• Dailies 003: Debugging Deep Rage

    March 8, 2018

    Snow Day Yesterday I was marveling at how well I was procrastinating, not doing work that I rationally wanted to do but could not seem to invoke the intent to do it. I also was refusing to believe that merely having a cold would be enough to knock me out. I had identified a feeing of annoyance that seems to be getting under my skin. I didn’t work on any code modules at all.

    Today I’m working from Starbucks because I got up too late to find a good parking spot when our condo association declared belatedly that they were plowing the lots after the mega snowstorm. I stopped by the supermarket first to buy a huge bag of cough drops, and the checkout people looked at me sympathetically and said they hoped I felt better soon. Hmm, apparently I actually LOOK sick. I tried to put on a chipper face when ordering my Starbucks Citrus Defender, a beverage said to have healing properties by sages on the Internet. I couldn’t taste it because of all the cough drops I’m sucking down, though. Apparently I’m not at my mental peak, which I find very annoying. Shouldn’t I just be able to POWER THROUGH this? I’m awake, I can form thoughts (sorta), and I should be able to be disciplined enough to make myself do something!

    Well…maybe in my weakened state I am willing to admit that I am not very disciplined, if at all. Strange as it may seem, perhaps I am a creature driven by whim and mystical purpose, and any sense of drive I have seems to be derived from the immediate need of people around me. If I were to accept this, maybe life would go easier. I also remembered that this is the week after an intense social week of having a guest in my house, and I always seem to need a lot of personal downtime after any kind of social interaction. That’s another operating quirk that I have. Since I naturally seem to avoid any kind of stress, these are normal conditions. As much as I wish it wasn’t the case, I’m not sure that berating myself for being this way is actually going to help me be any more productive. The whole point of testing “Gathering Style Productivity” this year is to find an alternative means to regularly (if not predictably) produce works of value.

    I did have one very important insight yesterday thanks to @JoeQuery’s questioning in the chat room, which was that I have a kind of rage response against imperfection that prevents me from moving on and getting to work. It’s not my OWN imperfection that bothers me, but that I’m LIMITED by supposedly authoritative sources that are imperfect, incompetent, or lacking in true insight. These sources waste my time, and I spend a lot of time being outraged by it. Finding a better way to deal with this other than pure rage would be a step in the right direction, as shit on the Internet is not likely to go away. SEE I AM STILL ANGRY ABOUT IT. My desire to have a SWEAR JAR for this year’s Groundhog Day Resolutions is probably rooted in this rage. Something to think about.

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  • Dailies 002: Akrasia and Deferred Gratification

    March 7, 2018

    Here’s my second “daily” post for the month of March. Hm, yesterday didn’t go so well on the PRODUCTIVITY side of things. I had told myself I wanted to do some billable work, and then instantly frittered away my time on other things. I looked RIGHT AT THE TASK and couldn’t make myself do it. It was bizarre.

    The task is, I must say, rather boring on the surface. I have to read up about HTML forms, Javascript events, and CSS. I feel that HTML, Javascript, and CSS are abominations that have only recently been made to behave in a civilized manner, so I have some innate disdain for working with it. I am also admittedly sick with a cold, but I seemed lucid enough yesterday to do a bit of reading if I could have forced myself to do it. Grah!

    After some discussion in the coworking chat room, I described the feeling like I needed a roll of shipping tape so I could fill-up and seal a box. The shipping tape is somewhere in the house, but I don’t know exactly where. And when I finally find the stupid tape, I can’t find the edge and unroll it cleanly for fifteen minutes. It occurs to me now that perhaps I am not as mentally prepared to deal with obnoxious rolls of tape; clearly it’s getting under my skin in some way. Secondly, I’ve been reading a bit about akrasia, a Greek philosophical term regarding how people don’t do what is in their best interest. There’s some tidily-packaged blog posts that tell a nice story followed by some pleasant generalizations as the prelude to offering affordably-priced PDFs to buy; my takeaway from them was that there is also the concept of deferred gratification that I perhaps should focus on. I hate deferred gratification when the outcome will be of an unknown quality, but I don’t mind it otherwise.

    I’ll try to cobble together an approach today that includes these insights. HTML/JAVASCRIPT/CSS TAKE 2.

    On a side note, here’s what I did instead:

    • Bought some interesting food at Trader Joes (tempura CAULIFLOWER)
    • Found some nail polish to match my new fountain pen (vibrant pink!)
    • Got the missing nut for the guitar jack (and the jack works!)
    • Wrote an RFP for possible ecommerce help from a friend of mine.

    Also, @jess found a cool CLI-based task manager called TaskWarrior. I like the idea of it! I may use their task DOM as the basis for my own visual tools…but that’s something for another day.

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  • Talking with Jerzy and Rob on “Lean Into Art” #224

    March 7, 2018

    Lean into Art Guest Dave Seah I forgot to post this, but two weeks ago I got to talk about Groundhog Day Resolutions with comic artists and teachers Jerzy Drozd and Rob Stenzinger on their long-running Lean Into Art podcast. This is, I think, the third time we’ve had a conversation about our process, and I thought the podcast went really well! I’m going to have to relisten to it myself and take some notes.

    If you’re looking for a more informal look at my “gathering style productivity” experiments, give Lean Into Art #224 w/ Dave Seah a listen.

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  • 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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