don't particularly like. Because if I only subject myself to things that smell lovely, well then I'm back in the bubble. And none of us can afford to be in the bubble right now.

Here are the metrics I've been using:
How relevant it is? Local traffic and weather is highly relevant to my life. The more relevant it is, the easier it is to validate. They say that the snow will start around 1pm, did it? In most cases, relevant = local. However, there are things that are potentially relevant on a larger scale. You know what's not relevant though? Almost everything coming ou…

How to Become a Project Manager -- Lessons From the Corporate World

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Since this has come up a couple of times recently (in both my online and IRL lives), I thought it would be useful to spread the PM gospel. While I believe that everyone can benefit from acquiring some PM skills in order to meet their own goals, there are also some people for whom project management would be a good career.

First of all, why would anyone want to be a project manager for a living?

The skills are cross functional and can be used in many industries, from computers to medical care to construction. That means more options in the job market based on other skills you already have.The money is good. Let's just be blunt about it. PMs make a good living. They tend to be respected and valued for the work they do.Your job isn't going to get replaced by a robot any time soon.The role isn't easy to off-shore (and if you have PM skills managing off-shore teams, you are doubly valuable).You don't need -- and likely don't even want -- a college degree in PM. This is a …

EBER Project -- Play to Your Strengths (Lessons from the Corporate Sphere)

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This post is an expansion of part of this earlier post on setting big goals. If you are trying to figure out what big thing to pursue, I still recommend that post (plus it has a nifty Dr. Horrible theme). This post is about just one important piece of that... focusing on what you do well.

The idea is to play to your strengths and talents. Not because working on your weaknesses is bad but because it's not the best use of your energy. And for a really big goal, you need all the energy you can get. Being athletic has never been a strength of mine, but in looking at ways to be more fit, I need to focus on things I can do. Joining a sports team would be terrible idea, but an activity where I only compete with myself and have a way of seeing progress... that plays to my strengths.

Lots of business and life coaches suggest playing on strengths, so I went hunting for actual research that backs it up. And there is plenty. Plus doing a lot of what you suck at just kind of sucks. It's not …

Bullet Ephemeris Public Service Announcement

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Ever since mentioning my Bullet Ephemeris (and then blogging about it), I've been seeing masses of directed advertising for custom hardbound planner books. I am frankly stunned at the number and variety of these, to the point that I feel obliged to make sort of a public service announcement.

Each of these ads makes roughly the same claims for their product:

It will help you achieve every single goal you've ever even remotely contemplatedIt will turn you into hyper-achieving accomplishment machinesIt will banish all stress, wasted time, and bad hair-days from your lifeIt is, each and every one, better than all the others
Sigh. Let's have a little chat.

First of all, writing stuff down and being organized isn't a bad thing. But if a fancy form you fill out was all it took to meet your goals... well, there wouldn't be literally dozens of these out there on the Internet. This is why I don't ever give templates to my private consulting clients. In part because I lear…

FAQs About my Consulting Services

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Well, there's been a lot of interest in my consulting services since I went on Gordon's podcast. And I've gotten several questions that I though would be useful to answer here.



First of all, what consulting services? Go take a look -- if you ever wanted to be more organized or have someone to help you get your shit together, well that's what I do. And if you want to combine that with magic for even more leverage? That's my specialty.

FAQs
How do I start?
I usually like to start with a free half hour Skype chat. I learn what you're after and you to learn how I work. The goal is to decide whether we're a good fit before you spend any money.

How do you work?
I'm neither a therapist or life coach. I like to keep things super practical. Every minute of our consultation needs to be productive and you should come away feeling like you have concrete next steps. You will have homework that I review before the next session. That means our time together is more foc…

The EBER Project -- When Goals Attack

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When I started planning my major, three year project (dubbed Early to Bed, Early to Rise -- EBER) I knew it was important to immediately begin working on one or two of the goals. So I broke down part of the project into epics and then chose a couple of stories to get started on. This even before initiating the project.

This is useful because it keeps me from getting too caught up in planning. I need to be making traction even while the rest of the plan comes into focus.

My two chosen epics were around physical fitness and information gathering. Now, there's an argument to be made against focusing on too many things at once. But there's also some logic around intelligently picking stories that compliment one another.

My physical fitness stories are primarily physical -- though they have emotional and mental benefits. They are active but allow me time to think. My information gathering stories are mental / spiritual. They are contemplative but require focus and quiet time.

So th…