WordPress Meetup events are a great way to help you improve your knowledge with WordPress, as well as meet and network with other WordPress developers, designers, bloggers, marketers, enthusiasts, experts and novices. A couple of weeks before I attended the WordPress Oxford Meetup for June 2020, I attended the Cambridge WordPress Meetup (read about it here). As with the Cambridge event, I attended it via Zoom, as did everyone else due the Coronavirus pandemic.
Here is what I learnt about the WordPress Oxford Meetup:
A good method to learn and get better is to simply ‘play’ around with WordPress templates and its files. Dive-deep into the core of WordPress and see how it works. Some developers don’t use frameworks, however, some such as myself do, and either is fine.
The Meetup also had a brief discussion regarding Gutenberg and the pros and cons of it. It was discussed that whilst there has was some resistance to the layout at first and with some reverting back to the classic layout, many are warming to it. Gutenberg has introduced block development to WordPress within pages, much like there is Drupal, and the aim for WordPress in the upcoming years is to become a key player in the website builder market next to platforms such as Wix, as well as still being a top development CMS for web developer and bloggers.
Custom Post Types – a very useful tool that allows developers to create unique post pages based on a set-list of categories and values.
Autoptimize – This plugin aims to help improve your site and page speed by compressing style sheets and JS files, adding styling to the page head, optimising lazy-load images, optimising Google Fonts and much more.
Query Monitor – A tool that is very useful for developers. It has the ability to debug database queries and PHP errors. It is perhaps most useful for depicting page calls and speeds. This is useful for knowing what calls are being made on a particular page as to trace any issues regarding page-loading for example.
Lastly, it was good to see an old college mate at this event – one of the co-hosts, Lee.
I write this post whilst in lock-down in England. And similar to most people, I have more time on my hands. More time means time to read, play the guitar, work on the business, exercise and of course watch or catch-up on television shows and movies. I believe that movies have the power to change the way we see the world. A good movie is something that we can talk about. A good movie stays with us for days and can help change the way we see the world. Business films are a great example of injecting us with a shot of motivation that helps us change our look at life. A good business film might even give us the drive to aim and reach higher.
Here are 10 business films that you have to see. Some might be completely about business, but more about the personal struggles that the antagonist has in their life before they find success.
The Pursuit of Happyness
Will Smith plays Chris Gardner in this biopic about a struggling single-father trying to make ends meet, whilst also studying in an internship with one permanent position up for grabs. It is an inspirational story about a man’s strive through from the hardships of being at rock bottom to achieving success. It’s about not giving up and that excuses mean nothing.
The Wolf of Wall Street
The film differs in many places compared to the book, but the main points of the story exist. This Martin Scorsese epic is about creating a business from nothing and aiming to be the very best…All be it with very shady actions along the way. But a very good watch.
Michael Keaton portrays Ray Kroc, a struggling businessman that has a reasonably nice life. He has a lovely wife and they both live in a nice suburban house, but he wants more. One day he pays a visit to two brothers in California and is blown away by their McDonald’s restaurant. Although this film is a lot about deceit, it is also about not giving up, even when you are past your prime. This is one of the most understand business films out there. Even if you’re not a McDonald’s fan, don’t worry, it’s still worth a watch.
The Social Network
Jesse Eisenberg portrays Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg in this film about Facebook became the biggest social media site in the world. It’s an interesting story that involves deceit as well as hard work, and the cost of fame and fortune.
Jennifer Lawrence portrays the title lead character in this biopic about the woman the reinvented the floor-mop. Yes, I know, it sounds a bit of dull subject, but it is worth a watch. Lawrence’s performance is strong as her character goes through many setbacks and failures to create the life that she wants.
Charlie Sheen plays a young and upcoming stockbroker that meets Michael Douglas’s character and his life and career are seemingly changed for the better. He soon learns that more power than cause more damage. It is one of the most powerful business films out there.
