Üllar Seerme

Some year-end thoughts

December 31, 2019

In On thinking more and deeper I showed some numbers about the hours of listening I do (to podcasts). I thought it would be fun to end off the year with some additional numbers and thoughts.

Podcast listening

A roughly 66% increase over a year, which is just astonishing to me! As per the aforementioned blog post I have cut down on the listening by trimming a fair amount of shows I subscribe to. Now I have some weeks where there isn’t a backlog of things to listen to! This is also greatly helped by me being more careful with my time and not considering every episode worth listening to. I hope to continue to listen to even less!

Books read

This year has been the most profilic for me in terms of reading books with the final count being 24 and instead of listing every single one I’ll bring out some highlights of what I recommend you read as well:

“Art of Money Getting, or, Golden Rules for Making Money” by P. T. Barnum

This is freely available online and is a rather quick read, but reading through it all I was in awe of the simplicity of the advice given and the time at which it was given. People are peddling the same advice nowadays as well and a lot of them could do with the same kind of brevity that P. T. Barnum had when writing.

“Atomic Habits” by James Clear

The only book this year which was an audio book and I’m kind of glad it was in audio form. It allowed me to speed up the narration and go through my daily doings while still getting the gist of what the author was trying to get across. Your mileage may vary of course when trying to instil or remove any habit, but thanks to this I was able to finally instil a habit of flossing daily. Something I did before only when I actually remembered that it’s a thing that I should do… It also made me more cognizant of the things I do on a daily basis and whether or not I should do them.

“Never Split the Difference” by Chris Voss & Tahl Raz

Perhaps my favorite out of this recommended bunch as it has already paid dividends many times over by knowing how to negotiate better and how to improve interpersonal communication. The book is laden with real-world examples and stories from an expert in the field, and is a breeze to read through. I can’t recommend this enough and will definitely be reading through this again in the coming year!

“Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams, 3rd Edition” by Tom DeMarco & Timothy Lister

A really enjoyable overview and distillation of ideas about why most software projects fail not because of technology, but because of people and how they are managed poorly. This might seem like one for the people managers out there, but I found this to be an enjoyable read nonetheless. Despite being the third (and latest) edition the book still does show some age, so your options are either to stick with it till the end or start reading from the end and work your way to the start as it ends off with more modern examples.

All in all, I’m really happy with how this year turned out, both personally and professionally. Life has been a bit of a rollercoaster in the best sense and I can’t wait to see what’s in store around the next corner.

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