Since becoming a line manager several years ago, I’ve liked to explore creative ways to build productive, performant teams. This may be through the working environment, everyday habits, even novel use of our tools to build strong relationships.

There is one method I’ve adopted that is quite unique though but produced interesting results — group work-outs.

Now, I know this isn’t conventional (even possible for many people) but we’re quite lucky to have an on-site gym in our office which I’ve been making the most of over recent years.

Once a week, I’ve arranged a “personal” training schedule with one…

This year, I intend to take a different approach to social media to improve my health and wellbeing by embracing the Joy Of Missing Out aka. #JOMO.

This might come as a shock to those who follow me online — I know I have a serious case of TMI but this is me. That won’t change. I’ll still share things I learn and find interesting, be it from the world of tech, software engineering, team leadership or the occasional personal highlight.

I have a love-hate relationship with Twitter and Instagram — despite all intent to avoid both as their respective corporations try to satisfy stakeholders, I just keep coming back to the convenience of quick posting for personal records. …

TickTick is my new favourite productivity app for Getting Things Done™. Let me explain why and how I’ve made it part of my every day habit.

There’s no shortage of GTD posts out there; I’ll spare you the spiel of the common problem people have. (If you fancy an audio ramble, you can always have a listen to my rant with James Norton on GSD.)

As an engineering manager in a busy environment, I need my tool for managing tasks to be convenient, intuitive and organised.

This month, I reached a significant milestone in my time at ASOS — five years. It seems like an ideal opportunity for some reflection on the lessons learned.

Along with the praise and kudos for achieving this, there are a number of benefits that come with it too; extra holiday, a cheeky bonus, drinks with the top brass, even a different colour lanyard (pictured), which brings VIP treatment at the infamous bi-annual parties.

But what is it that motivated me to reach my longest duration ever throughout my career so far? I don’t think it was just these rewards…

One destination, many journeys


Episode 6 when James and Si discuss whether it’s possible to increase productivity without compromising on quality.

Episode 5 brings you three finely selected jingles from the previous episode’s Fiverr challenge. Have we found our theme music?

We want your feedback!

Which one is your favourite and which one(s) should we use (if any)?

Tweet @VerbalDiaryShow with your thoughts of the jingles (or even alternative suggestions).

Show Notes

Originally published at on May 22, 2018.

How I realised podcasts work better as discussions than solo acts

Last year, I started producing a fortnightly podcast called Si ‘Cast to try satisfy an itch; talking about things from tech, personal experiences from my day job and even discussions with friends.

I was fully aware of my limited capacity and how easy it is to burn out with extra commitments from side projects so I time-boxed the project to 3 months and planned to evaluate the situation after that.

It was quite satisfying to get back into multimedia production as this was my first foray back into video production since the “noughties”. I’ve been producing a house music…

In episode 4, James and Si rant about tech, rats and caravans along with discussions about podcast jingles and wireless earphones.

Show Notes

  • Fiverr
  • Apple Airpods
  • and more

Originally published at on May 8, 2018.

This episode, James and Si talk about the different types of people — early birds or night owls — and how difficult it is to find the right time for teams to arrange meetings.

Originally published at on April 20, 2018.

Episode 2 when James and Si discuss (in great detail) preferred apps for notes, tasks, emails and lists.

Show Notes

Originally published at on March 22, 2018.

Si Jobling

Engineering Manager at @ASOS. Aficionado for all things "D" in tech and digital; data, design, development and delivery.

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