Monthly update: Pointless habits and the cancellation of the WFH revolution

Jul 03, 2020 4:05 am

Hi !


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Here's what had my attention in June...


What I've been up to

🏒 I've been into our office in London a couple of times this month – once to interview a candidate, and once on the pretext of picking up the post but in reality just to avoid going crazy at home.


Being there while it was empty and silent was highly weird. But is it destined to stay that way? Will we be following in the footsteps of Twitter, Shopify, and countless other companies proclaiming that they'll be going fully remote?


No. And I believe many such statements will be quietly reversed.


The world is in the honeymoon phase of mass remote working. Doing it for three months (executing work that's already been planned alongside colleagues you know well) is completely different from doing it forever (planning new projects, bringing on new team members while maintaining the culture, not getting bored out of your mind).


I'm fully aware of the benefits of remote working: parts of our business have been remote since 2013. But much of the current fervour is part "we're so modern and we care about our people" signalling, and part CFO fantasy of crossing through an expensive line item. I suspect where we'll land is more flexibility on working hours and the option of a day or two per week from home...which would actually be a great outcome for everyone.


πŸ’ͺI like to always have a random pointless habit that I'm nurturing. Currently I'm on a 41-day streak of doing burpees every day, which comes straight off the back of 30 days of doing 100 daily push-ups. I still don't have the body of a Greek god (just Googled it to check, and I must say the god of wine and festivity looks suspiciously ripped), but it's surprising how much positive activity you can fit into just a few minutes when you've got a plan and made a commitment. Let me know if you've got any "quick win" daily habits (not necessarily physical) that you've found helpful.


Random quick mentions

– I just discovered that Command-Control-Space on a Mac brings up an emoji keyboard 🀩. This might replace Shift-Tab as my favourite keyboard shortcut. (If you have a favourite keyboard shortcut, write in and tell me about it. I doubt it'll take you away from a hectic social life.)


– If you're a Strava user, follow me on there. It's a win-win: I need friends, and you'll feel far better about yourself than if you follow the likes of Chris Froome.


What I've published

– Pay yourself first. The benefits of applying this core "Rich Dad Poor Dad" concept to every area of your life.


– Why I've taken only cold showers for five years. A tale of largely pointless self-flagellation.


– How to be right about almost everything, almost all the time. Because it beats the hell out of being wrong.


What I've enjoyed

🧼 I'm declaring it only half way through the year: my favourite book of 2020 (first discovered by my wife) is A Bit Of A Stretch, by Chris Atkins. He's a documentary-maker who was sentenced to five years in prison for his participation in a dodgy tax scheme, and this book is his diary of his time inside Wandsworth prison.


It's funny, shocking, and completely changed my (totally ill-informed) views of the prison system. I love books like this that give an accessible window into parts of life we tend not to see – The Secret Barrister being another. Let me know if you have any others to recommend!


🎭 On Netflix, I've been watching Middleditch & Schwartz – a long-form improv show by two actors you'll recognise if you watch Silicon Valley and Parks & Recreation. From an audience prompt, they improvise an hour-long story in which they each play countless different invented-on-the-spot characters. It's certainly funny, but my main reaction was awe at how they can do it.


🀣 While we're talking about humour, a great podcast I've started listening to recently is Conan O'Brien Needs A Friend. The format is just a typical interview show, but it works because Conan (a US late-night TV host) is so funny and brings out the best in his guests. Two episodes I've enjoyed are with Mila Kunis and Lisa Kudrow.


πŸ‘‹That’s it for June! It'd be great to hear from you if you've got news or recommendations to share.


Cheers!

Rob 


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