<?php>m doing! (shh, yes you do.)


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Being productive is all about being in the zone. There are many distractions from that goal, both internal and external. This talk will give you several tips and tricks of the trade to avoid those distractions that are avoidable and tactics to mitigate the effects of those that are unavoidable.

Some of the concepts touched upon include: remote working, co-working, office hours, meeting schedules, the fear of success and the fear of failure.

This isn't a PHP specific talk!

Published in: Technology
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  • Don't forget to arrange a distraction or two...
  • We're most productive when we're “in the zone”.
    But, it takes ramp up time to get there.
    Let's say you get interrupted early in your ramp up time. You get knocked back out of the ramp and have to start it over. (Red)
    Light Blue and Yellow start at the same time, about mid way through ramp up. Yellow is a short and lt blue is long.
    Darker Blue represents an interruption after you've already hit the zone. It's almost impossible to get back into the zone.
  • Pause to get distraction thoughts from audience. This slide is just for ideas and (though should not be) can be just read verbatim, with anecdotes. This is a good time to get a phone call … YouTubed to the weird zone...
  • Don't answer your phone. Block out downtime. Fix meetings schedules. Make meetings shorter. Overlap your schedule. Work from home/co-work environment.
    We'll talk a little more on IS later, but for now, co-worker/boss pep talks; a mentor (HUGE shout out to mine, Elizabeth Narramore, and my unofficial methor, Jeremey Kendall;) and, of course, lean on your fellow community members.
    I hate it when “The MAN” blocks sites, we're all adults, but if FOMO is getting the best of you. Edit /etc/hosts! Close your tabs!
  • Project/Task switching.
    What about those times when you just can't get in the zone and you're stuck w/ a mental block?
    Well, that's when you allow all those other distractions to have their turns.
  • This was the best thing I found for me when I worked in a cube farm. (describe Battelle's env. Describe the Zone cube.) Etc..lead up to next slide remote working...
  • Working in an office does have the benefit of peer pressure to help keep you focused, and I've noticed that I am much more likely to waste more time on FOMO working from home than I used to at the office. Sure, the office had many more external distractions than working at home, but I became my own biggest distraction. SO, how did I fix it? Co-working spots and keeping a separate laptop for ONLY work stuff. I've noticed that I am generally more productive in 6 hrs at my co-working spot (a friend's house) than I am in 16 hrs actually at home. (unless I work at night after everyone is in bed. Then it's about the same.)
  • This is a good time for questions and discussion, before we get into Impostor Syndrome.
  • This is impostor syndrome.  Wikipedia says “[it] is a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments.” Which is another way of saying, “I can’t believe someone is actually paying me to do this stuff. I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing!” Wikipedia goes on to add “Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be.”
  • I have been developing in PHP for 15 years. I earned my Zend Certified Engineer for PHP 5.3. This is no small accomplishment. It wasn’t just handed to me like candy. But I brush it off as easy. I say that I’m just really good at taking tests. I say that anyone could have gotten it, just from common sense. I say it must have been a fluke.
    My brain won’t let me admit that I *EARNED* that certification. And me dismissing it in all those ways really does a disservice not just to myself, but to everyone else who has earned it by working their butts off, and/or studying for it. But it also can be a real slap in the face to those who have not passed the exam. So, to everyone on both sides of the ZCE coin, I’m sorry. I did work for my certification. I did earn it. I do deserve it. If you have yours, you deserve it too. If you don’t have it yet; study, learn about areas of PHP outside your standard comfort zone; you can earn it too.
    Also, Daniel Cousineau brought up a few good points on Twitter: I’m no master conman, so if I were really the fraud this disease tells me I am, I would have been found out by now. The community here in PHP aren’t dummies. We all call each other on mistakes… don’t you think they’d call you out if you were a total fraud?
  • We are all experts at something. Don’t let your Imposter Syndrome lie to you.
  • I'll post these slides on slideshare probably tomorrow and post the link to the meetup up page, and on the Twitterz, so to follow me...*advance*
  • So, this is me if you need to or want to reach out to me. So, questions? Discussions? Drinks?
  • <?php>m doing! (shh, yes you do.)

    1. 1. <?php echo 'Hello Worl...Oooh, Shiny! Presented by Sean Prunka Sr. PHP Developer The Hacker Academy www.HackerAcademy.com
    2. 2. 8 4 6 Late Interruption Early Interruption Small Interruption Big Interruption Uninterrupted 2 0 Efficiency Metric* 10 12 Why are distractions such a bad thing? Time on Task *NB: Efficiency Metric uses imaginary data points
    3. 3. What distractions do we face? ● Unavoidable – Meetings – Email – Phone – Coworkers – Bosses – Mental Blocks – Task Switching ● Avoidable – FOMO! ● Twitter ● FaceBook ● IRC ● G+ ● Etc. – Self Inflicted ● Smoke breaks ● Playing Games ● Videos (YouTube!)
    4. 4. So, how do we combat them? ● External – Put the phone on DND – Set aside a block of time specifically for follow-ups via phone, email, text, etc. – Schedule meetings early or late. – Adjust your own schedule to overlap with “business hours” ● Internal – Impostor Syndrome ● Pep Talks ● Mentors ● Community – FOMO ● Block site ● Close tabs
    5. 5. Tips to combat downtime (2) ● External – Project Switching ● Manage your time by devoting larger chunks of time to each project. – 2 Projects? ½ day each or every other day. – 3 or more? Split days in half and swap days. ● Internal – Mental Blocks ● Improvise ● Take a break/walk ● Catch up on FOMO ● Reach out to the community for help.
    7. 7. But I work remotely!
    8. 8. (pause) (breathe) (questions?)
    9. 9. HELP! I Don’t Know What I’m Doing! (shh, yes you do.)
    10. 10. T he System 638: Exper ts Used by permission of the creator: Rosscott Nover (@Rosscott) Taken from his website: http://www.systemcomic.com/
    11. 11. Fear vs. Reality ● ● ● ● I can’t even remember the right syntax for substr() w/o PHP.net ● That test was *easy* I passed because it was just common sense. One day, they will figure out that I’m a fraud and fire me. Luck has gotten me this far, what if my luck runs out? ● ● No one remembers all the syntax for every function. That’s why auto-complete exists in IDEs and that’s why PHP.net is so well documented. I *earned* my ZCE. I am the go-to guy at my company for PHP, MySQL, and even JavaScript. I would not have been asked to speak at this meeting if I were a fraud.
    12. 12. T he System 355: Exper ts Used by permission of the creator: Rosscott Nover (@Rosscott) Taken from his website: http://www.systemcomic.com/
    13. 13. Additional Resources Distractions: Jason Fried's TED talk “Why Work Doesn't happen At Work”: http://j.mp/12ED7C1 Codecraft post about Interruptions: http://j.mp/13zIuop Coding Horror post on Multi-Tasking: http://j.mp/10IG8za Impostor Syndrome: The blog article this talk was based upon (mine): http://j.mp/NNhX0d Laura Thomson’s blog post on Impostor Syndrome: http://j.mp/1gFPl4E Wikipedia article on Impostor Syndrome: http://j.mp/1d0UVO4 Mentors can be a big help too: http://j.mp/1d0V3x4
    14. 14. About Me: ● Sean Prunka – Sr. PHP Developer for MAD Security, LLC – 15+ yrs of PHP experience – ZCE PHP 5.3 ● Twitter: @sprunka ● Email – sprunka@gmail.com – sprunka@madsecurity.com