Hopefully the last episode about modifier functions and behaviors helped spark and idea of how you might change small behaviors and cascade that into bigger behaviors. Like leaving your phone outside of your room before you go to bed, leading to better sleep and during the day, better focus.
In today's episode, we're taking the ideas of changing small behaviors and zooming out to look at the roles we play in our lives and how we can evaluate the roles we play to lead to positive daily behaviors.
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Transcript (Generated by OpenAI Whisper)
In the last episode of Developer Tea we talked about modifier functions. These are behaviors that you can act out, habits that you might create, and they're smaller but they cascade into other behaviors and other habits. In today's episode I want to talk about modes and paradigms. These are not going to be talked about in context of our programming, everyday work, instead we're going to talk about these in the context of our everyday goals and processes. My name is Jonathan Cutrell and you're listening to Developer Tea. My goal in the show is to help driven developers like you find clarity, perspective, and purpose in their careers. Hopefully the discussion on modifier functions or modifier behaviors you might also call these modulation behaviors. Hopefully this helped spark an idea in you of how you might change your behaviors, your small behaviors, and cascade that into your bigger behaviors. The example we gave in that episode was perhaps leaving your phone outside of your room. That cascade into getting a better night of sleep, which cascade into better focus tomorrow. And perhaps if you keep the habit up, better health over the long run. Better focus and better health obviously have life changing effects, but it all starts with that contextual habit, that small modifying habit, that modifying behavior. But our behaviors, as we discussed at length in that episode, they don't exist in a vacuum. You can't decide if something is a good idea just by looking at the behavior itself. Many things that we consider kind of universally good are in some context, a bad decision. And many things that we might consider bad are in some context, perhaps the right decision. So today I want to talk about figuring out what the most common contexts are for you. And using those contexts to kind of understand the modes that you might be able to think in. So these contexts are mostly dependent on the different roles that you play. For example, you may play the role of a programmer at work, but then you may also play the role of sibling or father or mother. You may play the role of students. Or perhaps you have a hobby that you take seriously and you may play a role at that hobby. Whatever the case is, almost all of us have different roles that we play in our lives. And while these roles are not separating our personalities, they do have distinct differences. Other lying, we may have the same ethical and moral values that we carry through all of the roles, but some of the behaviors that we might practice in a given role would be inappropriate or otherwise ineffective in the other roles. So it's important to think about the contexts that you live in and to consider the ways that those roles both overlap but also are differentiated from one another. When conflict can arise, when we try to substitute one role for another. For example, if you try to make up for your role as a parent, instead of spending time with your children, you try to make up for that by overworking and making enough money to provide nicer things for those children. That's kind of an oversimplified version of something that is much more complex in practice. When our roles bleed into each other and when we don't realize that they're bleeding into each other, when we're substituting one role for another, we can have especially interpersonal conflict. We're going to take a quick break and then we're going to come back and talk about a practical way that you can evaluate your behavior within your roles. First, let's talk about today's sponsor, Linode. With Linode, you can deploy a server in the Linode Cloud in just a few minutes. Linode offers cloud computing plans for every workload from simple web hosting to CPU intensive needs like video encoding or machine learning. Linode offers a balance of power and price that works for every customer. You can pick from one of any 10 worldwide data centers. There's brand new data centers. If you're a longtime listener of the show, Linode has launched. You may have heard us in the past about eight data centers. Now there are 10. The newest data centers are in Toronto and Mumbai, which means anybody who's close to that, if you want low latency, and you can set up your servers on those data centers, you also get native SSD storage. So internal latency ends up being essentially nothing. 40 gigabit internal network and the industry's fastest processors. Great hardware all around and you pay for what you use with hourly billing across all plans and one price add on services. You can deploy and maintain your infrastructure simply and cost effectively. And coming soon, Linode is going to be launching their Linode Kubernetes engine, GPU processors, object storage. Linode is continuously growing. In fact, they're hiring at Linode.com slash careers. But if you just want to sign up as a customer, head over to Linode.com slash Developer Tea, if you're a new customer and you use the code Developer Tea2019, that's Developer Tea 2019, all one word, you'll get a $20 credit. That's Linode.com slash Developer Tea. Thanks again to Linode for sponsoring today's episode. So how do we interact with our different contexts, our different modes of being? If you were to look at all of your kind of principles, the things that you live by, whether those are ethical principles or maybe their values, things you care about, they can be unique to you or they may be common in a culture. Whatever these things are that kind of derive, you derive most of your intentional behaviors or at least you try to derive your intentional behaviors from, all of them express themselves in unique ways in these contexts. So a very simple exercise that can be enlightening to do for you in these different roles is to pull out a piece of paper, write down each of the different roles. And then for each role, identify one kind of keystone habit or behavior. This is kind of the poster child behavior for that given role. So for example, if your role is programmer, then writing code is a keystone behavior or writing tests or reviewing other people's code, this should be the easy part of this practice. However, it is kind of enlightening to see that each of your different roles have different keystone behaviors. Now, interestingly enough, if you're to try to take one of the keystone behaviors from one role to another role, assuming that the roles are sufficiently different from each other, the keystone behavior would look very odd. Of course, sometimes there is some overlap. For example, for me, if I want to be a good father, spending time with my wife, that's an important factor of being a good father, not just a good husband. So there are roles, there are contexts that will overlap for you. But many of these contexts, they will not overlap. And you can see the very clear differences in the types of behaviors that you at least idealistically are practicing for each of these different roles. And it makes sense to kind of do that substitution as a practice, just to see why these roles are distinct. Even though your underlying principles are the same, you can also write out some of the principles that each of these keystone behaviors exhibits. Now, we do this exercise for a couple of reasons. And one of the most important reasons that we do this exercise is that it's important to understand the different paradigms that you approach your day with. If you approach work with the same paradigm or the same context that you approach your family life with, then you're likely to have conflicts. Now, in the same way that the same principles apply to two different programs or programming languages rather that have different paradigms, that's true for your life as well. Your same principles can be carried out no matter what context you're in, but the resulting behaviors, the ways that you practice those paradigms, there's going to be different. As a final step in this exercise, go through and identify for each of your roles, a this, not that statement. So this, not that statement is basically saying, in this role, I act this way, but not that way. Now, the key factor here, the most important part of this step is that your that statement should be a behavior that you do have as a this statement somewhere else. So in other words, this, not that statement is identifying the differences between your different contexts with types of behavior that you might practice in one place, but you wouldn't practice in another place. I hope you find this exercise in in lightning. The point of this exercise is not to come out with some special point or some epiphany, but instead to observe the different contexts and the ways that those contexts play out in your life. Thank you so much for listening to today's episode of Developer Tea. Thank you again to Linneau for sponsoring today's episode. Head over to Linode.com slash Developer Teato get started today. We get $20 worth of credit if you use the code Developer Tea2019 at checkout. Today's episode is part of the spec network. Every other episode of Developer Teacan be found at spec.fm along with plenty of other shows just like this one that can help you level up in your career as a designer or developer head over to spec.fm to check out those other shows today. Today's episode was produced by Sarah Jackson. My name is Jonathan Cutrell and until next time, enjoy your tea.