Sebastian De Deyne

Focussing, Roaming & running

Hi!

In my previous newsletter I talked about finishing JavaScript Framework Diet. Unfortunately, my instant gratification monkey got the best of me so I haven’t added any more parts.

That said, procrastination doesn’t necessarily mean sitting still. I’ve been posting a lot on my blog lately. My favorites were Building on the web isn’t building for the web and Going deep.

Focussing

When I feel overwhelmed, it’s often because I’m switching contexts too often or took on too much. Jumping from task A, to B, to C, back to B, on and on again. I’ve been here before. It means I should take a step back, and see what I can do to improve my situation. Right now I’m working on two measures.

Reserve time for deep work. I have meetings and other recurring tasks on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. That’s fine, they’re things that need to happen, but it also means it’s hard to get deep work done. 

I’m doubling down on that by scheduling all small or support tasks and meetings on those days. Unless the building’s on fire, I try to exile myself on Tuesdays and Thursdays to work on things that require deep focus and thinking.

Hell yeah!, or no. As Derek Sivers says:

When deciding whether to do something, if you feel anything less than “Wow! That would be amazing! Absolutely! Hell yeah!” — then say “no."

This isn’t just saying no to other people, but more importantly to myself.

Roaming

I almost got rid of Roam last month. For those that haven’t heard of Roam, it’s a note-taking tool that focusses on “linked thoughts”. In most note-taking apps you create pages, in Roam your create blocks that are linked to each other. Notes are stored in a graph instead of a hierarchy.

While I was happy with Roam, I didn’t spending enough time in it to justify the price. It wouldn’t break the bank, but it’s expensive compared to other options. Somehow, two days after cancelling my subscription I felt bad about giving up so soon. Watching some videos from Nat Eliason pulled me back in, and I decided to give it another go.

The first thing I had already missed about Roam is how it makes note taking effortless. No more thinking about what folder a note belongs in, and no more hours spent on things like tag management. I just dump my thoughts in “daily notes”, and Roam takes care of the rest when I reference them.

Another thing Roam changed is the way I read articles. I don’t just read articles anymore. I highlight and store what I’ve read, and immediately add my own thoughts to them. This also makes it easier to reference sources or just share links on my blog, because work is already done.

I’m still in the process of discovering my workflow in Roam, which I’ll explore in future blog posts.

Running

Well, I didn’t expect to quote Boris Johnson any time soon.

The great thing about going for a run, at the beginning of the day, is that nothing could be worse for the rest of the day. Once, if you go in really hard, if you really take some exercise at the beginning, the rest will be a breeze.

I gotta say this is an interesting motivator to move more often. I’ve started to go on morning runs every now and then, and I have to say it does help clear my head before starting the day.

More on the blog

This month I wrote a small thank you note to Moment.js. Besides that, my favorite posts were Building on the web isn’t building for the web and Going deep.

The rest of the posts I’ve written:

And some links I shared:

Smalltalk

Bonobo & TEED Essential Mix. Two of my favorite artists made an Essential Mix together, I’ve been listening to that a lot lately.

I’m very excited about the new Star Trek Discovery season! I’ve only seen the first episode, but it felt more like a Star Wars show than Star Trek (a good thing, of course)

On the horizon

I have a few posts in the pipeline which I’ll publish soon. Besides that, no big plans. I’m trying to say no, remember?

Until the next issue,

Seb