What Successful People Do With The First Hour Of Their Work Day


BY KEVIN PURDY | fastcompany.com

How much does the first hour of every day matter? As it turns out, a lot. It can be the hour you see everything clearly, get one real thing done, and focus on the human side of work rather than your task list.

Remember when you used to have a period at the beginning of every day to think about your schedule, catch up with friends, maybe knock out a few tasks? It was called home room, and it went away after high school. But many successful people schedule themselves a kind of grown-up home room every day. You should too.

The first hour of the workday goes a bit differently for Craig Newmark of Craigslist, David Karp of Tumblr, motivational speaker Tony Robbins, career writer (and Fast Company blogger) Brian Tracy, and others, and they’ll tell you it makes a big difference. Here are the first items on their daily to-do list.

Don’t Check Your Email for the First Hour. Seriously. Stop That.

Tumblr founder David Karp will “try hard” not to check his email until 9:30 or 10 a.m., according to an Inc. profile of him. “Reading e-mails at home never feels good or productive,” Karp said. “If something urgently needs my attention, someone will call or text me.”

Not all of us can roll into the office whenever our Vespa happens to get us there, but most of us with jobs that don’t require constant on-call awareness can trade e-mail for organization and single-focus work. It’s an idea that serves as the title of Julie Morgenstern’s work management book Never Check Email In The Morning, and it’s a fine strategy for leaving the office with the feeling that, even on the most over-booked days, you got at least one real thing done.

If you need to make sure the most important messages from select people come through instantly, AwayFind can monitor your inbox and get your attention when something notable arrives. Otherwise, it’s a gradual but rewarding process of training interruptors and coworkers not to expect instantaneous morning response to anything they send in your off-hours.

Gain Awareness, Be Grateful

One smart, simple question on curated Q & A site Quora asked “How do the most successful people start their day?”. The most popular response came from a devotee of Tony Robbins, the self-help guru who pitched the power of mindful first-hour rituals long before we all had little computers next to our beds.

Robbins suggests setting up an “Hour of Power,” “30 Minutes to Thrive,” or at least “Fifteen Minutes to Fulfillment.” Part of it involves light exercise, part of it involves motivational incantations, but the most accessible piece involves 10 minutes of thinking of everything you’re grateful for: in yourself, among your family and friends, in your career, and the like. After that, visualize “everything you want in your life as if you had it today.”

Robbins offers the “Hour of Power” segment of his Ultimate Edge series as a free audio stream (here’s the direct MP3 download). Blogger Mike McGrath also wrote a concise summary of the Hour of Power). You can be sure that at least some of the more driven people you’ve met in your career are working on Robbins’ plan.

Do the Big, Shoulder-Sagging Stuff First Leer más “What Successful People Do With The First Hour Of Their Work Day”

5 Tips for Aspiring Web App Developers

So, you’re not content with just using the social web; you want to be part of building it, too.

As a budding or beginning web app developer, you’ve got a difficult but rewarding path ahead of you. You have to master (or at least attempt to master) the intricacies of OOP and scripting languages, learn to build web apps the hard way (practice, practice, practice), and network your way into a few job opportunities. You must also decide whether you’d like to work as a solo/consultant/freelancer, a startup employee or founder, or a rank-and-file developer at an established company.

Here are a few tips and words of advice that might make your individual path a bit easier and hopefully a bit shorter. We’ve also compiled a gallery of 140-character tips from veterans at the end of this post.

If you’ve already found success as a front-end web dev, we welcome your suggestions in the comments, as well.


by Jolie O’Dell//mashable.com

So, you’re not content with just using the social web; you want to be part of building it, too.

As a budding or beginning web app developer, you’ve got a difficult but rewarding path ahead of you. You have to master (or at least attempt to master) the intricacies of OOP and scripting languages, learn to build web apps the hard way (practice, practice, practice), and network your way into a few job opportunities. You must also decide whether you’d like to work as a solo/consultant/freelancer, a startup employee or founder, or a rank-and-file developer at an established company.

Here are a few tips and words of advice that might make your individual path a bit easier and hopefully a bit shorter. We’ve also compiled a gallery of 140-character tips from veterans at the end of this post.

If you’ve already found success as a front-end web dev, we welcome your suggestions in the comments, as well.

1. Go Open Source

By far the most oft-repeated words of advice we heard from masters of the web dev trade were these: Put in some time on open-source projects. The hands-on experience will challenge you, educate you and help you build your body of work.

Aside from code for code’s sake, open source projects are a good way to meet other devs and do some networking. You’ll have the opportunity to work with people who are much more skilled and experienced than you are yet; take full advantage of this situation and be a sponge.

SourceForge and GitHub and good places to start looking for open source projects that appeal to you; also, as you follow various blogs around the web and see what projects might need a few extra hands. Sites like Code for America and organizations such as the Mozilla Foundation are always looking for good developers with free time.

