• GHDR Update 0222 – Adderall-inspired Alternate Thoughts

    February 22, 2021

    Hello! Here’s a follow up on this year’s Groundhog Day Resolutions, which I started this year by picking TRANSITIONS as this year’s theme. Briefly, the three areas of transition I am thinking of are:

    • Gender Identity and Expression
    • Deciding on where I want to fit culturally, socially, and professionally
    • Balancing my tendency stay hidden in my inner world of thoughts with the outside world of the senses and social interaction

    Last week I finally had a formal evaluation for ADHD with a Board-Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC) referred to me by my gender therapist of four years. I’ve been told several times over the years that the productivity tools I design AND the subjects I write about resonate with people who have ADHD, and I’ve suspected I might have the Inattentive form.

    • The preliminary verdict: I do match the pattern of having the inattentive type of ADHD.
    • The surprise bonus: I also match the pattern of being on the autistic spectrum, but not a form that is readily detected.

    Being on the autistic spectrum was a new possibility that I’d never considered, but let’s roll with it and see where this goes!

    Also, I received a trial prescription for Adderall, a drug that boosts levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.


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    Dave Seah
  • Groundhog Day Resolutions Kickoff 2021!

    February 2, 2021

    NOTE: The text of this blog post may change as I try to make it more concise over the course of the year; that will make this text a more useful document for future review!

    Ah, February 2nd! This is the day I declare my resolutions for the year in an ongoing attempt to find a sustainable path to creative independence. I’m still not very good at finding this path, as this is the fifteenth year I am trying to find answers to the complicated questions of What am I doing with my life? and How will I find fulfillment, meaning, and purpose in what I am doing? earts.

    After 14 years of looking, I am starting to question whether such gratification exists at all. I used to think that the solutions would be in the form of a tidy bulleted list that helped me understand my value to the world so I could make a living of some kind:

    • What am I really good at?
    • What really makes me happy?
    • What do I offer the world?
    • What does the world offer me in exchange?

    In subsequent years I came to think of the search as the pursuit of a particular state of being:

    • How can I create financial stability by pursuing creative activities? I call this creative independence
    • How can I find a community of like-minded folks to create a positive interdependence?

    More recently, I’ve looked critically at the hypothetical character flaws that stops follow-through on the actions that I want to take. What the heck is wrong with me? I’ve been asking myself:

    • Why is it so hard for me to start projects?
    • Why do I seem to lack intrinsic motivation, discipline, and sustained follow through?
    • Why am I so easily bored?
    • Why is my sense of timeliness, responsibility, and competence a source of stress?

    In 2020 I was so exasperated that I didn’t even do Groundhog Day Resolutions. No tracking of tasks and time. No weekly reports. Not even any goal setting. Instead, I just said I’d focus on just one thing, and let everything else “just happen”:

    • I focused on getting better at software development because I was doing a lot of it. While it’s not what I ultimately want to do, it does pay the bills.
    • I backburnered all other projects related to creative independence. This pained me, ,but I had to admit that I really wasn’t able to do more than one things at a time.
    • I tried to be more relaxed about the work instead of stressed out with thoughts of not being “enough” to do everything instantly.

    The end result was that I DID get better at software development, and felt pretty good about it. And it turned out that having that “singular focus” didn’t stop me from doing other things. They tended to happen organically! The major takeaways:

    • I got better at allocating my limited disciplined energy toward a singular goal. That meant I worked more hours and made more money, which has put me in a better position for 2021.
    • My fear feeling trapped by singular focus didn’t come to pass. Since my disciplined energy was limited, afterwards I would naturally indulge my curiosity and I would feel fine.

    This was very surprising to me, and it worked well enough last year that I’m officially doing it again for the 2021 Groundhog Day Resolutions.

    So here is my preliminary plan. (more…)

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    Dave Seah
  • 2021 Word Counting Calendar

    December 31, 2020

    2021 Word Counting Calendar

    It’s finally done. This always take a long time to update, but this year was particularly bad because of crash issues with InDesign and Acrobat’s tendency to not load the latest files. The editing capability in Acrobat, which I use to remove unused rows in the template as a final step, seems to be broken. It’s never been GREAT, but this year I had so much difficulty with it that I used Affinity Designer to load it and boy…it was a much better experience! 2021 might be the year I try to break away from Adobe at least in the key illustration, layout, and photo editing categories.

    Overall, this took 9 eye-destroying hours to do, squinting at the screen (below) and checking and double-checking and pentuple-checking that the data was entered correctly. If I make this calendar for 2022, it will only be if I completely automate the calendar generation with the same level of visual quality. That’s a tall order, but I think it’s worth doing.

    Some of the programs used to update the calendar

    You can find the Word Counting Calendar at alongside the ETP Almanac. If you’re supporting me on Patreon you have received both these digital downloads as part of your perk package.

    Now, it’s time to make some dinner and ring-in the new year!

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    Dave Seah
  • 2021 Updates for Emergent Task Planner Almanac

    December 30, 2020

    ETP 365-day Almanac for Book Making I’ve got the 2021 Emergent Task Planner Almanac updated in the digital shop. It’s a pre-formatted and dated 365 page version of the ETP. I’m selling two packages again this year, each with 12 different PDFs to meet all the possible scenarios I can think of if you want to print your own journal and bind it. As a bonus, you can use the Adobe Acrobat Forms to enter up to 9 tasks and save them. Be warned, though, that this is not a real application. It’s just you editing a PDF document using its built-in features!

    I’m working on the Word Counting Calendar next to squeak it out by Dec 31. It is the most laborious update to make because so much data changes every year, but it’ll also be appearing here soon :-)

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    Dave Seah
  • 2021 Compact Calendar

    December 30, 2020

    "Compact Calendar 2021" I’ve finally updated the 2021-2022 Compact Calendar, which you can find at the 2021 Calendar Page. It’s free, and includes:

    • Excel Version to generate your own calendar starting any day or year
    • Numbers version (limited function compared to Excel, but still useful)
    • Nice PDFs for the years 2021 and 2022 formatted for 8.5×11 and A4 paper sizes

    There are also some online generators that other people have made; I’ve listed the ones I know about on the page.

    If you have found an interesting use for the Compact Calendar, I’d love to hear about it!

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    Dave Seah