Natasha the Nomad has a post about prioritizing the “one thing” that has to be finished today, even if everything else slips:
When I wake up (or the night before), I think “What is the one thing that I can do today to feel like I had a successful day, even If I nothing else gets done today”. No matter what, I end up getting that one thing done.
I find this kind of approach really useful. Saying you’re only going to finish one thing is admitting the reality that for many days, if you’re unfocused or juggling too many tasks, there’s a lot of “work” but nothing gets done. When I work out of the house in the morning with my iPad Pro, my goal is equally simple: publish a single blog post. If I can take care of email, edit other draft posts, work on planning notes for a project, etc. — that’s great too.
After wrapping up 30 days of new coffee shops, last week I started visiting a library every day to work. Libraries and coffee shops don’t have that much in common, but they do share a couple basic traits that are necessary for working on a laptop or iPad: wi-fi and tables. In fact, I’ve found that it’s even easier to find an open table or couch in a library than in a busy coffee shop.
So far, so good. In the first week, I’ve visited Cedar Park Public Library, Wells Branch Community Library, Little Walnut Creek Branch, North Village Branch, Old Quarry Branch, Howson Branch, Westbank Community Library, and Yarborough Branch.
I also heard from readers who wanted to see more than the text microblog posts I did for coffee shops, so I’ve been trying to take more photos. These photos are tagged with #newlibraries too, so they’ll show up together with the library text posts. (Photos can be browsed over the web, but they don’t show up in the default RSS feed. The microblog posts also have their own feed.)
As I mention on episode 15 of Timetable, working out of the house in the morning helped provide some structure to the work day. I’d use the morning for writing blog posts and catching up on email, and the afternoon to focus on code. For libraries, I’m going one step further and only bringing the iPad Pro with me. This means that I’m using a small range of apps — Editorial, Mail, Safari, Slack — and reinforces the idea that I’m supposed to be writing.