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Achievement Unlocked! - INBOX ZERO

Achievement Unlocked! - INBOX ZERO

As a software developer, program manager, small business owner and digital viking with shade-tree mechanical inclination on the side, it is often a daunting, if not impossible, feat to clear out my Inbox.  In fact, this hasn't happened in so long that I don't rightly recall when was the last time.  So, I thought I would take a few moments, now that I don't have this cloud hanging over my head and tell you a little bit about how I have been able to accomplish this heroic moment. Use Your Tools As with anything in life, if you don't get the right tools, or even worse, use the tools ones you have them, it is just a big fat waste of your time.  As you can see in the screenshot above, I use Google's Inbox platform for emails.  I used to use Gmail, but switched to Inbox a while ago, not because it was more capable, but because it had less clutter and I am happy to see that Gmail is slowly being redesigned to fit this demand.  And don't worry, it still has fo
To Help or Not To Help: That IS the question

To Help or Not To Help: That IS the question

Today, I wrote this response to a recent article on Medium : Yes! Setting boundaries is very important This got me thinking about how most of my opportunities started by helping someone else. For instance, yesterday, near the end of a codementor session , my mentee said: "I know your time is valuable, but..." The story of Beauty and the Beast comes to mind here. Btw, has anyone seen the remake? I wish all remakes honored the original with the same passion. What a cast! But, really, there is a huge lesson in there: The Road to True Wealth is Littered with Obfuscated Golden Opportunities "OK, but, where is this invisible Gold you speak and how do I sniff it out, my sweet Norah?" "Why, it is right under your nose, my good friend!" Here is the secret: Go-to the places where people are looking for your help. Seems too simple, right? Well, it really is! In marketing terms: find out where your target market hangs out. Here is an example: let&#
7 Tips to Reduce Stress & Get More Done

7 Tips to Reduce Stress & Get More Done

I don't know about you, but I definitely get exhausted after a day filled with reactive vs proactive work.  There is no doubt that self-management is a challenge and I am always looking for new mental tricks to be as productive as possible.  If any of you are having similar issues, try some of these simple steps: 1. Write down requests (so they out of your head) Many people get caught up trying to use their email communications as a task tracking tool.  However, sooner than later, you will "loose" an email and spend the better part of an afternoon searching for it only to discover that the subject was unrelated to the request and/or expected keywords are missing.  I think everyone has run across one of these cryptic emails once or twice. Instead, try to pivot from reactive to proactive work style by logging requests into a PM tool.  Some awesome existing web tools are Trello , Teamwork , Asana and for the more daring, Podio . 2. Itemize major steps (as neede
Freelancing In A Nutshell

Freelancing In A Nutshell

I never thought my first post on LinkedIn would be about a talent service. But, here I go. I have been a freelance software developer and project manager for almost 3 years. Yay?! My biggest challenge on this journey has been finding clients that can afford to keep me interested. People love to work with me, not because I am a yes person, but because I am patient, friendly and a realist. Unfortunately, this often results in clients that don't live up to my expectations. Often, these clients do not make essential decisions and/or do not provide essential information in order for me to provide the level of quality I have promised. So, I found myself transitioning from Independent Software Developer to Project Manager. Sufficient requirements gathering is hard. But, it also absolutely necessary for success. This is where I hope toptal will fill in the gaps. I myself have thought about starting my own talent agency and/or creating a project management tool the freelancer/small