post-mortem: my presentation at impact hub

a portion of my tech-savvy friends give talks. software developers get together for show-and-tell sessions that serve as networking and hiring opportunities (the events that i have attended have been very casual). some friends give their talks at conferences (e.g. deconstruct conf), and others at meetups (like donut.js). one of the best talks i’ve seen was one in which the speaker showed us how they used code to create the most dissonant music possible. they were followed by a woman (a banker by day) who used code to sort through produce plu codes.

so talks are happening and they’re useful and cool – i wanted to get in on the hype. so i put together my presentation using what i had learned from interviewing folks on ‘the orbit’. i asked my contact at impact hub if they could fit me into the calendar, and they said yes. easy peasy.

the hard part was making / rehearsing the presentation. i really had no idea who would show up, which meant that i didn’t know if my talk about seem stupid or inaccessible. i figured it would be best to not overthink it, and just focus on the things i liked and thought were useful.

i outlined the presentation in notion several times, then put together a google slides document. i went through three drafts before i settled on the one i was going to give. i practiced out loud in front of my girlfriend, and then video’d myself and sent it to lito who has a lot of experience with giving talks. both of them gave me meaningful and constructive feedback, which helped me further tune in the talk.

eight people showed up (less than i expected but still good). this meant that i could get to know my audience deeply and learn about their businesses and what they were hoping to get out of my presentation. my favorite bit was hearing about their projects. i find that many folks are embarking on really interesting, individual projects and i am always happy to see ways i can help (usually it is recommending a tool or a book).

if i were to do this again, i would really want to lean into the data more. i want to show hard and true facts that will illustrate my point: the future of work is coming, and its for everyone. if we figure out how to adjust to sustainable work structures, we’ll be well positioned to have meaningful careers that are fueled by our individual interests, passions, and talents.

i revamped my linkedin

i don’t care for linkedin. but i know i need it if i am going to get the career that i want. so, i fleshed out the descriptions of my previous work experience, added some credentials i have, and generally focused on making my profile look full and fresh. like a bouquet or something.

at the end of this month, i will be giving a talk at seattle’s impact hub. it’s part of their “lunch + learn” series for entrepreneurs. i’ll be talking about professional and creative orbits, which is an obsession of mine. instead of burning out, i will be sharing strategies for sustainable workflow among folks who freelance or run their own businesses.

i’m excited about it, and i have a hunch that this talk will give people a better idea of who i am. more so than my linkedin. you can check out the details of the event here.

tired

today i’m pretty tired. i did a bunch of ‘productive stuff’ yesterday. now, i’m moving slow in the morning and taking some time to do things that i like. this includes reading, poking around the internet, and not pushing myself too hard.

burnout happens to a lot of us, and i am wondering if there is a way for me to overcome it. i often compare the struggle to calming a wild horse – my brain is bucking and itching to run, and it takes muscle and finesse to get me to a point where i am not destroying my body in the name of being ‘productive’.

it’s thursday. the weekend is soon. you’ve done a lot. don’t burn out.

patience is not my strong suit

i want things to happen very quickly, and unfortunately that’s an unrealistic expectation. so, i need to develop systems to ensure that i don’t get ahead of myself. one of those things is making a considered effort to slow down. another is giving myself projects that i can complete very quickly, or in a day. if i divide a project up into these specific chunks of constructions, suddenly i’ll have a big final product at the end.

i always forget this, the fact that what we do with our lives is what we do with our days. routines, then, help dramatically with my ability to finish a huge task. i know i will spend a little time every day, and this gives me comfort and allows me to envision the final project. for example, if i write a book, i need to know that i will write 600 words a day, and i need to know that i will have time every day to do that specific thing.

right now, i lack direction because i don’t clearly see my end goal. so i am gathering information and trying to build up my plan. it is loose, there are a ton of tangents, but i know that if i make at least one thing today, i’ll be that much closer to having a fully fleshed out final project a year from now.

the time of day matters

people are different, and the way people work varies as a result. i am a morning person, my girlfriend is a night owl. our productivity levels heavily depend on the differences in our personalities, upbringing, and values.

i’ve noticed that i get a lot of my writing done in the morning. in the evening, after 6pm, it is incredibly difficult for me to write. however, it is a great time to study. studying requires long instances of uninterrupted silence, which is more easily found when the day is done.

on the bus, i can get very little done. but, this is when i either listen to a podcast or a playlist. i can scroll through twitter and instagram, or take a moment to just think. the best part is identifying this window (and others) in a mindful way.

by identifying my morning hours as “office time”, evening hours as “study blocks”, and bus time as “focused play”, i now can sort my to do lists into the scheduling slot that works. i know that if i need to research health insurance plans, i might get the most out of it if it do it in the evening. if i need to write an e-mail to a client, i will do it in the morning when i’m writing anyway.

your system may be different from mine, but identifying the cycles of your work allows you to name them, and to categorize the tasks you can reasonably get done. and this is a kind of superpower.