Finally, when working on open source apps, not only will you get great practice and be able to learn from some really excellent engineers; you’ll also be giving back to the community. As some would say, creating and sharing free and open-source software is one of the best things you can do to help your neighbors as a developer.

2. Expand Your Web-Browsing Repertoire

“Fish where the fish are” is an old advertising axiom. Its meaning is fairly obvious: If you’re aiming to meet, influence or otherwise “catch” a particular group of people, you have to be seen and heard in the places (real or digital) where they congregate.

If you’re “fishing” for other developers — the people who will teach you, help you, and with any luck, hire you — you’ll need to add a new set of websites to your browsing and bookmarking repertoire.

Hacker News (Hacker News), while it occasionally deviates toward social media/Silicon Valley in-jokes and gossip, can be a wonderful resource for meeting other developers, getting advice and learning about the ecosystem, particularly where startups are concerned. The site is an offshoot of Y Combinator, the well-known startup incubator.

GitHub’s Gist, Forrst, UseTheSource and CodeSnipp.it are four places on the web where you can go to see and post brief code examples. Be open to critique, and don’t be a show off. For UseTheSource, we recommend lurking until you’re ready to post your most stellar hacks, as the site is intended to be a repository for beautiful code.

Other sites to check out include SourceForge, Stack Overflow (Stack Overflow), Google Code and Google Groups (Google Groups). There are literally hundreds of solid online resources for web app developers; which sites you follow and which communities you join really depends on your desired areas of expertise and spheres of professional interest.

Once you’re ready to move into the work force as a web dev, our readers have recommended Dice, ODesk, and even Craigslist (Craigslist) as good spots for job-hunting, particularly for freelance work.

3. Network Your Socks Off

Of course, along with all this new web-browsing activity, you’ll be seeing a horde of new and friendly faces: The developers and designers that make up the web app-building community.

Blogger (blogger), entrepreneur and developer Jesse Stay says, “Network, network, network! Find your future boss on Facebook (Facebook), LinkedIn (LinkedIn) and Twitter (Twitter),” and his advice rings true. If you can locate and befriend a few like-minded, highly skilled professional web devs, they might be able to guide and help you in your career as you broaden and deepen your skill set.

We recommend joining a few Facebook groups and checking out developer-oriented Twitter lists from Twitter users you already follow and respect. Once you’ve located the people you’d like to emulate, go back to Tip 1 and see how you can offer your time and skills to any open source projects those people might be involved in.

The golden rules of networking still apply: Give as much as you’d like to receive, and be a good resource and connector for others, not just a parasite.

4. Show Your Code

Once you’re practicing, networking, reading, working and generating piles of beautifully functional code, you’re going to want to show it off to the world. After all, as one reader said, “GitHub is the new résumé.”

Use a robust, accessible code repository such as GitHub or SourceForge, release your code into the wild. And don’t stop there; be sure to blog about any clever hacks or efficient new ways of doing things that you may discover along the way. Make sure your code samples show good architecture, documentation and versatility.

Showing others your code is equal parts giving back (by open-sourcing it) and self-promotion (if the code is good, that is). If the code you’re posting is worthy, then sharing it is a win-win scenario.

5. Market Yourself

For some devs, bragging is second nature. For others, self-promotion is an uncomfortable stretch. No matter which camp you fit into (and even if you’re somewhere in between), you’ll need to learn how to gracefully and effectively promote yourself as a web applications developer.

It goes without saying that you’ll want to put the full force of your coding skills into building an elegant website. We don’t mean elegant in the general sense of the term; we mean “elegant” as in “the intersection of simplicity and functionality” in form and function. And it goes without saying that the source code for your site should be immaculate, as well.

Focus on creating a good portfolio that shows a breadth of work on a variety of projects. Your apps could be entirely open-source; you could also include client work, if you’ve had the opportunity to develop web apps for others. Make sure this experience is attractively highlighted on your résumé, along with any languages or frameworks you know and your proficiency in each.

Once you have a great website that showcases your skills, make sure you and others link to it frequently in your email signature and from your other online profiles, and don’t be afraid to show your Twitter and Facebook friends when you add a new item to your portfolio or update a section of your website. Whether you use physical or digital business cards, make sure your website is the most prominent link the receiver will see.


Bonus Round: Little Things Mean a Lot


  • If you’re looking for full-time work, be a great developer and a well-rounded candidate with communication skills.
  • Always thoroughly comment your code.
  • Be as good at reading code as you are at writing it.
  • If you’re a developer, learn something about design, UX/UI, business and web economics (especially if you’re going into a startup).
  • Customize your personal growth: If you don’t get a job, ask why and what you can do to improve.
  • Remember the big picture — make sure your code is built with scalability in mind.
  • Commit to perpetual self-education.
  • Don’t give up.

