• Fear of Losing Information

    July 29, 2019

    I have spent a lot of time looking for personality quirks that block my own productivity. Over the years I’ve modeled these as a weird microcomputer and a system diagram to tackle demons such as lack of self-motivation, inability to start, lack of connection to people, and lack of disciplined progress. Now I have a pretty good understanding of all those things, and more importantly I know what is important to me. After 15 years of blogging about myself, it boils down to this:

    I want to have an excellent time doing excellent things with excellent people to make the world more excellent.

    I can’t help but think party on, dudes! after that, because it reminds me so much of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure but it’s also quite a resonant feeling. I’ve spent my years pondering:

    • What IS an excellent time for me? What are the activities I find enjoyable and worthwhile?
    • What ARE excellent things as far as I’m concerned?
    • Who ARE the excellent people? And am I part of that tribe? Do I have to gather them myself?
    • What DOES make the world more excellent? Is it teamwork? Community?

    I’m happy to say that I have answers to ALL of those questions, and if anyone is curious I’ll be glad to write them up sometime (leave a note in the comments). But still I am stuck on the actual DOING OF THE EXCELLENT THINGS. It’s difficult, and it’s slow, and it seems that something else always comes up to throw my planning into disarray. Not to mention that while I like planning, I don’t like following plans at all. My Groundhog Day Resolutions have been my ongoing attempt to follow those plans, be disciplined, and produce those concrete results that are at the heart of making any sort of progress in life. And after 13 years of it, I’ve learned a whole lot about process but I still suck at it.

    Today, I have a new theory about why I suck at my own planning: it’s driven by fear, specifically a fear of losing information. I’d like to talk about it for a minute. (more…)

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    Dave Seah
  • Weekly Review 0715 – Single Mission Necessity

    July 16, 2019

    In the official July 7 GHDR Assessment, I wrote a rambling analysis of what I was doing wrong in thinking about my goals.

    • ANALYSIS: I’m not making progress that feels meaningful.
    • HYPOTHETICAL FIX: I should define my tasks as complete mini project briefs that embody desire, questions to answer, and a target person’s actual needs so I have a complete context to work with.

    While I really want to do is make progress on my big aspirational goals, but for the next few weeks I need to focus on developing software for our internal August 1 deadline. This gives me clarity about how to proceed, but the thing I’m not doing are weighing heavily on my mind. To help keep my head clear of these distracting details, I spent a couple of hours making a list of everything on my mind:

    Weekly Plan There are three project areas on the left, and I’ve highlighted the key areas that I’ll focus on this week. A large miscellaneous task list and scheduled interruptions are the other happenings for the week that will eventually get done.

    A challenge for myself is to make ANY progress on a non-software job, particularly posting something new to my site to try to get things moving. I find mustering the discipline to make progress on projects that no one is asking for very difficult, but that will be my challenge to report on next week.

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    Dave Seah
  • July Groundhog Day Resolution Report – Bad at Goal Setting

    July 8, 2019

    I wish setting goals were this easy Time to do another monthly progress check for my 2019 goals! The short answer is I am bad at setting goals. The longer answer is that maybe I need to repackage goals so they work with the peculiarities of my brain. Something more enticing to my natural tastes, perhaps? (more…)

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    Dave Seah
  • Weekly Review 0701 – Cutting to the Bone

    July 1, 2019

    Tomatoes and Basil Taking Root In last week’s report:

    • Declared that my goal was building and sharing things, and everything else should feed into that including my work and other responsibilities.
    • Recognized just how much distraction comes from scheduled events, and vowed to reduce it even further.
    • Pondered that I might be destined to be a community manager instead of a maker, and have been mulling this last week.
    • Considered how telling people what I think up front works versus inviting discussion from people to emerge what to do. In some cases, people just want to be told. In others, they are looking for collaboration,. I should be mindful of which approach to use when.
    • Reported that 60 minutes of cardio every day was having positive effects on my mental state.

    Let’s review how the week went from there. (more…)

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    Dave Seah
  • Progress Report: Two Weeks of Cardio

    July 1, 2019

    As I reported last week, I’ve been doing an hour of cardio a day for 14 days to see if it is a simple formula for increased hotness. I’m not sure if it is yet, because it certainly has been a formula for increased eating, but there have been these benefits:

    • It’s a great ritual to start the day when I get up, because it’s a simple directive: put on gym clothes and drive to the gym before doing anything else.
    • Because I have nowhere to go while doing the cardio, there are no distractions so I can think about the activities of the day.
    • It’s not boring because I’ve figured out how to fill the time. I’m using an elliptical machine exclusively, and its smoothness allows me to use an iPad.
    • The intensity and duration have increased my cardiovascular fitness by at least 30 percent over 14 days, so I feel physically good.

    On the downside, I have lost no weight and am still at 200 pounds, which is up 20 pounds from my low of 180 before heading to Taiwan last April.

    I do feel a little thinner, but not appreciably so. I haven’t measured my waist yet and I don’t think I will for another two weeks.

    I’m planning on continuing to do this, because the start of day benefits are worthwhile! Fat loss will be an inevitable side effects.

    I’ll check-in again in mid-July to report if there’s been any change!

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    Dave Seah