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A quick recap of some of the more interesting stuff I stumbled on this week. Covering my usual themes of planning, environmentalism and living frugally!
What should be on the roadmap – a deep- dive article for project & product managers about how to put together a roadmap. It gave me a lot to think about.
Most people think in solutions-oriented ways. They skip over defining the opportunity and get straight to a proposal. If you let them, they’ll follow up with two or three more proposals. When someone comes to you with a brilliant idea that you should work on, it often takes a couple of questions to get to why they think the idea is so brilliant and what problem it solves (if any… too many companies today seem to be solutions in search of a problem). Only then, when you’ve gotten to the “but what’s the problem” stage, can you have a real conversation about if that’s a problem worth solving, and if there are other possible solutions to that problem.
Emergency on Planet Earth – everything you could ever want to know about climate change. Look, I know it’s depressing, but also avoiding reality rarely ends well.
The UK Met Office warns that British summers are going to keep getting hotter, on average 3°C warmer and 18% drier. By 2050, the UK is predicted to see a trebling of heat-related deaths – with 7,000 dying due to excess heat each year – and the climate of Leeds is predicted to become more similar to that of Melbourne, with scorching summer heat waves like in 2018 every other year. These are conditions that no UK infrastructure is designed to withstand, nor that any of the wildlife and ecosystems of Northern England are adapted to.
A lot of stuff we spend money on actually makes life less enjoyable in the long run. And a lot of cheap and free stuff is very enjoyable indeed. So why choose the stuff that requires us to work all the time and get stressed about bank balances? The stuff that leads to looking in the mirror and seeing your dear face grown all puffy from too many pad Thai takeaways eaten mid-commute, because finding the energy to cook at the end of the day often feels impossible. To gazing at your house full of random possessions that seemed wonderful when you bought them but now seem to demand more care, organising, and storage space than you have the capacity for. To finding yourself at the gym, or maybe on the therapist’s couch, suspecting that you wouldn’t need to be there if you just had the time to sleep in more, or to go out dancing, like you’d love to.
“This is not a good scene!” declares the Frugal Hedonist, and opts for ditching some pricier habits and lifestyle expectations in favour of less stress. They focus their spending where it provides maximum bang per buck, and become connoisseurs of free pleasures. Then they kick back and reap the rewards.
What have you been reading this week?