All You Did Was Weaken A Country Today

Everyone is talking about Craigslist finally folding and taking down its adult services section. Earlier this month they took it down on the U.S. Craigslist sites without public comment, replacing it with a “censored” logo. A couple of days ago even that censored logo was removed. The debate is centered around prostitution. And in particular around sex slavery, sex crimes and underage prostitution. Nasty stuff, which is probably why Craigslist eventually surrendered. It’s hard to debate that kind of emotion with logic, even when the law is on your side.


Everyone is talking about Craigslist finally folding and taking down its adult services section. Earlier this month they took it down on the U.S. Craigslist sites without public comment, replacing it with a “censored” logo. A couple of days ago even that censored logo was removed. The debate is centered around prostitution. And in particular around sex slavery, sex crimes and underage prostitution. Nasty stuff, which is probably why Craigslist eventually surrendered. It’s hard to debate that kind of emotion with logic, even when the law is on your side.And on Craigslist’s side the law is. The EFF rightly sees this as nothing but a freedom of speech issue, saying “Through this now years-long struggle, Craigslist’s legal position has been and remains absolutely, unequivocally correct…The federal statutory immunity upon which Craigslist relies is not some clever loophole. Rather…a conscious policy decision by Congress to protect individuals and companies who would otherwise be vulnerable targets to litigants who want to silence speech to which they object, illegal or not.” Leer más “All You Did Was Weaken A Country Today”

Craigslist Pulls ‘Censored’ Label From Sex Ads Area

By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER

Is Craigslist’s adult services section gone for good?

The classifieds site, which shut down the sex ads section last weekend and replaced the link with a “censored” bar, has now removed that label. The sex ads section is still gone. Craigslist has refused to discuss the move and on Thursday, Susan MacTavish Best, its spokeswoman, would not say anything beyond confirming that the ads were still blocked.

Analysts had speculated that Craigslist used the word “censored” to make a statement. Though Craigslist is not legally responsible for what people post on its site, state attorneys general and advocacy groups have been pressuring the company to shut down the adult services section. But analysts also said that the outpouring of attention that Craigslist’s sex ads have received in recent days would make it very difficult for the site to bring back the ads.


Image representing Craigslist as depicted in C...

By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER

Is Craigslist’s adult services section gone for good?

The classifieds site, which shut down the sex ads section last weekend and replaced the link with a “censored” bar, has now removed that label. The sex ads section is still gone. Craigslist has refused to discuss the move and on Thursday, Susan MacTavish Best, its spokeswoman, would not say anything beyond confirming that the ads were still blocked.

Analysts had speculated that Craigslist used the word “censored” to make a statement. Though Craigslist is not legally responsible for what people post on its site, state attorneys general and advocacy groups have been pressuring the company to shut down the adult services section. But analysts also said that the outpouring of attention that Craigslist’s sex ads have received in recent days would make it very difficult for the site to bring back the ads. Leer más “Craigslist Pulls ‘Censored’ Label From Sex Ads Area”

What’s Behind Craigslist’s Self-Censorship?

potential 17 state attorneys general in court.

Strategic Ploy?

Craigslist’s adult services shutdown might be a ploy to draw “attention to its fight with state attorneys general over sex ads and to issues of free speech on the Internet,” according to The New York Times. If that’s the case, Connecticut State Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal told the Times he won’t be taken in by it. “If this announcement is a stunt or a ploy…they would be in a sense be thumbing their nose at the public interest,” Blumenthal told the Times.

The fact that Craigslist has put a censored banner where the site’s adult services section used to be certainly suggests Craigslist was interested in drawing attention to the issue. There are also many reports that Craigslist earns about one-third of the site’s revenue from adult services listings. The implication being that it needs to draw attention to this fight just to survive financially.

Craigslist’s earnings numbers are based on estimates from groups such as the classified advertising consultancy Advanced Interactive Media Group. AIMG says adult services will be about 30 percent of Craigslist’s estimated $122 million in revenue for 2010.


Ian Paul, PC World

What's Behind Craigslist's Self-Censorship?Craigslist left everyone guessing why the site decided to close its adult services section on Friday by replacing the steamy destination with a “censored” banner. The online classifieds Website took action without releasing a statement and has so far refused comment. Craigslist’s adult services section housed sexually explicit ads for escorts, masseuses and similar content. The move comes after 17 state attorneys general pressured the site to stop displaying its adult services section.

Without a definitive answer, Craigslist’s abrupt move has left others to fill in the blanks about the shutdown. Some say it’s a protest meant to draw attention to the site’s first amendment rights. Others wonder if it isn’t a strategic ploy to appease advocacy groups and law enforcement. It is also possible Craigslist simply doesn’t have the wherewithal to face off against a potential 17 state attorneys general in court.

Strategic Ploy?

