Lately, I have struggled to keep up with my writing. Actually, that’s not true. I haven’t had any problem writing. My struggle has been publishing and getting out of the small updates here and there mindset.
Recently I realized:
$ ls -la drafts | wc -l
I’m sitting on 74 posts, half of which could be easily cleaned up and published, but my motivation to complete these hasn’t quite clicked yet. I blamed it on a busy month, travel, moving, and a holiday weekend, but really those are all just excuses.
So this week, to wipe the dust off of my publish button, I wanted to do another Five for Friyay post which focused on ideas that I love and want to write about.
What’s in My Bag, 2017 edition
I love What’s in My Bag posts and Matt Mullenweg’s semi-annual posts are great. I generally find one or two gems which I can add to my own system. This is a post and format that I definitely plan on covering soon.
Andrew Godwin’s Travelling Notes
Andrew shares his travel tips and observations. The post dates back to 2014, but most of the material is still very relevant even though Andrew has upgraded Surface Books a few times over :)
Kerry Benjamin’s A Year of Data: Down, but not Out.
If you have ever faced burnout or if you are considering adding more to your plate, Kerry’s post gives some excellent tips for avoiding burnout.
I should have known better to try all of that at once. I couldn’t fully dedicate time to the tasks of others and couldn’t really deliver. Managing the time I used to study and practice was difficult. And with job hunting, it ended up being one rejection after another. This period of time was filled with frustration that eventually turned into burnout and depression. I had doubts about my path and skills. I couldn’t get motivated and basically turned away from tech related things for months. That included people, events, and Twitter. It was by far one of the lowest periods in my life I had ever faced.
I know several people who have faced this type of burnout. I have been there before too, but I was stuck in a few dead-end jobs along the way.
How I live: Organizing my finances
One of my biggest mistakes has been not prioritizing myself and my future and investing at an earlier age. I realized this in my 30s after bouncing from one startup to another and then another. Each one promised big things once we achieved our goals yet nothing ever came of it.
Now when I work with friends who are landing their first industry job, I try to walk them through saving some amount of money every month and having a plan like Stephen’s financial system. Stephen’s plan might not work for you, but it’s important to start with something even if it’s putting money into a savings account and then working up to a Roth IRA or Vanguard account.
How to automate your Mac OS X setup with Ansible
I have most of my systems automated using Ansible and I keep meaning to do a write-up about it. Ricbra’s setup can give you some idea of how powerful and easy Ansible is to use.
My dotfiles setup is on GitHub and I use Ansible via a Makefile to make my setup repeatable without having to remember which command line flags and options need to be passed in. I make small changes to it all the time so check back for updates.
Thanks to Heather Luna for advice on and corrections to a draft of this article. She’s amazing.