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Week 2023#05: mass emotions, mass insights
Masses of people can instantly share one emotion. Scary stuff.
This week felt like three distinct parts: the good kind of busy at work, overwhelming emotions on Friday and Saturday, and returning to reality on Sunday.
What I’ve learned
There’s a lot to unpack this week, so I’ll try to keep every insight on point.
Opportunities for forecasting delivery dates
Unlike other places I’ve worked at, in my team at Bolt work is assigned to individuals during planning, and the individual working on a task is estimating the time necessary for this task.
At first, this didn’t sit right with me, “isn’t software development a team effort?”.
After getting over the initial “this is different” reaction, I realized that this provides a unique opportunity for forecasting instead of estimating delivery dates.
An individual estimating their own work will get better at estimation over time, thus yielding more accurate estimates.
This means that instead of guessing how much time it takes to complete a set of work items, one can instead forecast the delivery date based on actual data, to a high degree of confidence.
I’m thinking about trying this out eventually.
Here is where the inspiration came from: Evidence-based Scheduling
Taking a break from communicating resets the slot machine in your brain
Being back in Aschaffenburg made me feel quite bored some evenings.
I could observe myself turning to social media for distracting myself from that boredom, incessantly checking the same set of news sources. Each time I’d find something the “high” would last for an ever shorter period of time.
On Friday and Saturday, I kept my phone essentially the whole day in flight mode, and already on Friday evening, I could sense my attention returning to normal levels.
Note to self: do this more often.
This time I didn’t announce this break from Facebook/WhatsApp/etc to anybody, so some people started worrying, but luckily no accidents happened besides that.
Next time I’ll inform people. Also, there will definitely be a next time. This felt great!
Funerals are strange
Friday was the day of my father’s funeral.
I approached the day feeling like I’d mostly processed the fact that he was not alive anymore.
However, after meeting just three people at the funeral, in tears, whom I’d never seen before, I myself started feeling profoundly sad.
We expected about 20 people to show up for the funeral, but in the end, about 45 turned up.
Just like people share feelings of euphoria at a festival, this was shared sadness, amongst people who were mostly connected to just one person.
No wonder crows behave differently from individuals. Having experienced how quickly my own sentiment changed, it’s not hard to imagine this same effect working in different circumstances, e.g. during political demonstrations.
Planning enables easy execution
I’ve launched a new website for running my “Learn how Estonian works in a day” workshops.
After the last workshop on the 29th of January, I had a pretty clear idea of what needed to change:
people need a way to sign up,
using Stripe payment links for selling tickets is a bad idea (no stock keeping means I need to babysit sales),
I need a way to contact people en masse.
I’ve been mulling over solutions for these things for the last week, and on Sunday I finally managed to settle on solutions to all problems:
Arriving at this plan took me a week.
But this plan allowed me to execute in half a day.
After spending a couple of hours getting everything up and running, I sold all tickets to the next workshop, before going to sleep on Sunday.
Expectations vs Reality
I had a hard time coming up with expectations for this week because the funeral was a big wildcard and I didn’t see anything “interesting” happening otherwise.
The funeral on Friday will work without major hiccups: yes! Everything went according to plan, and we didn’t have to worry about any administrative details on the day itself.
I’ll make it to the gym three times in Germany: yes! With all the traveling and supporting the family, making “showing up for training at the gym” a habit firmly falls into the “difficult” category. Right now I’m training “just showing up” again and not focusing on making every workout overly intense.
After all the things I’ve learned last week, this section feels really difficult to fill with content 😅
on Tuesday I left Tallinn, traveling to Aschaffenburg. I finally figured out why the trips have always felt exhausting: even though the flight is only 2 hours, it still takes about 6 hours from door to door.
on Thursday I started feeling like I’m spending too much time on social media,
also on Thursday, I had an amazing global onboarding session at Bolt. A month and a half into working at Bolt, I’m still excited!
on Friday the gas installation at my apartment finally got a positive audit. Now there are only two steps left between me and another mortgage to improve the house in Sweden,
on Saturday I just exercised, slept, and ate because I just felt really tired. The same went for my brother and my mother,
on Sunday I made significant progress on my language teaching side business.