Media - Marketing - Geek

Digital Media Strategist / Web Developer for Ohlmann Group

Stop Thinking 9-5

16 Sep

9-5Bob Dylan had it right in 1964 “the times they are a changin'”.  Actually they’ve changed it just depends if you’re keeping up with them. I remember reading years ago Tim Ferris 4 Hour Work Week and thought…seriously?! There is no way I could pull that off even if I worked for myself. My mind is too ADD with OCD. The concept was ideal for those that ‘could’ do it.

Fast forward to yesterday I read (and shared) an article from FastCompany with the title THE EXACT AMOUNT OF TIME YOU SHOULD WORK EVERY DAY.  This isn’t someone’s opinion. This was scientific. Here is their breakdown:

  • Schedule breaks into your daily calendar. Ideally every 52 minutes.
  • Set a timer to remind you when to take your break and when to return to work.
  • Make realistic to-do lists. “We often bog down our to-do lists and make them not feasible for us to accomplish [plus] we underestimate how long it’s going to take us to do something,” says Sexton.
  • Prioritize tasks. Choose three major tasks to focus on for the day and add other tasks as they pop up throughout the day to a separate list, readjusting your priorities throughout the day if required. It’s a lot easier to look at a list of three tasks than 30. Once you knock off the first three items, choose your next three priorities from your lengthier list.

Let me just point out the the one that stood out to me: 52 minutes. This is rather specific. Those of us who look at code 52 minutes can turn into 3 hours. It happens.

One of the companies I am constantly amazed at is that of Automattic. This morning I saw an article from Amiee Groth where she writes about The makers of WordPress learned years ago that the ultimate office perk is not having an office. WordPress powering over 20% of the internet and the majority of the company doesn’t clock in at 8am? How is this possible? </sarcasm>

In the article Matt Mullenweg gives a great quote, ““We have this factory model, and we think someone’s working if they show up in the morning and they’re not drunk, they don’t sleep at their desks, they leave at the right time. But that has so little to do with what you create. And we all know people who create a lot without fitting into those norms.”

Just because you clock in doesn’t mean you’re productive.

I know I personally finding myself thinking of a project at midnight and end up knocking out a problem in 20 minutes that I’ve been working on all.freaking.day.

Bottom line: when do you find yourself most productive?

WordCamp Tracks Are Overrated

28 Aug

I love WordCamp’s. Hell, I even helped put one together in Dayton. Yet, the way they’re laid out are horrible. WordCamp Tracks are truly overrated.

*GASP*

Let me explain.

The majority of WordCamps are broken down into two or three tracks that people can attend:

  1. User
  2. Power User*
  3. Developer

*Those WordCamp’s with 2 usually remove the Power User.

So, attending a WordCamp can become limited especially if its your first time. While you might not know how to code plugins you do know how to create pages, edit content, or even change out the settings. Or, what if you’re a developer know about php but know nothing about WordPress?

Now, the decisioning becomes more complex.

The drawing below I snapped from Brian Retterer put together at North Canton’s WordCamp after-party where we the topic resulted in tracks and the various levels.

WordCamp Tracks

…and I think he hit the nail on the head. A beginner developer could be undecided between attending a Power User or  Developer track. People can’t just be placed in one category and we have to understand that when organizing WordCamps.

In fact this something I plan on bringing up for WP Decoded’s next  HOA this Sunday.

In order to create a better experience for attendees and speakers – organizers need to utilize this concept. I know it will be in my forefront when planning for WordCamp Dayton 2015 starts.

34 Years In: 12 Months In Review

28 Aug

Back To Writing

This weekend I turn 34. Yes, I know its not that old but yet with three kids you really need to add 15 to it.

In the past few years I have done my previous year review. Before looking ahead in life we must look back and see what we overcome to understand that future is wide open.

This time last year some of my goals were:

  • I plan on taking on Matt Cutts 30 Days challenge starting September 1st.
  • Hopefully a big announcement from Dayton WordPress…if everything works out.
  • Try and present at more WordCamps.
  • More importantly now that we have a ‘home’ its time to spend more time with the family.

Let’s see I am happy to say that the biggest one on the list was accomplished. New home with my growing family. While stressful – its great to come home to…my home.

The next on the list was presenting at more WordCamps.

Hell yeah I have. In the past 12 months I spoke at North Canton for the second time, Columbus, Ann Arbor (In October) then was…wait for it…and Dayton. Yeah, that big announcement was Dayton having its first WordCamp. A smashing success if I do say so myself. We ended up having over 150 attendees and a great lineup of speakers. While it took me a few weeks to recover I am excited for next year.

Then there was the 30 day challenge…that didn’t work out too well, if at all.

Moving forward.

The next 12 months:

  • Organize the 2nd Dayton WordCamp (and not present)
  • Release and automate side projects (more on that later)
  • Build and Engage with my network

What about you what has been your personal challenge?