In no particular order. Very non-exhaustive.
I currently subscribe to the power of:
1. Asynchronous Communication
I’m an enormous fan of deep work.
I was also recently diagnosed with ADHD which probably explains why I’ve put so much effort into the years into making this mode of working work for me (see: flight mode article).
Deep work isn’t just my preference. It’s the only way I can work effectively.
The good news: once I have a supportive environment to work in, I can be very productive. Or so I’m told.
It’s Time To Untether Remote Work From Synchronous Communications
Remote work doesn’t have to be a blur of Zoom meetings
Why Flight Mode Has Been My Best Productivity-Enhancing Intervention to Date
And I Think That Synchronous Communication Platforms Like WhatsApp And Slack Are Today’s Destroyers of Focus
2. Open Source
I’ve been a daily Linux user — in both my work and personal lives — for well over 10 years now.
I’ve been using Linux for so long that I don’t even think about it any more. Linux is just how computers work for me. Windows is that thing in a virtual machine file I spin up when I have no other option.
Having benefited so much from the open source community over the years has also made me an ardent supporter of it as a concept. Not only for technology. But also for life.
Outcome: I’m selective about what I choose to monetize.
Want to hire me to write a book for you? It’s going to cost you.
Want to pick over my thoughts about freelance writing? Help yourself to them for free. Sharing that information and creating the connections that reaching readers brings is worth more to me right now than generating a small side income from paywalling it.
Everything about the art and craft of running a freelance writing business including client management, growth…
3. Inbound Marketing
Growing up, I was an intensely private person that didn’t share much about my inner world. Breaking out of that strait-jacket has been a lifelong process for me. It’s still going on.
If you’re like me and want some additional encouragement to get out of that mindset here’s a chunk of it: inbound marketing is a pretty neat way to reward authenticity!
The Connection Between Inbound Marketing And Authenticity
An argument in favor of amorphous free-flowing content creation and leveraging authenticity to create change
Of course, if something business-connected is your goal then you’ll want to be more strategic than just sharing everything with everybody.
But there’s a lot to be said for the power of doing just that.
4. Remote And Hybrid Working
Let me circle back to deep work for a moment.
If I want to keep working in an office environment my fate is a tiny chunk of desk space in an open office environment that is the arch nemesis of anybody who is easily distracted.
While cable management admittedly isn’t my strong suit, working from home I can show up to this setup everyday.
Remote and hybrid working arrangements can also untether us from geographies we don’t particularly want to live in. Employers can gain access to more talent than just the talent that can be easily recruited in their locality.
We live in a world in which it’s eminently possible to work effectively remotely.
For the 99% of knowledge workers that don’t work for state defense contractors or otherwise have advanced technical requirements … there are literally no impediments to working from anywhere on the planet.
I’ve done it for 5 year both as a side hustle and as my full-time income.
A point I’ve made repeatedly here on Medium is that done right freelancing can be more secure than office employment. Yes, you read that correctly.
More thoughts about that here:
Ways You Can Diversify Your Freelance Writing Business
The Art Of Not Putting Your Eggs In One Basket
6. Doing Business Internationally
In light of point 4, above, why wouldn’t you? We have all the technology in place to conduct knowledge work with any company we can legally do business with.
How to Work With The World — From Israel
At the crossroads of Africa, Asia, and Europe, Israel is uniquely positioned on the geopolitical map.
7. Self Directed Learning
The internet has been a sort of surrogate additional parent to me since I was a child. The muse to whom I ask my most perplexing questions. A teacher. An entertainer.
I’ve also learned so much from YouTubers, podcasts, and online bloggers.
Although I hold a couple of conventional university degrees, I feel like I’ve learned just as much by doing and learning on my own.
8. Continuous Professional Development
The cold winds of AI are knocking at the door.
What’s the best way we can avoid redundancy?
Staying a few steps ahead of the AI bots and doing something that they currently can’t.
Knowledge is key. In today’s environment, we can’t afford to count on what we already know.
Ongoing learning and professional development is going to be key.
9. Working With Nice People
The hardest part about freelancing?
I’d love to tell you this wasn’t true — and I hesitated before adding this — but I could fill up a book with horror stories from working with bad and sometimes even downright abusive clients.
On the plus side, there have been enough good ones that it’s been a major source of my income for the past five years.
Earning a liveable wage matters. But over the past year I’ve come to really prioritize mental health (disclaimer: as noted before I struggle with ADHD and anxiety. Addressing these has been a big focus for me of late).
Generally speaking, whenever I can afford to do so, I’ll prioritize working with respectful, pleasant and supportive people over those who simply pay more.
10. Everything On The Cloud
I thoroughly believe that the software of tomorrow will be OS-agnostic.
I believe that some version of thin computing is the future of …. technology.
When architects are doing AutoCAD work on the cloud and professional video editors are rendering video there we’ll be almost there.
For now consumer internet bandwidth remains a constraint — at least in many parts of the world — to full utilization of the cloud’s potential.I expect that this will change sooner than we expect.
Desktop software (other than web browsers) and talking about local storage capacities will soon come to be regarded as as anachronistic as that weird dial up internet we used to use that made squelching noises.
11. Sharing, Authenticity, Communication
If there’s one trait I’ve been trying to cultivate over the past few years, it’s this.
We’re living in a world in which being transparent and open is viewed as a positive thing. Stigmas are eroding. These are all good changes.