It’s always cool when you can experience a natural phenomenon for the first time. For many of us in Ohio, we got to experience “snow rollers” this past week. Everyone took photos of them, and here’s mine.
I’ve been working hard on being productive. It ultimately comes down to just doing things. But organization and keeping track of things is incredibly important. Here are some things I do to help. I’ll also add while I’m not super productive (I can procrastinate like no other) I still feel good when I get things done.
Remember The Future
Often I think of something that I should do and immediately forget it. For example, I should text my friend to let them know I’m thinking about them, or I need to replace the air filter in the furnace. But after I have that thought it will immediately leave me as I move on to the next thing. Then ultimately I’ll remember again, then forget, and the cycle continues. It’s for this reason that I’m in love with Evernote. It’s perfect for short bursts of thought unloading. And now that Evernote has a reminder feature it’s almost priceless in the utility it brings.
I’ve heard that some have a difficult time using Evernote effectively. I think people confuse it with a service like Google Drive where you can store things and write things keep them in sync. They are similar in that aspect, but the difference lies in the amount of time you should spend in each. Evernote is for quick reference and quick jotting down ideas or tasks. I equate Google Drive for writing longer passages and more of a collaboration tool.
Nag Yourself Bro!
Another service that I use is called Remember The Milk. It’s a tasklist service that’s been around for a while. It can remind you when a task is due through mail, text, push notification, and even your calendar. Remember The Milk is good for tasks that need to be done with some sort of recurrence. It’s also good for keeping a more in-depth set of priority. RTM also ties in to almost every service imaginable like GMail, Evernote, Google Calendar, and more. The latest integration with Evernote allows me to set a reminder on Evernote and automatically show up in RTM as a task. You can do the same with GMail messages. I’ve been using RTM less lately, but I still find it useful for tasks I need to complete on a schedule.
Put It On The Calendar
Setting a date is important for me. As much as I say I’m spontaneous, I’m also forgetful. Dates can set a target to aim for, and when I meet those goals it can help me feel accomplished. When a friend suggests that we should do something together, I will almost immediately say “put it on the calendar”. Sometimes my life can go lazy to busy in moments, and before you know it I’ll forget about hanging out with friends, doing regular maintenance on the car, or other things that are just as important as big projects. When I block out time for a task or just casual time with a friend it will help other things fall together.
Go Easy On Yourself
The first thing I think a lot of people do when making a list is to write down all the big things they want to accomplish, then they take another look at it and get overwhelmed and exclaim, “NOPE!” The key is to break down big tasks into smaller ones, and to put things on list that are necessarily tasks such as watching a movie.
I’m also a big fan of the To-Done list. Occasionally I’ll complete something that wasn’t on my list at all, but I’ll write it down so it doesn’t seem as if I’m doing nothing. It can help me realize I’m being productive even though I haven’t felt like it.
All of these things help me get things done even if it’s something as simple as taking the trash out, but overall it also makes me feel better than a lazy slug.
I’d like to start writing more but I don’t know where to begin.
I have felt incredibly empty creatively, but that’s most likely due that I’m not creating.
What do you do to help get your ideas down? How do you help formulate ideas? What stimulates you to create? What stagnates you?
I think I’m going to start writing about games, since that’s something I know I write about at great length and detail.
Might as well squeeze another blog post in this year.
This year. 2012. This year has been nothing short of a clusterfuck. I started off with great ambitions, as you may have read in my last post. It’s simply amazing how many bad things can happen at once.
This year started with an electrical kerfuffle in our backyard, that eventually had us digging up the backyard, and spending several hundred dollars to AEP to make sure things were hunky-dory.
And everyone knows a large unexpected expense is better paired with being unexpectedly laid off from your job of six years.
Then you throw on not one, but two cars not working. Now you’ve got yourself a keeper of a year. 2012. That isn’t even everything.
After all this hit me, I was very much defeated. I’ve been defeated all year long. It’s hard to write this all out, and still feel anything but bitterness. It becomes hard to remain positive. I can honestly say this year has been one of the, if not the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through as an adult.
This year has changed me, mostly from a way I approach the world, and people. I have lost a lot of optimism, and remains to be seen if I will regain it. I observed during this time, that when people ask you how you’re doing, they aren’t really prepared or equipped when you answer: horrible. It’s become apparent we’re all wrapped up in our own things, some annoying, some downright disheartening. It’s hard to direct what little energy we have left towards other people during their rough times.
I can say when most people go about their lives, the people who do spend time with you, even to talk about things, to distract you, to do you unexpected acts of kindness, you appreciate them. I will never be able to repay certain individuals who have helped me through this year. Most importantly Erica, who has dealt with all of this with me. She’s the one, that’s for sure. They say the first year of marriage is the most challenging, and I think this year was most assuredly the thing to put that to the test.
I have to thank Erica’s Mom and Grandpa who in our time of need managed to buy us a freaking third car so we could get to work, to interviews, to function. I can’t explain how amazing that was for them to do and how grateful I really am.
We planned a vacation to Dragon*Con before all this happened too. We still went through with our plans to keep with it, and it was honestly the first time all year I was able to forget about everything that happened. It probably doesn’t hurt when people are taking hundreds of photos of you like a celebrity. But it’s probably because I went with two amazing friends and we managed to have fun despite being around each other for three days straight.
