Mixed Signals: Guardians of solitude

Well, it's been a while. My (sometimes weekly) newsletter has become a (sometimes monthly) newsletter.

No. 11 – 13th of September, 2020

Well, it's been a while.

My (sometimes weekly) newsletter has become a (sometimes monthly) newsletter.

I do plan on sending something out more often, but my promise right from the start is that I'll never send something for the sake of it, or rush something out the door.

The middle of this week saw my 3 kids back in school for the first time in 6 months.

I've missed the quiet. I've missed the chance to think. I've missed the opportunity to do deep work, go for a walk in peace, and read a book.

And of course, moments after dropping them to school, I've missed them.

There's a quote about marriage that I really like, that says it's all about being the guardians of each others solitude. I think this extends to family life too. We've loved spending (most of) this time together, but we need our own lives.

We need to arrive home with stories to tell. We need to choose our own paths. We must go on some adventures alone.

On with the links...

👨‍💻 I have been reading...

+ This excellent Twitter thread on freelancer pricing from Tom Hirst, which does a great job of summarising a lot of the psychology at work here.
+ I've been loving using Hey (a great new email service). Here's some of the background on how it all evolved.
+ Tom Miskin is giving away a guide on how to build great workshops. Definitely worth saving for future reference.
+ Our school systems are broken. Let's grab this chance to remake them.
+ This law of brand vs performance marketing spectrum has been super helpful when speaking with clients over the last couple of months.

📺 I have been watching...

+ The Social Dilemma arrived on Netflix this week (worldwide). It is essential viewing.
+ I've started watching Westworld again (this time with my son). It's a fascinating look into the future of robotics and artificial intelligence, with a great story line.
+ I'm really not much of a gamer but this seems more like art.
+ During lockdown, we watched a lot of (mostly rubbish) TV. Trying on Apple TV was a real highlight, about a couple going through the adoption process (something I did before becoming a foster carer.... spoiler alert, it's tough).

🎧 I have been listening to...

+ Myles are one of my favourite clothing companies (I just wish they had a UK supplier!). It's been interesting to hear a bit about their strategy.
+ A great episode of the Indie Hackers podcast with Nathan Latka. Lots of talk about valuing people's attention, and working with people to get what they really want (not what we're trying to sell them).

📚 I have been reading books...

+ Digital Minimalism has set on my shelf since it came out last year. I wish I had read it immediately. Cal Newport writes beautifully, and with great intentions, explaining that this isn't about abstaining from tech but instead being selective about who gets our attention and when.
+ Rest does a great job of explaining why chilling out isn't something we should be doing after work, in front of the TV. Rest shouldn't be the reward we give ourselves for a job well done, it's the very route to a doing a job well.

🧸 I have been playing with...

+ This really simple calculator that lets you work out how expensive your meetings actually are.
+ The magic that is pressing copy on my iPhone, then paste on my MacBook (thank you Sophie Cross!).

📝 I have written...

+ I wrote about why it's essential to be a little selfish as a parent.