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Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

After a whirlwind week of travel up and down the west coast (a flight every single day, Monday through Friday), I’ve made it safely back to New England with a new appreciation for clean air and the crisp cold climate of late fall. I did miss the first snow of the season by a day, but that’s fine – there’s always next year.

I was out in California this past week to kick off a contract with a client, which is why the blog has been largely silent. They were in the Bay area, so I got to see first-hand some of the issues caused by the fires out there. It was bad – visibility was obscured by the smoke and the air felt pretty toxic.

I actually saw one of the fires on my flight into LA (had meetings there as well). It’s small, but there’s a column of smoke in the middle upper right:

I hear things are clearing up – hopefully everything will be back to normal for them soon.

As for me, now that I’m back, I’m going to be posting again regularly. I’m also going to be working on filling that contract for the next four to six weeks. And that’s where the title of this blog becomes a horrible play on words, because…

…the contract is forty hours a week. Which means I’m back to full-time, regularly scheduled programming, for the first time since the end of April of this year.

I apologize for the pun. 😭

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Setting Up A New Computer

So I just got a new computer for a client, and thought I’d run you guys through the series of steps I do to set up a new computer, along with notes about the current system for my own future reference.

No spoilers, but this is a profoundly dissatisfying post. If it helps, I was just as annoyed as you will be.

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Reflections On Value

Throughout the process of building a successful digital agency, the concept of value has resurfaced over and over again. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately and wanted to make some time today to organize and share those thoughts.

I once heard money referred to as “basically nothing more than stored energy” by Jordan Belfort, the Wolf of Wall Street.

It’s a new twist on the classic expression “time is money,” which is so pithy that its depth is often overlooked (at least by me). Like I mentioned in my post on building habits, many common sayings have a lot of truth packed into them, but sometimes without context or sufficient reflection that truth can is lost.

So today we’re going to take some time and use both of these sayings as a launch pad to talk about what value is and where it comes from.

⚠️ The following could get slightly philosophical. Turn back here, all ye who fear, uh, thinking.

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I Code With a Pen

Coding with a pen

Sometimes, I struggle to look at the bigger picture when I’m in code mode. I’ll get caught up in implementation details and the excitement of naming variables and other low-level problem-solving. When I get like this (which is often), I wind up trapped in a loop of starting a potential solution, then realizing it won’t work, then diving into another half-thought-through idea and then realizing that’s no good either.

It can take ten, twenty, sometimes even thirty minutes before I realize what’s going on and decide to step back and look at the bigger picture.

But when I do, I have one tried-and-true solution to allow my brain to unwind and take in the problem as a whole: close the laptop. Or, at least push it away.

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How To Build Good Habits

Most of us realize intuitively that habit-building is necessary to create value. We do it instinctively. If you get up and write every morning, eventually you’ll have a book. If you work out every day, you’ll end up jacked. These are not mystical guru statements, just every-day common sense.

However, as with many of the things we intuitively understand and do, there are ways to improve how effective our habit-building is.

If value leads to success, and habits lead to value, it stands to reason that we should put a lot of effort into learning how to build habits more effectively. So take five minutes out of your day and skim this article. If at least one thing I’ve written doesn’t blow your mind, my Twitter is @elliotbnvl – feel free to shame me publicly. 😅

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