We have two friends that will drive an hour to meet us halfway in Wilmington, Ohio to eat dinner at a Bob Evans and just talk about their lives for hours, on a weekday no less. Even visit us on their birthday!
I also have two amazing friends that I didn’t have a year ago, who I feel like I’ve been friends with for years.
I have a brother who came out multiple times to spend hours trying to fix a car that refused to be fixed.
And I have a sister (from another mister?) who has helped Erica and I through our hard times, even during hard times of her own.
Despite the horrible past few months none of these people or great things will I ever forget.
Now we’re in the present. It’s already November. Thanksgiving is stunningly only a couple weeks away. While everything from earlier this year hasn’t been resolved, not at all, I was recently employed and can’t wait to direct untapped energy into something productive. We have a car hopefully being analyzed and fixed soon. We just elected MY president for another four terms despite an ever close race. The holidays are right around the corner, and I’ll be spending time with friends again.
And with all of that, when people ask me how I’m doing right now, I can honestly answer: Okay. I’m doing okay.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and if you ever need anything let me know. I’ll listen.
Do blogs get dusty?
It’s 2012, in case you haven’t looked outside your window. If you have… it looks like a 2012 out there, doesn’t it?
My last post was about a gaming tournament, which was a ton o’fun – but unfortunately, I lost. I lost hard. But there’s always next year. And there’s even talk of throwing Tetris in the ring, so I should annihilate at something. Brian was mostly a good sport about it, and we both had fun, and our eyes were melted after the experience.
I’m not really one for New Years resolutions. I’m also not a fan of deadlines. Then you can never fail! But in all honesty, I have created a secret “List of Betterment” which I have stored safely in a notebook. I want to focus on expanding some horizons (ugh… cliche #1) and making 2012 unforgettable.
I turn thirty this year. While this is no more than another year passing, I do enjoy breaking my life down to eras (college, adulthood) and placing those eras into epochs. My twenties will be behind me. I generalize my twenties as “finding myself” or “soul searching”, essentially creating the foundation for who I’ll be going forward. I’ve found the person who I love, and who loves me for me (Not because I’m tough like Dirty Harry). We’ve bought a house, and “settled down” so to speak. As for my thirties, I see that as fortification and expansion, becoming stronger, and more versatile. These are all generalizations, I know. But it’s time to tackle some life goals, and to just do things.
Speaking of doing things. I’ve finally started something I’ve wanted to do for probably 5 years. It’s nothing life breaking, but it’s something I’ve had a lot of fun doing. I’ve started a podcast. This is something I could have done a long time ago. But who wants to listen to just me talk about organizing Legos, and the timeline in the Legend of Zelda?
A few months ago, I sent a tweet out if anyone would like to start a podcast with me. I didn’t expect an answer. However, I got an answer from Lindsey, KNITTING LEGEND, and legitimate adult. I honestly didn’t know if this thing was going to take off, or if we were going to start it and it was going to be one episode about organizing Legos. Fortunately, Lindsey and I have a similar sense of humor, diverse opinions, and we’ve had a lot of fun making it. I couldn’t imagine a better co-host. Our ninth* episode will go up next week, and while we may not be moving mountains with deep discussion on politics and society, we are pretty damn entertaining. We even have a mascot named Stallone, a unicorn who used to work in the rainbow mines. We’re listed in iTunes, so you know it’s LEGIT.
As for the future, I’ve got some things on my docket. Expanding my retro gaming collection, going to Dragon*Con, making some videos, and some home renovations. I hope your 2012 is what you want of it. The end is nigh!
*Yep, double checked, #9.
Arcade games are a sorely forgotten point in gaming history. Before you were “fragging” “newbs” in an ongoing warfare conflict , even before you were eating mushrooms to embiggen yourself, you faced the ultimate enemy. One that learned every move you made, and used it against you. Yourself. The high score.
Old school arcade games were sort of before my time. I didn’t discover my love until Robotron, dare I say in 2005. Sure I played my share of Pac-Man, and Centipede, and Asteroids but I never got hooked. But fortunately for us, downloadable games don’t have to be AAA multi million dollar, over marketed, cut scene ridden “experiences”. They can be a simple goal. A score. XBox Live Arcade has brought some AWESOME modern takes on the arcade game.
That’s why a simple tweet I made turned into (hopefully) a gaming tradition. On December 30th, 2011 I’ll be facing off against one of the most old school gamers I know. So join us, and follow @4score7pongs on Twitter. We’ll be facing off for at least 8 hours, battling for the highest score of the day on some of the best arcade games available. We’ll have a live webcam and tweeting all day. So you can root for team @jarbochov or team @morningtoast.
Check out http://morningtoast.com/fourscore for more deets.
So a while back, I got this crazy idea that I was going to make an album. An album of chiptune music that I composed using Korg-DS10 and WarioWare DIY on DS or on my iPad.
I’ve currently made three tracks that I’m happy with. Their mostly what I call the “chase music” genre. These are certainly just the beginning. I haven’t composed anything in a while. This is mostly just a personal project, but I’d appreciate to hear what you think.
I imagined if Time Chopper was a video game. This would be from the first level… obviously:
Cut ‘Em Off at the Pass