The S.T.U.P.I.D. Email – Aug 22, 2021

By Bruno Souza | life

Aug 22

Skill, Thought, Unique, Person, Interesting, Daring
A fun, weekly round of Career ideas!

I have to talk today about productivity…

First because I talked with soooo many developers this past few days, and far too many are worried about productivity.

Are you ?
Do you think you are not productive enough?
At least this is something that is high in your mind?

The second reason is because I was very unproductive myself for the last couple of weeks…

I got sick.
Hospital level sick.
A doctor wanted to put me on Intensive Care…
(that was a bit extreme of him, but it almost happened…)

Very hard to be productive when life hits you badly…

And it is not only sickness that can hit you…
You may get overly tired…
Or have a family situation…
Like a bad argument with your spouse…
Maybe your kid has done something stupid…
Life may be uncertain at work…
A boss could be overly stupid…
Or you have anxiety about things…

Life has many ways to hit you…

With this background in mind… Lets talk about S.T.U.P.I.D…


You want to be productive, and you look for tools.

Planners, GTD, ZTD, note taking, mindmaps, pomodoros,

This is the best way to be unproductive: spend time researching and experimenting productivity tools!

Tools will not make you productive by themselves…

I think the best way to be productive is to build the skill of starting.

You see, no one is productive all the time.
At the very least, things beyond your control — life — happens…


It is OK to not do things.
To delay a task.
To stumble.
To fail.

What is not OK is to let this be the excuse to not pick it up again.

Instead of falling pray to the feeling of not being able to finish…

Cultivate the habit of starting.

Every day.
Just start.
Again and again.


“Every long journey begins with a single step.” — Lao Tzu.

Yeah, that’s beautiful, right?

But then you stop.
Change directions.
You get tired.

When any of that happens…
You have the opportunity for a new single step!

Stop beating yourself.
Just start again.

Let me fix the proverb…

“Every long journey begins many times.” — Bruno “Tzu” Souza.


Maximum productivity is not to do too many things.

You will be amazingly productive when you do the UNIQUE thing that you contribute better than anyone else.

You go do that. Very well.

Because the ONE thing you are amazing at, and that only you can do it, is more important than all the other things.

Launch your company.
Take care of your family.
Keep yourself healthy.
Write your best code.
Build your career.
Lead your team.

Whatever it is that only YOU can do it, do it.

If you take full responsibility for unique things only you can do, and I take full responsibility for the unique things only I can do, we will do great together!


Thank you all the people that make me productive every day.

I find amazing how much I was able to do in the last two weeks…

I was sick and sleeping a lot…
Spent hours at the hospital everyday doing exams and taking medicine.
Had pain all over the body and could not concentrate.
Got tired very fast and didn’t think straight.

And still got so much done!

That’s because many people in my life take care of everything around me, that I could focus on the ONE thing.

Thank you!


Related to productivity, I’m very interested in why people don’t take action…

I know it is hard to take action…
(I even wrote a book to help YOU take action, because it is hard…)

But people give the most intriguing reasons for not to take action…

The normal ones are simple…

– I don’t have the time.
– I don’t have the money.
– Not right now.

But some reasons to not take action are… Intriguing…

– I’m not sure it will work
(so, let me just be here hoping it will work even if I don’t do anything…)

– I’ll try to do it my way first
(although I have been trying to do it my way for years and is not working)

– Not right now, but I’ll do it in the future
(yeah, tomorrow is always a better day to take action!)

– I need to be ready first
(after all, I can look busy getting ready, instead of doing it…)

I get really sad when I see amazing people like you getting bogged down and unable to take action…

Do you feel like this ?
Stuck and unable to take action?
Or unsure what is the right action?

Send me a message explaining your situation,
and I’ll help you (or reply to this email!)


I’m not very daring right now.
And that’s OK too.

A lot of times, being productive is to do what needs to be done.

Even when it looks just normal, and not daring at all…

This week I’ll be mentoring developers at The Developers Conference (TDC).

I’m not going to be very daring, because I’m still not 100%.

But, I’ll be there, in full, to give my best to anyone that shows up.

Unfortunately, this TDC it is Portuguese only. But if you send me a message (just reply to this email, or DM me on twitter), I’ll find a way to help you in English too.

If you speak Portuguese, join me on TDC! The basic pass is free, and you get access to the career mentoring.

Hope you enjoyed those tips! Let me know what you need to get your career moving!


About the Author

Software developers have a huge impact in the world, and can effectively improve the planet. This is why Bruno Souza is passionate about developer communities and has dedicate his life to help developers worldwide reach their true potential. The "Brazilian JavaMan" is a Java Developer at Summa Technologies, and a Cloud Specialist at ToolsCloud, where he participated in some of the largest Java projects in Brazil. President of SouJava and Director at the Open Source Initiative, Bruno believes Java and Open Source to be the path to career excellency for developers everywhere, and that taking responsibility for delivering software is the mark of great developers.