Sunday Muse – May Bank holiday Edition

written by Matthew Acton on May 26, 2013 in Sunday Muse with no comments

I’ve had a really exciting week – a big milestone for Babbling Engineer.  We broke the 1000 unique visits in a day barrier!  In fact, we trounced it!  Ever since the Nook Rooting article went live, we’ve been flirting with the 1000 limit.  However, on Tuesday when I logged in to check the stats, my jaw hit the floor when it said 1700!  By the end of the night it was just below the 2000 limit.  I think I had a mile-wide grin on my face all night and most of the next day!


Digging into the stats, I think that the article was shared by someone on Facebook with quite a substantial following, so the traffic saw a spike and then dropped back off to normal.  But, traffic is still gradually increasing, which is great to know that people are finding the site useful.

I’ve also discovered this week that 2 of my colleagues at work have been checking out the site (Hello Stef and Andy!).

It’s a Bank Holiday here in the UK this weekend, which means a 3 day weekend.  I’m writing this on Friday, ready for a quick tidy up and publishing on Sunday.  I’ve got of things I want to get done this weekend, while I’m not in work and the weather is supposed to be good.

Firstly, I want to get my bike cleaned and serviced.  I haven’t given it an overhaul since last year, so it needs a bit of TLC.  Then I want to go ride it.  I’ve still got a bit of weight I want to shift, which I gained on our honeymoon.  I also need to trim our hedges back and get some other jobs in the garden sorted, ready for Summer.

I’ve had another busy week at work.  I’m slowly transitioning onto another job now, and I’m getting to get my hands dirty with some structural dynamics again; vibration of systems brackets.  This is my specialism – in fact I did a PhD in dynamics, so its nice to visit my specialism again.

I’ve still had time for some reading though.

The Psychology of Productivity: A Proven Way to Get More Done (in Less Time) (SparringMind)

This was me catching up on some bookmarked posts from last year.  This is a pretty comprehensive post covering many aspects of productivity – how willpower is a finite resource, habits, breaking work up into chinks etc.  Its a long read, with a lot of citations, but a pretty good resource that I will probably revisit at some point in the future.

The Art of Filing (MindTools)

If there’s one area I am struggling with at the moment – both at home and work, its filing systems.  I haven’t yet found that perfect solution.  So, I’m researching a fair bit at the moment, and that will eventually result in a full on post on the subject.  This is one article I’ve been reading this week, and it covers some of the basics that I try and follow, such as splitting up completed work and in work.

Strengths Finder 2.0 (Amazon)


I was bought this for my birthday, recently.  It was a book that was recommended to me in order to determine my strengths and talents.  I’d much rather focus on developing my strengths than improving my short-comings.  Following a 30 on-line assessment to determine your personality, you are presented with your 5 strengths.  The book (and companion website) detail all the traits of these strengths as well as suggestions for you to take action on.  This book has really opened up my eyes to where I should be devoting my time and attention to the benefit of both myself and others.

How to Keep Your Balance in High-Pressure Work Environments (Lifehack)

Stumbled across this article on  Most Engineering environments seem to be quite high pressure these days, with customers wanting their products faster, whilst being cheaper and higher performance (and while you’re at it, can you mate the moon with a stick please?).  This article provides 5 tips to handle a high pressure environment.  The one that struck home with me is to nurture good relationships.  To me, a good office environment is one where everybody gets on and has a laugh.  They are more productive, happier and know how to work together as a team when the heat is on.

Hack Your Way to Good Looks (Lifehack)

I rad this article out of sheer amusement to be honest.  However, there are a few good tips in there for improving your style and personal brand.

6 Ways to Improve Relationships by Tackling Self-Consciousness (DumbLittleMan)

Self esteem is something that I have battled with over many years.  Many people who know me would be surprised by that, but sometimes faking it is the best cure.  Jay White, over at DumbLittleMan, discusses how he dealt with his self consciousness over his perspiration problem.

So, thats it for this week.  I’m off work on Monday, so hoping to get some work on the site done.  But only if the weather is typical British Bank Holiday (i.e. raining!).

Before I sign off though, I’d like to mention that if you enjoy the posts on this site, you can subscribe to them in either your newsreader of choice, by using this link, or you can get the posts directly to your e-mail by using the form on the left hand side of the homepage.