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On Time Management/Organizational Tools

I’m a huge fan of Jott. I don’t know how Siri (recently acquired by Apple) slipped through my radar. I now have Siri and am very excited. SpringPad and I have this oddly tenuous relationship which I’ll explain in another post. I think SpringPad has incredible potential and should be appreciated by fans of Evernote.

Like Stephen R Covey’s First Things First and David Allen’s Getting Things Done, none of these tools do any good if you don’t use them. And by use them, I mean fully. For instance, in Gmail I frequently flag emails to review later but then I may not review them. The same thing can happen with any of the tools above. I fill Jott with voice notes and text memos daily. Like sharpening the saw, a review is critical. One of my mantras is "15 minutes a day for proficiency." It comes from preparing for juggling shows. If I wait until the day before a performance and try to cram several hours of practice in, I don’t perform well. If I spent 15 minutes a day for those same number of hours, I perform very well! That 15 minute mantra applies to all things in life be it learning a skill like guitar, a language like Spanish, losing that extra weight, reading a book, writing a business plan, or just keeping your life in check.

Trying to get organized while living our crazy lives often feels a bit like trying to balance your checkbook while going down a water slide. You can’t do it and your checkbook gets really soggy. Feels like a catch-22; too busy to organize, must organize to not be so busy. That’s were 15 minutes a day comes in. We can spend 15 minutes just staring into space. Even exhausted, we can muster 15 minutes. And now, I will spend 15 minutes reviewing my notes in Jott.

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Has my Google Calendar been compromised?

This morning as I looked at "My calendars" of my Google calendar I noticed one I did not remember creating. Not in "Other calendars" but in "My calendars" sat Paddy Daly. Since I quit using Google Calendar regularly a while back, I decided to see what notes I’d made about this Paddy Daly calendar I created. But I didn’t create it! And the creator made no notes. The calendar creator is punapaddy at a email address and a Hawii timezone. This makes no sense. There appear to be no events on the calendar either. I do seem to have the ability to delete the calendar.

Who is Paddy Daly?

Paddy Daly, {1888-1960} sometimes referred to as Paddy O’Daly, served in the Irish Republican Army during the Irish War of Independence[1] and subsequently held the rank of Major-General in the National Army in the period 1922 to 1924. [Source, Wikipedia]

So is this some form of vandalism? Political protest or activism? How did it get on my calendar and what security hole in Google Calendar do I need to close?

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Ambivalence from Too Much

Ever feel overwhelmed? Sometimes we have too much on our plates and cannot decide what to do. I have just returned from the beach and feel very relaxed. Nonetheless, I look at my desk and my todo list and know that I should be doing something productive. Instead of doing anything, I hid in bed and pondered what to do. It is vicious because the more you think about it the more you can raise your anxiety level and still accomplish nothing. A half an hour later you may still be under those covers having accomplished nothing and still unable to decide what to do.

I don’t want to lose my peace, the relaxed state of being I achieved over this past week. So how do you break this ambivalence? Easy! Achieve and succeed! Pick something small and achievable and do it! You must succeed so make sure the task can be done in a brief time. For me, I am going to clean out the car. For others, that may be too much. Perhaps for someone else, the task might be "make a cup of coffee." But set a goal that can be done in a brief time, focus only on it, and get it done quickly. Welcome back!

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How to get into programming mode

Have a ritual! Some morning I just want to stare at the computer and bemoan, "I’d rather be blogging." Today I have a video I want to make and other fun stuff like painting the kitchen but responsibility has to come first. How do you kickstart yourself? My ritual to start programming:

  1. Pour a cup of coffee
  2. Read a few blogs (get it out of the way) then CLOSE the feedreader
  3. Write a blog post
  4. Refill the coffee
  5. Light a stick of incense
  6. Get some music going
  7. Wear some ear plugs (kills the white noise and seems to make me focus better)
  8. Determine a milestone which will be my next break
  9. Begin typing like mad.