Run meetings that neither suck nor waste time.

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Photo by Shashank Sahay

Reserve time for preparation and follow-up

Every one puts meetings in their calendar, but do you also reserve time for preparation and follow-up? Or do you have back-to-back meetings and end up frequently improvising or coming up with solutions on the spot?

Send agenda items in advance

This allows participants to prepare, know what to expect, and make informed decision on whether or not to attend the meeting.

Assign roles

Every item on the agenda should be assigned to the person in charge of the related project. Additionally, one person must chair the meeting, s/he is required to facilitate discussions (asserting professionalism and non-deviation from topic), control timing, and making sure that everyone is heard, not just the extroverts. …


Managing your time seems like an elusive task, the requirements are simple but applying them is frequently hard to sustain. One solution could be to automate as much as possible with tools that frequently nudge you in the right direction.

The following are 4 tools you can start using right away to help you better be more effective in time management.

Microbreaks

— Tool: TimeOut (Mac) / Work Rave (Linux, Windows)

Definition: A very short break (e.g. 15 seconds) every short block of work (e.g. 15 minutes), where one does not switch focus to another task, but just stops the current task, e.g. …


How are habits formed?

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Photo by Patrick Fore

It’s a hot summer day in Berlin, I am cycling alongside the spree, enjoying the fresh breeze, when I see a huge billboard for Heinken, with a glass full to the rim with what looks like very cold and refreshing beer (CUE).

I think to myself, gosh, it would probably taste amazing after I’ve been cycling for a few KMs now to stop and have a cold beer (CRAVING).

Five minutes later, I find myself searching for an biergarten to sit down and grab myself a cold one (RESPONSE).

Another five minutes and I am enjoying the feeling of cold beer down my throat (REWARD). …


Motivation — At the time of writing this post, there are 1,314 posts on Upwork for web scraping projects. As I contacted a few of them and checked their requirements, it became quite obvious that their needs are not complex but rather extensive.

I started building one scraper at a time, targeting the websites the clients wanted to scrape. After three happy clients, I realized that a simple format for defining the data (data to be scrapped) and making the script generic allowed me to cut the development time from a few hours to a few minutes.

Implementation

Basic scraping follows the…

About

Nader Alexan

Engineer Manager passionate about Psychology, understanding fellow Homo sapiens, and dogs

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