Brad Pitt plays the general manager of the Oakland A’s; a fairly average baseball team competing in the MLB. At the start of the film the club resigns to the fact they have to sell their star player, and their tactic is to replace him with another star player, but Billy Beane (Pitt) has other ideas. He wants to use computer-generated statistics to find the best players – revolutionary thinking at the time.
The story of Howard Hughes – pilot, plane designer, entrepreneur, film director and playboy. This film has a lot to take in, but the most important message is the pros and cons of being obsessed with success and perfection.
The Devil Wears Prada
Anne Hathaway plays a graduate that becomes the assistant to the demanding editor-in-chief at Vogue magazine. This film showcases the cut-throat nature of being at the top and the difficulties one may face when dealing with the people of high authority.
Orson Welles directs and stars in this classic about a media tycoon that dies, but utters ‘Rosebud’ as his last word. The film showcases what one’s purposes are and that it is difficult to forget who we truly are.
These are my top business books of all time (so far). These books have helped me focus on what it is necessary, as well as teach me – and others some valuable life lessons. These books are great for people wanting to improve their status and work in their job or career, or those that want to start something for themselves.
Just to note: These books do contain affiliate links. We receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps us on our road to creating more valuable content to you.
The Compound Effect
What I liked about this book are the exercises as well as the practical advice.
I listened to the audio version of this book. It has some very good examples of some tactics that big brands do to become oversubscribed and not chase small wins.
I listened to the audio version. Some very good advice about starting up on social media. Prepared to be motivated.
Take Your Shot
A business book with a difference. It contains some very good advice on selling your services and not selling yourself too cheaply.
The E-Myth: Revisited
Ideal for any sized businesses wanting to improve workflow and processes.
High Performance Habits
An interesting book based upon research to how some of the great leaders work and lead.
Did I miss anything? What are your favourite business books? Leave a comment below.
Also, be sure to come back, as my list of the top business books of all time is most likely to expand in the future.
This week, I have taken a slight turn. Sometimes in life we get a bit lost. We might ask such questions as, why am I doing this? What is the meaning of this?
Such questions might come about because we lack direction an clarity on who we are, and what our values are. I am in this boat sometimes. I think it is important to sometimes think and write about who we are and what we think. If you think that there are two good books that contain exercises that can help you answer such questions:
Both books do ask similar questions; The Chimp Paradox asks you to think about yourself aged 100 on your deathbed with a minute left to live, and you have to answer a question that your great, great-granddaughter, what she should do with her life. This book also asks you to complete your stone of life. A list of things that you adhere, in the following categories:
Truths – what are your 3 truths about life?
Values – What do you believe in? These aren’t truths because they can be debated.
Lifeforce – Your mission statement. The things that you believe in.
The 7 Habits book asks a similar question, but this time it is your funeral. What would you want your friends and family to say about you?
Both are perhaps uneasy to think about, but at the same time spark a rather important thought – what are we doing with our time, and are we living by the values that we say to others to adhere to. If not, then we are simply living a lie.
For me, these questions are important but it brings clarity to what we are doing. Are we living for a happy life, or are slogging away, without joy, putting important such as family and close friends to the kerb.
If you do have 5 minutes to spare, then perhaps stop, and think; what are my values? How do I want others to think of me? And, am I doing what I want to? Am I adhering to my life values.
March 2020 – a strange, unique and somewhat scary time for every human today. With the outbreak of COVID-19, most of the world’s leaders have declared ‘lockdowns’ in their respected nations. Here in the UK, most workers have been told to work from home if they can. Some, unfortunately, cannot do so. And not only that, but visiting friends and going to bars and cinemas are a complete no-no. But, what are we going to do now with all of our spare time at home?
Well, now is the time to get more stuff done. Now is the time to work on those projects that you need or have wanted to get done.
Distractions and procrastination are the main things that are holding us back from completing our goals, or targets. Apparently, according to a recent statistical survey, only approximately 15% of UK citizens say that they never procrastinate. And the search volumes on Google for people wanting to ‘rid’ themselves of procrastinating is also alarmingly high.
