I’m moving to Auckland in 2021! Blog post content will suffer while I wrap up my work for ONI and organise the logistics of moving myself and my possessions to the other side of the world in the middle of a pandemic. A couple thoughts from the week:
Angela Duckworth’s plot of Phone location vs Grades quantifies what we already intuit: phones are really powerful distractions.
Packing the array of mildly useful objects I’ve collected over the past 3.5 years in Oxford is a huge source of decision fatigue. Packing things into boxes is relatively trivial, but attempting to vaguely optimise the set of possessions is an incredibly complex task. Moving objects to New Zealand by freight comes in at approximately US$0.5 per Litre, but in 1000 L units. How much are those old running shoes worth now? Postage stamps are “value dense”, but how do you recapture that value efficiently? As a technology hobbyist, a range of electronic componentry has hardly any value in the abstract, but if it can be used to fix something can be hugely valuable.
It has been an unusual year, one filled with new challenges and opportunities to learn and grow. I enjoyed a friend’s suggestion to use Year Compass to direct some personal reflection. A few things to share:
Building things other people use is very satisfying. 2020 was the most productive year I have had in terms of programming, oddly brought about by moving into a People Team role. Compared with cutting edge research, the smaller challenges of automating office applications provided an opportunity for me to see a project from start to finish, and learn a lot along the way.
Overcoming hesitation is a way to get more done. Trying to keep pace with ONI’s founder has been a wonderfully challenging growth opportunity. One of the biggest lessons I’ve taken away is that hesitation is a barrier to getting more done. I’ve tried to push harder to overcome my activation energy and been rewarded with more productive days.
People will talk if you ask nicely Thank you to the people who spoke with me this year. Working in Talent Acquisition led me to (virtually) meet many people over the last few months, and it has been a pleasure to gain insights from people across the world with a diverse range of experiences.