Course Review

SuperHuman Academy Procrastination Course Review

I have recently taken the SuperHuman Academy's Procrastination course (not sure how to link – I can't view the course if I am not logged in. Also – their affiliate system buttons don't work, and telling them didn't help, so there are no affiliate links here). 
The course is just a few hours. Since I have a chronic procrastination habit, I have seen other courses and books on the subject, but the course contained a lot I didn't know yet, as well as very interesting perspectives on old topics.
Price: as the course is not available on their page, I have no idea what the price would be. I got it as a full SuperHuman Academy bundle I got with a discount last year.
Some of the things I liked from the course:

  • Procrastination is not rest – it decreases energy, anxiety and affects your world view, making you think you are a procrastinator, and that there is nothing you can do to change that.
  • Procrastination is a self-protection mechanism from the conflict between a high desire for success but high fear of failure. It also comes from the fact that you get a instant reward from avoiding doing something you don't want to do – so you get a dopamine hit when you procrastinate, just like an addictions.
  • You should start habits as small as possible, as just relying on motivation mostly doesn't work. Committing to tiny things daily – such as doing a single push-up or putting your gym clothes – work better than trying to commit to larger things, which you can easily find excuses for.
  • You should have SMART goals – specific/measurable/achievable/relevant/time-bound (this one is quite popular, must be 3rd-4th time I have seen it).
  • Break down your goals – if you don't have clear steps, that will cause a great opportunity for procrastination to appear.
  • Get aware of your procrastination, by paying attention every time you do it, and taking notes of why you did it (obviously, as well as you understand it). Awareness will develop over time as you cultivate this habit. Some examples: distractions, dreading the activity, energy levels, thinking you can't do it, etc.
  • Be aware of the “what-the-hell effect” – when you do something you shouldn't, think “what the hell”, and make it worse. Such as eating a cookie, then going and eating a whole box because you already broke your diet.
  • Get a growth mindset, and reframe failure as every time you fail, it is an opportunity to learn, not a reflection on you sucking. Different countries actually have more or less of this baked into their culture, which affects their entrepreneurship rates.
  • Try to take on things you like doing, instead of things you think you should be doing (obviously hard, might even require changing your job). Delegate when possible. Procrastination can point out what you don't like to do, if it is not obvious.
  • Simplify things you do, something good that gets done is much better than the perfect one that doesn't.
  • When you are invested on things, it is less likely you will avoid them – you can invest money, emotion, safety, energy, reputation, etc.
  • Having deadlines can help
  • Ownership of problems helps puts the brain on problem solving mode – otherwise you might just feel sorry for your circumstances.
  • Manage your energy – sleep/nutrition/exercise/psychological state
  • Focus on starting, by planning to do something for just a limited time – many times you will realize it was note as bad as you thought and keep doing it. It also signals you that you do that kind of task. Quick wins can be build momentum. Pomodoro method is related.
  • Do the worst thing first. 
  • Batch tasks when possible – so you only have to overcome procrastination once per batch.
  • Whenever you have to stop an habit, go back as quickly as possible, but a lower level of intensity, so you don't get overwhelmed
  • Keep records of what worked and what didn't relating to procrastination.
  • Try to do positive procrastination when possible – such as instead of viewing cat videos on YouTube, view TED Talks. Then over time try to watch course videos. I.e. if you have to avoid doing something, try to avoid it with something better, that is actually useful.

This was a small fraction of my notes on the course, there was a lot of learn. Writing this post made me realize that I will probably have to watch the course again.
Overall, strongly recommended (as time spent goes – can't talk about cost-benefit, as price is unknown to me). There were things I was avoiding for years I got done, and I am much more aware of my procrastination now.

Course Review

XAML Layout In Depth: Course Review

XAML Layout In Depth, by Thomas Claudius Huber is another interesting PluralSight course. It covers Layout in XAML (both WPF and WinRT/UWP).

It mostly covers a tiny fraction of WPF 4.5 Unleashed, but as it has been a couple of years since I read that, the refresher was useful.

The MVVM examples are also interesting, and I liked the use of FluidMoveBehavior – it not only looks much nicer than the regular view, it is also easier to see what happened.

Overall, nice and not too long (about 5 hours).

Course Review

TPL Async – Course Review

I just finished the TPL Async course on Pluralsight. It covers some ways on using the Task Parallel Library on .Net 4.5 to get responsive software.

Overall, pretty interesting. I had learned some of it on books such as Essential C# 6.0, but unfortunately I never got around to using it so had forgotten much of it.

Course Review

Adobe Photoshop CC Classroom in a Book (2018 release) – Book Review

I have been using Photoshop on and off for many years, but I wouldn't in any way say that I was proficient on it.

So since this course/book is included on Safari, I thought I'd try it out.

It was pretty interesting. It is based on many exercises, where you start with a base file they provide, and keep doing what they you to till you get to a end result.

This is actually somewhat entertaining, and I learned quite a bit I didn't know. Exercises are easy to follow (I had a couple of instances where things just didn't work – in some cases looking online solved it).

You will not get out of this course/book being a master in Photoshop, but you will probably learn quite a bit. You would probably want to do the exercises – I doubt reading them will have anywhere near the same effect.

One thing I did not like is that mostly shortcuts were not mentioned. There is a table at the end of the book (also for the tools), but that won't get you into the habit of using them.

There is also a site you can sign on (Peachpit) which has not only the files to download, but a web version of the course, with video and quizzes. It was nice enough, but felt unnecessary for the first chapters, and was offline a couple of times I tried to use it, so I stuck to the Safari version.

Overall, I felt the book was useful and even entertaining. Most chapters are supposed to take an hour, but it usually took me around 40 minutes each, so it was around 10 hours for the whole thing.

Course Review

Learning Path: Java Professional Developer – Course Review

Learning Path: Java Professional Developer is a Learning Path in Safari. These usually have sets of book chapters or videos from different sources.

This one is from Paul J. Deitel Java video courses, alone. It covers a lot of Java, from the basics to Swing, some JDBC and the start of Java FX.

I felt it was interesting, but the absence of closed captions/transcripts, and the overall slow approach meant that I did a whole lot of skipping (even at 1.75 speed). A clickable transcript like some of MOOCs would be wonderful here – you can just read along for most of it, skipping to any parts where the visuals are important.

A lot of the video is given to explaining code. Sometimes this useful, but most of the time for me, the code was pretty clear and I had to skip around to not waste a lot of time.

The coverage seems good. Having a single part of Java FX was reasonable, as it gives you a taste of it without wasting too much time. Personally, I was a bit interested, but support in IntelliJ seems a bit primitive compared to WPF/UWP or even old Delphi, and I constantly hit on annoying bugs (such as disappearing sections on the in IDE version of Scene Builder).

It seems silly to mention it, but all the code in the repository worked and matched the one in the video. Sadly, that is not always the case.

Overall, interesting, and good coverage, but a little too slow.

As a mildly funny tidbit, while reviewing the course I noticed that a paul.deitel user gave the course 5 stars. Well, it makes sense that he'd like it…