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When Joe Zack reflected upon a list of New Year’s Resolutions very thoughtfully planned out and realized he had accomplished nothing throughout the year, he realized he didn’t care about the goal but was rather looking forward to the notches in his belt. Yes, life gets in the way, but Joe now understands that a goal means nothing if you don’t have your heart in it.

Joe Zack has has been a professional programmer for the past 15 years, and is co-host of the Coding Blocks podcast.


Key Takeaways

  • A goal without a plan is a wish
  • Turn the process of working on your goal into a habit
  • Temptation Bundling – combine something you want with something you want to accomplish
  • Keep your saw sharp
  • Automate routine tasks
  • Keep your tools and workspace clean and organized
  • Queue, routine and reward
    • Example: 3:30 every day you get up from your desk and get cookies
    • Instead, at 3:30 get up and go walk the dog
  • Clean out your task list, remove things you will never get to
  • Keep communication open and casual, don’t be afraid to look like a buffoon
  • Whiteboard drawings are good for planning, but not always a good communication tool for modeling complex systems
  • Touchy-feely group exercises really work
  • Practice (code wars, Project Euler) – builds muscle memory

Resources Mentioned

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