• The Dailies Experiment for March 2018

    March 6, 2018

    I had a disturbing thought in the shower this morning: do I really know how to build big complicated projects? Up to that moment I had assumed that I knew what I was doing, but in hindsight I am not sure that I really know what I’m doing. Many (if not all) of my major life accomplishments seem random rather than purposeful, and are of a smaller scale. On a related note, I had been feeling much the same way after doing my Groundhog Day Resolutions Review for March. Sure, insights were gained but not a lot seemed to happen ON PURPOSE or AT SCALE.

    PURPOSE AND SCALE are on my mind now. I’d like my March to be a strong one, with more direction than I’ve had in the past. Do I really know to do that? I have the theoretical knowledge, of course, but I don’t think I really OWN that knowledge with the unshakable certainty that I have with other activities like, um, cooking a turkey dinner. I WANT THE CERTAINTY OF THANKSGIVING DINNER in my world building work! :-)

    So I’ve decided to start each day by blogging what’s on my mind, and use this as a way of maintaining focus of immediate goals related to building with purpose and scale in mind. It also will be good for preparing mentally for my daily WHAT’S UP DAVE livestream on YouTube. And writing blog posts is a good thing for me also because it triggers the happiness of sharing in me, which adds to my energy!

    How the Dailies Experiment will Work

    I’m planning on doing writing every day (maybe also on weekends, but we’ll see) about what my goals are, and what I’m working on. I want these to be fairly short, and take no longer than 10-15 minutes to do. This challenge will go on to the end of March.

    I want the posts to be short because I want them to be very fast to review. I’m thinking there would be a few checklist items to do every day:

    • Review the ACCRUAL LOG spreadsheet
    • Note what’s on my mind
    • Find the continuity of making stuff from yesterday’s blog entry
    • Pick some things for show and tell for WHATS UP DAVE
    • Pick a target that’s related to making something BIG and AT SCALE from my array of projects
    • Write the progress into the ACCRUAL LOG at the end of the workday at 6PM

    For today, Tuesday March 6, I’ve already looked at the Accrual Bucket and see there’s nothing in it. On my mind today is one of several projects:

    • The NetCreate project, working on HTML stuff
    • Ecommerce-related marketing stuff, which I will have to review later today
    • Hanging up stuff on the walls so the Living Room Cafe finally starts to look finished and lived-in
    • Cleaning out the Basement so I can move stuff from the living room into the basement
    • Heading to City Hall to pay property taxes
    • Getting provisions to weather the upcoming snowstorm on Wednesday
    • Building a “concepts” static site for for things like “Happy Bubble Time”; an ongoing reference work of things I’ve been thinking of.

    The NetCreate project is most on my mind, so I think I want to put a chunk of time into that today. I need to learn some basic predictive text entry stuff that is compatible with React, which means I need to brush up on my understanding of React. I’d like to document what I’ve learned on the project Wiki so I don’t have to relearn it all again in the future. That will be today’s goal.

    Ok, let’s see how this goes!

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  • 2018 Goals Review 01: Gathering Style Productivity Seems to Work

    March 5, 2018

    "Gathering Style Productivity" It’s time for my first monthly review of goals set for my 2018 Groundhog Day Resolutions! I’m a day late because I caught a cold a couple days ago, and in my snot-induced misery forgot to write the post.

    In the past, my report would be a matter of seeing what I got done and whether it seemed like progress was made. This year I feel the need for something more. I can’t even remember what goals I had set, which suggests that I need to be more proactive about my reviewing. Let’s see what I come up with! (more…)

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  • Review: Sumo Lounge Otto Ottoman for Kids

    February 25, 2018

    World's Best Cat Cushion In January I was contacted by Sumo Lounge to see if I’d want to review one of their products for their 15 year anniversary. I’ve reviewed the modernist Omni beanbag and the delectably comfortable Sumo Sway Couple back in 2007 and 2010. While I liked these products quite a bit (particularly the Sway Couple), they are rather too large for my small condominium and I had to give them away. This time I looked through the Sumo Lounge catalog and asked to try out their Sumo Cordoroy Otto, which is their smallest beanbag chair. It’s 21 inches in diameter and 16 inches high, filled with 8 pounds of their special foam. I had been thinking that I’d like some kind of foot rest to go with my LoveSac Sactional S5 modular couch, and the Otto in red seemed like a good choice.

