Fear-based procrastination

Half of what I read about procrastination, focus, and productivity seems to ignore what for me has always been the prime driver of procrastination: fear. The unfearing view of procrastination focuses on perfectly reasonable advice, some of which I also give, which helps alleviate some symptoms. But the best way to beat fear-based procrastination is […]

Embrace the suck, writers’ edition

In a post titled Find It in the Edit, I mentioned that your first draft is going to suck, and that seven drafts into the writing process is halfway there. I was making a point about the importance of editing. But I should have made another point: “The suck is normal. It’s almost requisite. Embrace […]

Consistency, punctuation and the oxford comma

One of the most popular posts on this blog is the one where I suggest foregoing consistency when using (or not) the oxford comma in UI. Did I really suggest punctuating inconsistently? Yes. Yes, I did. Readers don’t care about your company’s consistency; they care about clarity. With vocabulary, being inconsistent is a great way […]

Users don’t always ask the right question

Inspired by this post about the XY Problem, let’s talk about how users can approach documentation from a totally unhelpful angle. The gist of the XY Problem is that “I was doing X and it’s not working” is not the same as “I was trying to solve Y; was X the right way to do […]

Whose team are you on?

As an IC, your main structure at work is a team of other ICs. As a manager, you manage a team of ICs, but are yourself working alongside other managers. This means you and your ICs are, in effect, on two different teams. This blew my mind a little when it first happened to me. […]

Attention management for writers, part 4: Research notes

Research notes. A bombastic name for what is usually a bunch of half formed thoughts and snatches of typos. But you know what I mean. Why am I talking about research notes? Because, at least for me, messy notes – especially if they’re physically scattered among multiple sources (notebook, bits of paper, several different files) […]

Attention management for writers, part 3: The obligatory Slack and email post, or: guilt management for writers

Until now, we’ve focused on calming the chaos of our internal voice. Now it’s time we talked about that other attention killer: external voices. And, because I like to cheat, their influence on our internal voice. One thing you can do this week: Understand the difference between objective obligations and emotions. Nothing new here Honestly, […]