Take 60 seconds a day

What good shall I do today?

A question to wake up to every morning sounds like a daunting task, your life being defined by one sentence and progressing in accordance to it sounds equally limiting. That is not necessarily the case however, learning how to ask the right questions is one of the best skills to acquire. If you have good questions, you will never end up with an answer:

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” - Rainer Maria Rilke

Benjamin Franklin woke up with this question. The path we take might be different but our journeys all end at the same destination: Progression towards the ever-accelerating future.

His schedule looked like the following:

The present day are much different times, the world is far more inter-connected and more importantly, we are get too focused in the short-term and lose sight of the bigger picture. More importantly, we forget to ask the question: Have I stopped to look at what am I doing to move closer to being an actor on the stage that this world is, as opposed to just being a spectator?

What can we do to change that? I thought of something that I read from Matt Swanson’s blog

Take 5 minutes to:

  • Read a blog post from one of the blogs you follow
  • Pick an article out of your favourite magazine and read it
  • Write down a quick idea or an image for a possible product that could do something cool
  • Ask a co-worker if they’ve read anything interesting lately

Take 15 minutes to:

  • Setup an IFTTT recipe to get best content delivered to your mailbox
  • Read a few of the top stories on Y Combinator or your twitter feed
  • Read a chapter in from a non-fiction book you picked up
  • Write a comment on a blog post synthesizing the information followed by a question asking more details

Take 30 minutes to:

  • Watch a talk from a conference that interests you, a great example is Re/Code
  • Write a blog post about a bug you encountered and how you fixed it
  • Write a blog post about something you’ve been working on or learning about
  • Listen to a podcast, one of the best ones is This Week In Startups
  • Attend a brownbag or lunch-and-learn

Take an hour a week to:

  • Work on a side-project on your own
  • Watch a tutorial about something new on youtube
  • Read answers to common programming issues on StackOverflow (alternatively read top-content on other Stack Exchanges)
  • Prepare to organize a lunch-seminar or meetup talk
  • Enroll in online classes through Coursera

Take 2 hours a month to:

  • Go to a local dev meetup
  • Reflect on some of the quick notes you’ve made for ideas and think about plausibility of any one of those
  • Take someone you look up to out to lunch and pick their brain
  • Plan out what you’re going to read over the next month and index what you’ve already read

Take a weekend a year to:

  • Go to a conference
  • Attend a Startup Weekend or Hackathon
  • Create your own Hackathon!

These are just some ideas, feel free to add more via comments and I’ll update this list!

Leisure by William Henry Davies

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.