“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments” — John Rohn


It’s the end of week one and I’m super excited about the Makers (pre-)course. In my last role / career, it was always valuable to reflect on the week and note/ share any lessons learnt. So my aim is to make this a weekly reflections blog.

I found the format of answering the following questions simple and useful:

  • What went well?
  • What could have gone better?
  • What will I do differently next week?
  • What else did I learn?

WHAT WENT WELL

1. Task completed!

There’s always something satisfying about finishing a task.

It’s important to appreciate that this is a learning process, however, just getting to the right answer, using all the skills I’d learnt from the materials, is damn satisfying.

And for getting through it, at this early stage, I am grateful.

2. ‘Notes first’ is a good habit

As much as I would love to do away with post-its, papers, shredders etc by living in a Sherlock-esk mind palace

…I don’t.

However, as a habit since school, I always take notes while I listen / learn / read. This worked well for the task as it meant I had all the information to hand when it came to tackling the challenge.

Recall is a tricky mistress. Stuff I’d thought I would remember when I wrote it, I was thankful for the notes on later. I can pick out the answer from multiple choice, but ask me to fill in the blank and I got nothing.

This does get easier; the more I used certain commands / processes the less I had to look. However, I’m not counting on remembering everything from this week, this time next week. So this is my new best friend:

Thanks to my brother for gifting me the most boyish looking notebook possible. Just for reference, I ❤ Moleskine ❤

3. I actually get this XKCD!

https://xkcd.com/149/

My inner geek is so happy and merrily snorting while laughing.

WHAT COULD HAVE GONE BETTER

1. Note to self: you do enjoy a good faff

Which is to say, I like to take my sweet time if left to my own devices.

Since starting my working life, I’ve pretty much had the pedal to the metal the whole time; picture Tetris…but each block is a meeting / activity… and there weren’t any gaps… and the lines didn’t disappear when you filled them.

However, having had the last couple of weeks off, I’ve rather taken to life at a slower, less efficient pace.

Couple this with an “all or nothing” tendency, and this meant I either:

  • didn’t code for consecutive days (23 minutes didn’t seem long enough to start something)
  • or, I did code, and became obsessed and forgot about everything else (things like friends, eating, sleeping etc).

Being at the two ends of this spectrum is neither productive nor healthy.

WHAT WILL I DO NEXT WEEK?

1. Build discipline through routine and by planning ahead

So, bearing in mind:

  • I have a tendency to faff
  • Mentally, I like to work in minimum 30 minute slots but once I pop, I won’t stop
  • I have had an awesome few weeks off living the life of leisure, spontaneity and gaiety
  • But I am actually a fan of organised fun and love a good schedule

I found that by following the timetable / routine I had previously used for work, it was a really good way to being productive again (this seems obvious but apparently, I had to relearn that).

Hence the quote for the title of this blog. Watch this space.

WHAT ELSE DID I LEARN?

1. Games make learning super fun!

I was already having a whale of a time learning the command line and how to use git/github.

Then I got to the challenge and my head exploded. With joy.

Instead of a quiz / test to assess our ability to regurgitate commands, Makers had set up a challenge to put what we’d learnt to use through a MURDER MYSTERY!

This both blew my mind and inspired me that you really can do anything with just a pinch of technical skill and an ounce of creativity. Kudos to Makers.


Interesting stuff shared with me this week

  1. Just do it

Thanks to an ex-colleague who is the Head of Technology and Innovation at my last firm who shared this article with me.

The lesson for me is — just do it. Get creative. Get building!

2. Success is an iceberg

Thanks to the co-founder of the last firm I worked with who shared this with me.

It’s a reminder of the blood, sweat and tears people don’t post on social media.