Five for Friday – April 20, 2018

  • I’ve been thinking a lot about leadership lately, and this quote from The 5 Levels of Leadership (John Maxwell) rings true in so many of my thoughts and reflections.
    “If you think you’re leading but no one is following, then you are only taking a walk.”
  • I’ve mentioned my love of personal kanban here before, but I have a thing for productivity in general. I read this article on time blocking which reflects a lot of the things I’ve figured out on my own over the last decade or more.
  • Within time blocks, when I really need to focus, I do two things. First is that I listen to orchestral music. Jazz and music with lyrics both are distractions to me. Some people swear by pomodoro but when I was writing HWTSaM, I fell in love with (10+2)*5 – which is simply 10 solid minutes of focus, followed by a 2 minute break, repeated 5 times – followed by a longer break. At one point in writing that book, I was so far behind that I took a week of vacation to catch up (which is a little ridiculous for a book where I received 0% of the sales) – but I would crank out 3 sets of 10+2*5 every morning, then another every afternoon, and I was cranking out pages.
  • To help, I even wrote a Windows Vista gadget (anyone remember those?) app for this technique (link if you’re massively curious). It’s odd that I procrastinated on writing the book to write an app to help with procrastination – but that’s me!
  • Finally, this is mine (and Brent’s) but worth another share. Our Modern Testing principles (listen to the podcast for a whole bunch more background) can be found by going to


  1. Yes, I remember that Windows gadget. I used it gadget most of the time I had Vista on my laptop while in Microsoft. The habit fell apart again. Just tried (10+2)*3 without getting distracted 🙂
    I learn a lot from John Maxwell’s books. Currently reading “developing the Leader within you” –
    How is Kanban working for you? I know it is contextual to the type of project and associated timelines. We haven’t tried it yet. There is a new book by “David Anderson” – KMM-Fit for purpose.

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