But what solutions are there? Is there a magic wand that will help us improve our focus?
Almost…I have compiled a list of 8 productivity apps that you should try. Whether it is writing that book that you have been putting off doing so for years or just simply concentrating on getting more stuff done without looking at social media every 10 minutes. Because for every 5 minutes that we waste on surfing the web for irrelevant things, it takes us and another 15 minutes to get back into the mode of working hard again.
Microsoft To Do
To get the 8 best productivity apps list start is something from Microsoft. Originally known as Wunderlist until it was acquired by Microsoft. It is a simple list application that essentially replaces oneself from creating hundreds of post-it notes. You can create multiple lists, for example, you could create ‘project to-do list’, and then create a ‘shopping list’, and then perhaps a ‘music schedule list’. To complete a task, simply tick the box. You can create an objective date, so if you wanted to complete a task for the upcoming Friday you can do so. You can also share your list with work colleagues too.
This app is available on Windows 10 PCs, Android and IOS mobile devices.
MeisterTask is what is known as kanban task system. Translated as signboard/billboard from Japanese; a kanban system is part of the lean methodology. It is essentially a board with a list of tasks that are separated into different columns or swimlanes. For example, you might have a ‘to-do’ column, and then ‘doing’ column, and then lastly a ‘done’ column. Depending on the status of the created task will determine which column it will fall into.
It is ideal for scheduling tasks and project work and it can also help teams track the progress of a project and also set deadlines.
What I like about MeisterTask is that you can do so much within the free plan. If you would require in-depth reporting, then I would consider looking at the premium plans available.
There are many Pomodoro timer/tracker apps. But, what is a Pomodoro timer? I hear you ask. Pomodoro is the Italian word for tomato. It originates from a university student using a tomato timer to work for a set period of time – 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, one can then have a 5-minute break. It is a great way to focus on tasks by tricking your mind that you have to beat the clock. A little bit like the show Countdown, except that you have 25 minutes, not 30 seconds to complete an objective.
Available on Android; this app is ideal for those that get easily distracted by the flashing lights and alert noises that our phones emit during the day. We as humans crave attention and being liked. Such emotions cause an increase in endorphins which is why we are ‘addicted’ to our phones. AppBlock easily allows you to block certain apps from being used within user-created time-slots. For example, if you wanted to block yourself from using WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook Messenger between the hours of 9-12 am, then AppBlock is perfect for you. It creates a screen overlay that prevents you from using the app – unless of course you are very sneaky and you disable it.
A similar concept to AppBlock, but I use Block Site’s Chrome browser extension to set the times and sites that I want blocking. It is great for blocking news sites, social media and shopping sites – for whenever your mind starts to wonder about those bizarre questions that randomly pop into your head during the day.
Both Block Site and AppBlock are great productivity apps because they stop you using apps and websites that prevent you from doing what you need to do. Sometimes just sheer will and dedication won’t work.
An app that allows you to create tasks, but with a difference. Habit Bull lets you assign tasks to a calendar as well as alerting you about your tasks. It is ideal for those wanting to start tracking their progress such as guitar playing, quitting smoking or tracking time spent on social media or event tracking money spent.
There are widgets and also the ability to export your data to the cloud or to a spreadsheet. Plus it also has motivational images.
One of the most popular productivity apps; Trello might not have as many features as MeisterTask and you are limited to the number of boards you are allowed to create in the freemium version, but it is simple to use and is perfect task creating and tracking. You can edit your boards to include the perfect colour or image and you can also share your boards with colleagues.
No, I don’t mean the video-sharing platform TikTok. TicTok is an app that allows you to create projects and then input the time that you spent working a particular task as well as the potential earnings. You will be alerted during the day to log times, see detailed stats on your projects and much more.
TicTok is ideal for those that are self-employed as it allows you to track your time and performance as well as your earning potential.
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