The other night a student asked me, "don't you ever get tired of dealing with stuff that doesn't have answers?" This question deserves some consideration. The first thing you might think is that just because we don't know the answer doesn't mean that there's not an answer. Another way to say it … [Read more...] about On the Uncertainty of Life
In his latest post on Ground Hog Day Resolutions, Dave wrote: "Personally, there are some personal creative goals I'd like to pursue: Play an instrument / Play one song well Compose a song with an interesting arrangement" I recently had an experience with this arena and would like to share … [Read more...] about Buying and Choosing an Instrument
I've fallen off of blogging for a long (long) time for primary reason that I spent way too much time in front of the computer and not enough time doing things that I enjoy much more. Reasons I stopped blogging: Too much time in front of computer Not enough time to write about what I wanted to … [Read more...] about Why I Quit Blogging
One of the things I like most about the GTD-methodology is how easy it is to get back on the GTD horse once you've fallen off. One of the things I like least about the GTD-methodology is how easy it is to fall off of the horse. Given the discussions that have occurred on the blogosphere about … [Read more...] about Falling Off of the Horse and GTD
One thing that many academics hitting the job market overlook is the importance of negotiating the initial offer made by the interested institutions. (Historically, women and people of color are much less likely to negotiate for that few extra grand.) What I want to stress is how important this … [Read more...] about Negotiating Your Starting Salary: The Importance of That Extra Few Grand
Chris over at Lifehack has a brief article on his morning routine. I've found a similar technique to be especially helpful for the day. I try to get up two hours (yep, two hours) before I absolutely have to be anywhere. Half of the time is spent on either exercise or stretching, and the other … [Read more...] about Lifehack: The Importance of a Central Project List
Dustin over at Lifehack wrote a nice post for students on how to improve their writing. Last night I was going through the first round of this with my students as well. The point I found most insightful was the following: Start in the middle. One of the biggest problems facing writers of all … [Read more...] about Lifehack: Advice for Students: 10 Steps Toward Better Writing
A note from Charlie: This post was published before I developed the S.T.A.R method, which is a much more effective way to handle the volume of email we get nowadays. 2007 was a much simpler era of email management. Email has become the primary method of communication for most people in nearly all … [Read more...] about R.A.F.T: Managing Email Rather Than Letting Email Manage You
I had an amazing thing happen this semester: every student turned in every assignment on time. I don't think that happened due to the caliber of students or the time I was teaching the course, for those things didn't make that big of a change in other dimensions of the course. The reason why it … [Read more...] about The Value of Not Accepting Late Work
Glen has recently posted an article on LifeDev that resounds quite true. My original peak-time was in the morning from about 7:30 to 11:30, but I stopped getting up earlier and have actually managed to collapse onto the time of 8:30 to 12:30. Sometimes I catch another sprint from 1:30 to 5pm, but … [Read more...] about Morning Person Tester: Are You Working At the Wrong Time?
I'm currently designing my next course and I am faced with a problem that gets me every semester: what's the best way to teach students how to write well while balancing that objective with many others? Many people in my department subscribe to the "look-Ma-no-hands" pedagogical principle, which … [Read more...] about Teaching Students to Write: Dealing with the Perennial Problem of the Pile of Crap
Some days you wake up knowing that you're not going to get much done (today was one of those days for me). Popular wisdom would tell you to drink your joe, open up your work, and get to it. In this case, I think popular wisdom is wrong. Let's suppose that you've got a 20-page project that you've … [Read more...] about To Work or Not to Work…That Is the Question
Okay, so there's a plethora of blogs out there about personal productivity (I personally enjoy 43folders and LifeDev). However, their appeal is either based on programmers, as Merlin's is, or is too general. I've often found myself asking, "How the !@#@! do I translate this good stuff into my … [Read more...] about Yet another blog on time management?!