One great manager I know once confessed that he always kept his unsigned resignation letter at his workplace.
He had no plans to leave whatsoever. Its purpose was completely different - to ensure the sense of freedom.
It is as if you are already dead and have nothing to lose. You can speak up. You can be honest (that does not allow rude). Most importantly - you can feel that you create value for the organisation willingly, as a free man. A feeling that is easy to lose below heaps of binding contractual statements.
I was impressed.
And, by the way, it works just as well if the letter is only in your head, just kept in mind at all times.
Downright spam is a reasonable exception.
You may think that "No, thanks" does not make a big difference from no answer at all, but it does. Almost always I had people thank me for reaching back to them with a "No" so they could at least cross my name out of their lists. And sometimes, once they learn what you're not interested in, they will come back with the right stuff.
Not a chance if you keep silence, though.
Waiting for someone's reply leaves your business unfinished and as such, consumes a ton of mental energy. As an ethical person, you don't want to do that to other people.
Not answering a letter that you know probably should be answered is also an exhausting exercise. As a reasonable person, you don't want to do that to yourself.
Steps to reproduce: get into the car, drive to (x, y). The car explodes.
How does one solve the issue?
Junior Developer: spends half a day investigating and still has no clue about the root cause. Writes a patch that makes the car change its trajectory whenever it approaches (x, y). Time spent: 4.5 hours.
Middle Developer: spends an hour investigating. Posts the debris picture on Stack Overflow, where the experts agree that it "certainly looks like a mine". Arms the car with a metal detector and attaches a shiny spring kit that makes the car jump whenever the metal detector goes off. Time spent: 3 hours.
Senior Developer: spends zero time investigating. "Curse it, mines again", he grumbles, and runs an old detection script to collect the coordinates. Upon this, takes a shovel and digs out all the mines one by one until none remain. Time spent: 2 days.
Lead Developer: remembers that suspicious place in the world generation framework that he glanced upon two years ago. Digs into the code and eventually discovers a race condition that leads to mines repeatedly falling down from the sky. Fixes the design problem and clears the mines. Time spent: a week.
Looks like the invested time does not necessarily correlate with the value delivered.
One incredibly important insight that I've gained after adopting the GTD approach to my life is as follows. Besides various "to-do" lists, you must maintain, preferably automatically, a "have done" list to review before bedtime.
(or every time you feel like a worthless loser – which is, more often).
I mean, just look at all these enormous "next actions" lists. You close one project, and it immediately entails another one. You tick off an item and feel like a winner for a fleeting moment – but the cunning hydra immediately grows two heads in place of the one you've cut off.
The "next actions" keep adding up.
Making a titanic effort, all I have managed to do is to limit the growth. There seems to exist a zero-point energy number of incomplete items, a natural limit that I am not able to break no matter what.
And perhaps that's normal.
But I hoped that getting so many things done was going to make me feel good – and it didn't. Now I seem to understand why.
For God's sake, let your soul rest in peace every night – review the list of the items you've managed to do today. Let yourself understand that you're actually achieving something in this life.
You can also output (or import) tasks in XML, JSON, and CSV formats using the --format flag.
Several program parameters have become customizable, see taskman config.
Multiple task lists are now supported. The current list name is stored in the configuration file and can be changed using config list or list commands. For most operations, the target list name can be specified explicitly using the --list flag.
You can also specify (and filter by) task due dates using the --due flag, including a number of natural language dates like today, tomorrow, or this month.
Read-Eval-Print (REPL) mode is now supported via taskman repl (no need to type out taskmanevery time).
taskman clear is back! Rather than being a separate command, it is now an alias expanding to taskman delete --all --interactive.
I have just finished reading Nikolay Gogol's "Dead Souls", which act has only strengthened my belief that Russian classics are, in Shrek's terms, like onion. It is praiseworthy that the first couple of layers are removed at school, but a single reading would never be enough to reach to the pulp with its burning yet curative character.
I remember how we, being nothing more than little kids, treated the poem as a shallow, sketchy comedy with bits of sermon here and there, and hated reading "boring" literary criticism. However, it takes a grown-up to understand and appreciate the piece's contemplative power, and to startle at Plyushkin or Manilov's seeds inside their own soul.