How are you doing? I'm writing this newsletter with a half-numb arm from playing Badminton. I should have stopped doing sport with 30 ...
With this newsletter, I'm starting an experiment. I'm turning the content upside-down. Same content as usual (link to the latest article on reflectoring, and an inspirational nugget), but in reversed order.
I'm putting the weekly inspirational nugget front and center, and add the link to the latest article as secondary content below.
Why? Because the survey results from the last couple of newsletters make me suspect that there's more value for you in those inspirational nuggets than in the content updates!
Let me know in the survey questions on each content item what you think about them.
Inspirational Nugget of the Week
Pick a Daily Highlight to Focus on
I'm often distracted from the task I want to be doing.
I see my smartphone and want to check my Twitter feed. Having written that sentence, I feel the urge to do this right now, even though I have done so 5 minutes ago.
I have this other task in the back of my mind and want to start on that task, just so that I can say to myself that I have started it. For me, currently, this is starting to write on the next chapter of a book I'm writing.
There are lots of situations similar to that. All have in common that my brain wants to trick me into doing something else than I'm currently doing.
For the really important stuff, like writing this weekly newsletter, what helps me stay focused is to schedule time for it. And not just any time, but "highlight time".
"Highlight time" is a term I learned from the book"Make Time"(this link goes to my book notes).
The idea is to pick a highlight to work on every day. This highlight is planned in advance, so my brain is primed to want to get it out of the way to make room for the next highlight.
In my case, I actually have two highlights a day - one highlight for my day job, and one highlight for my blogger side hustle.
I pick the highlights I want to work on the day before. I also answer the question "why do I want to do this?" the day before, so my brain doesn't ask that question during the highlight time.
Then, I schedule some time in the calendar for these highlights. No more than an hour or two. If it takes more time, I usually split it up into multiple highlights.
During highlight time, I try to create an environment that keeps me on task. I hide my phone, close the door, and put my "Get into the Flow" playlist on (currently, that's acapella versions of my childhood computer game soundtracks by Smooth McGroove - yes, there is such a thing as acapella chiptunes).
With this combination of explicitly scheduling time in advance, enforcing a productive environment, and having only one or two daily goals, I trick my brain into focus mode. It doesn't always work, but often enough that I'm happy with this method.
Try picking a daily highlight to see how it works for you!
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AWS' Cloud Development Kit, or CDK in short, is an infrastructure-as-code toolset that allows us to deploy not only applications, but the whole infrastructure surrounding these applications with a single CLI command.
This article is a complete sample chapter of our upcoming book, Stratospheric, and is a great place to get started with CDK.