a little product management

Even if you’re just a developer, a little product management will open your eyes.

I know, you think it’s all about marketing, and it is, sort of, but from time to time an article series like Practical Rules for Product Management makes it fun, even for non marketers. So, enjoy:

it’s not that important

Moving slow lets you finish faster.
Asynchronous communication doesn’t make you less productive, it makes you more productive.
Meetings for the sake of meeting are just poison. They just take everybody out of their flow.

If people tell you that it’s important, it’s critical, it can’t wait, it’s high priority, take it with a grain of salt.
Few things in life are important or critical, people make them appear that way.

don’t wait for chance, change

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”

– Jim Rohn

If you don’t like what you’re doing at work… do something else.

If you can’t do something else at work, get a hobby… it will push you in the right direction.

You don’t like doing anything at all? Now that’s a big fat lie.

There’s always something else… that can make you happy.

There’s no magic fairy that is going to come along and fix everything. You’re not that lucky, nobody is.

Change, work harder, and it will pay off.

inbox zero heresy

Lately I’ve seen a lot of people posting and tweeting, bragging about how zero their inbox is. This is funny and sad at the same time.

envelopes

It’s funny because they’re getting it wrong… it’s never about having an empty inbox. It’s sad because at the end of the day they have an empty inbox but they didn’t get anything done… they were too busy getting their inbox to zero :)

Maybe the name ruins it all.

Maybe people get it as “I should spend as much time as possible checking my email, cleaning it, moving it to folders or deleting it so I can get it out of my mind, because that has some sort of psychological effect, relieving me of my pains and stress”, taking it from an ongoing habit to permanent effort.

It’s ironic that something meant to help sort things out and liberate more time for creative and productive work… actually transforms into a time-consuming and stressful (“not at inbox zero yet… have to get there… omg”) activity.

Think about this: If you’re checking your email every 5 minutes, you’re checking for new email 24.000 times per year.  

What’s worse is that it turns into some sort of procrastination aid.

It feels like productive work, because you are clearing stuff out. Right? You are advancing and getting somewhere.  Right?

Well, no. Inbox zero isn’t somewhere.

Don’t set your goal to have inbox zero… set your goal to actually get more things done right, both in quantity and quality and you’ll get somewhere.

Change is inherent – expect it

Everything changes, nothing remains without change.

– Buddha (Gautama Siddharta)

In my last post I was talking about treating everything as a project and how change is inherent. This is one of the principles that I live by, one of the simple rules that guide me.
For me, there are 2 ways to handle change:

  • believe it when people say that something is set in stone, unchangeable… fixed – and have an incredibly bad day when everything changes
  • always consider everything in flux. have a plan and try to execute it – hope for the best but expect the worst. be ready for change, and when everything goes as planned be happy that it did

 

It’s easier to embrace change when it happens if your expectations are that everything will eventually change.

It’s even easier to embrace change when change is a part of your plan.

This way, you are always ready – never surprised.