    Sumo Lounge Otto Red Corduroy in Living Room Near Couch I unboxed the Otto on my daily livestream for February 1, and have been living with it for a few weeks now. It’s an attractive shape and size, reminding me a bit of a plush corduroy cupcake. It works pretty well as a foot support, though since it is designed for kids there is not enough foam in it for a someone as heavy as me (200+ pounds) to sit on it without sinking all the way to the ground. I’m curious if adding more foam would make it a bit more supportive (Sumo sells additional bags of foam in 16 pound sizes for $100), but since the chair doesn’t have internal structure in the base it might just flop over.

    Sumo Lounge Otto Red Corduroy in the corner near workstation In the weeks I’ve been using the Otto, I’ve come to think of it as a very attractive free standing accent cushion that compresses into a pillow. It’s been nice to use when I’ve had to get under my computer desk and sit for a while, as it still offers padding for my bony ass. It would be great in a kids bedroom or play space.

    Perfect Cat Sleeping Spot The ultimate application of the Otto, as far as my experience has gone, is as the world’s best cat pillow. My cat LOVES the Otto. It elevates him off the cold hardwood floor to give him a good view, and it’s supremely comfortable. For people-sized cat comfort, Sumo Lounge sells the mighty Maximus Bean Bag, which looks like a giant Otto EIGHT FEET in diameter. I wish I had the space for it; even the slightly smaller Gigantor Bean Bag is six feet wide. Anyway, my 15 year-old cat lurvs the Otto and is sleeping away his senior years on top of it…I am so jealous.

    » Sumo Lounge Otto Bean Bag Chair
    At the time of this writing, Sumo Lounge is having a sale!

    This review unit was provided by Sumo Lounge for their 15th anniversary! Thanks guys for sending one out to me to try out!

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  • Followup Thoughts on the Productivity Accrual Bucket

    February 24, 2018

    A few weeks ago I wrote about the Accrual Bucket aspect of my Gathering Model of Productivity (GAMO-P), which is a very personal productivity system I’m designing for this year’s Groundhog Day Resolutions (GHDR). After working with the Accrual Bucket for a couple of weeks, I have some observations I’d like to share! (more…)

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  • The Productivity Accrual Bucket: First Thoughts

    February 11, 2018

    I’ve been working on this personal productivity approach that I’ve nicknamed the gathering model, which itself is based on the idea of me having a “fruit orchard” instead of a “factory”. I wander around the fruit farm every day and look for ripening fruit. Maybe I see a fruit tree that could benefit from some attention to encourage ripening. Maybe something else catches my eye that might benefit the fruit farm as a whole, like building a roadside fruit stand, and I put some energy into that. This strikes me as an idyllic model that fits my unpredictable bursts of energy.

    The ideal gathering model, in my mind, is one that does not have explicit tasks or time management requirements. To make this work as a productivity system, I instead have my accrual bucket. I know, it’s a terrible name, but the idea is that instead of checking off todos and blocking out time, I am counting fruit that I’ve gathered. What counts as fruit are tangible, shareable, reusable things that I have done. The daily goal is to then make sure that there is SOMETHING new in the bucket every day. I’ve been using a Google spreadsheet as my bucket, itemizing everything that I’ve collected so far.

    Accrual Bucket My impression after a week of maintaining the accrual bucket is that it feels good, and the format I’m using now is helpful for daily review. It’s successful in the following ways:

    • It gives me a concise way to contemplate what I’ve done, which gives rise to a feeling of accomplishment. It’s like I’m gathering CLUES to the future, and every time I look at the log I ponder what opportunities might be drawn.
    • It also provides me a way of quickly finding what I did; it is like a log or inventory. I have links on the side that will tell me where to find the thing I did, if it doesn’t fit in its entirety (in the case of tips, for example) in the spreadsheet itself.
    • It’s easy to access as a bookmarked link on my browser, so it is nearly always available.
    • As I see the bucket accrue more things, the desire to accrue even more gives me a little boost of excitement. The low bar of “one accrual a day” that I’ve set seems to be a reasonable threshold that also enables the allure of “exceeding the threshold/acquiring more wealthy bucket things”.

    It’s important to note that while everything in the bucket is a tangible/reusable thing, they are not necessarily ready for public consumption. The bucket also contains tips, process improvements, and subcomponents that might fit into a larger scheme. I have a different container that I’m calling the product combobulator which will be where I keep track of “made” products, and this is the one that might have the tasks and time management elements. For my daily productivity, though, I like the gathering model.

    I am not sure how the combobulator will work, but I suspect that at some point a critical mass will be achieved with what I collect and THEN the motivational forces will put me into execution mode. We shall see.

    If you’re curious enough to check-in on the live accrual bucket, here’s the public link to the spreadsheet.


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