Craigslist’s adult services shutdown might be a ploy to draw “attention to its fight with state attorneys general over sex ads and to issues of free speech on the Internet,” according to The New York Times. If that’s the case, Connecticut State Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal told the Times he won’t be taken in by it. “If this announcement is a stunt or a ploy…they would be in a sense be thumbing their nose at the public interest,” Blumenthal told the Times.

The fact that Craigslist has put a censored banner where the site’s adult services section used to be certainly suggests Craigslist was interested in drawing attention to the issue. There are also many reports that Craigslist earns about one-third of the site’s revenue from adult services listings. The implication being that it needs to draw attention to this fight just to survive financially.

Craigslist’s earnings numbers are based on estimates from groups such as the classified advertising consultancy Advanced Interactive Media Group. AIMG says adult services will be about 30 percent of Craigslist’s estimated $122 million in revenue for 2010. Leer más “What’s Behind Craigslist’s Self-Censorship?”

Review: The Art of Barter

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest.

art of barterA while back, I wrote a post called “Askers, Guessers, and Personal Finance” that proposed that bartering and negotiation are much easier for some people than for others, depending on their personality and the culture in which they were raised. I’m very much in the “guesser” camp, which means that I often have difficulty negotiating with others, asking for things, and bartering.

After that realization, I’ve spent some significant time focusing on improving my willingness to ask for and trade for things, and thus when I spotted The Art of Barter by Karen Hoffman and Shera Dalin on the shelf at my local library, I snatched it right up.

The book basically makes the case for bartering – in other words, offering one good or service in direct exchange for another good or service without cash in the middle – and discusses how exactly to go about it in many different situations. I myself have found bartering to be very useful and often do it with people I know – but will this book offer enough advice for me to attempt it in other situations?


Written by Trent

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest.

A while back, I wrote a post called “Askers, Guessers, and Personal Finance” that proposed that bartering and negotiation are much easier for some people than for others, depending on their personality and the culture in which they were raised. I’m very much in the “guesser” camp, which means that I often have difficulty negotiating with others, asking for things, and bartering.

After that realization, I’ve spent some significant time focusing on improving my willingness to ask for and trade for things, and thus when I spotted The Art of Barter by Karen Hoffman and Shera Dalin on the shelf at my local library, I snatched it right up.

The book basically makes the case for bartering – in other words, offering one good or service in direct exchange for another good or service without cash in the middle – and discusses how exactly to go about it in many different situations. I myself have found bartering to be very useful and often do it with people I know – but will this book offer enough advice for me to attempt it in other situations? Leer más “Review: The Art of Barter”

7 Days on Craigslist’s Casual Encounters

Many people use Craigslist to find roommates, cheap furniture, used cars or part-time jobs. But there’s another function: Sex.

I decided to dive into Craigslist’s (Craigslist) “Casual Encounters” — a section made for no-strings hookups — to see if any of what I assumed about that virtual place was true. Is it populated entirely by perverted sexual deviants, serial killers, prostitutes and scammers as rumors insist? Or can two regular people really make the connection that the section’s name suggests?

I should admit that I had no intention to actually hook up with someone, should the opportunity arise, if for no other reason than it would be inappropriate and manipulative to an unwitting partner to do so and write about it. But it’s not a stretch to say that even if you abstain from the goal, spending a week on Casual Encounters can teach you a lot about human beings and how the web has changed how we pursue one of our most essential and important desires.

It goes without saying that the content of this article is not intended for children or those made uncomfortable by such topics. But if you’re interested, read on for the story of my seven days on Craigslist’s Casual Encounters — my failures, near misses, discoveries, insights and successes. Following that, I interviewed two women to learn how they used the site successfully for their own fulfillment.


Many people use Craigslist to find roommates, cheap furniture, used cars or part-time jobs. But there’s another function: Sex.

I decided to dive into Craigslist’s (Craigslist) “Casual Encounters” — a section made for no-strings hookups — to see if any of what I assumed about that virtual place was true. Is it populated entirely by perverted sexual deviants, serial killers, prostitutes and scammers as rumors insist? Or can two regular people really make the connection that the section’s name suggests?

I should admit that I had no intention to actually hook up with someone, should the opportunity arise, if for no other reason than it would be inappropriate and manipulative to an unwitting partner to do so and write about it. But it’s not a stretch to say that even if you abstain from the goal, spending a week on Casual Encounters can teach you a lot about human beings and how the web has changed how we pursue one of our most essential and important desires.

It goes without saying that the content of this article is not intended for children or those made uncomfortable by such topics. But if you’re interested, read on for the story of my seven days on Craigslist’s Casual Encounters — my failures, near misses, discoveries, insights and successes. Following that, I interviewed two women to learn how they used the site successfully for their own fulfillment.


The Experiment Leer más “7 Days on Craigslist’s Casual Encounters”