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Showing posts from October, 2008

"Practice" as it applies to development

CNN Money had an interesting article on "deliberate practice".   It essentially says that the top performers in any field get there by relentlessly learning to be better at what they do, rather than due to inborn talent, and that "deliberate practice" is not what most people do.

This is not a new idea, but it seems to be a good one.  Ronny Max blogged about it over two years ago, and she cited "Freakanomics" as her source, which was first published in 2005.

Geoff Colvin (the author of the CNN piece) cited eight elements that distinguish it from what most other people consider practice:
It is designed specifically to improve performance.It is usually most effective when repeated a lot.Continuous feedback is available.It is mentally demanding.It is difficult.Practitioners set specific goals focused on process (not just outcome).Practitioners "think about their thinking" while practicing.Practitioners evaluate their own performance carefully.I like th…

Productivity Tools

I have spent a lot of time trying to find the "perfect" system for personal productivity.  Here are a few things that I have learned...

Having a system to capture information is even more useful than I thought it would be.  I use something similar to the system described here, which is based on Microsoft OneNote.  In essence, every day (which means nearly every weekday, and some weekends) I create a new page with the date as the title, and then "dump" information into it.  I add checkboxes for to-do items, etc.  I also keep my "daily log" pages in the folder that synchronizes with OneNote on my phone, so today & the past few days of notes (plus a couple of persistent pages) are always on there.

This has worked out great as a to-do list, since OneNote also lets you see all "flagged" items, including those marked with different types of checkboxes.

This leaves out one very important thing, though - keeping information up-to-date in my own brain. …