Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Four Priority Tips?

The 4 Ideas That Will Revolutionize Your Productivity - Practical advice on personal development, productivity and GTD is a pretty good read on some primary things to concentrate on while trying to get things done. I'm still very rough on the prioritizing part and the "Prioritizing by Needs" is rather interesting in that area. Can it make a difference? Not sure. I am still battling the 200 Next Action syndrome and what do I do next or what is most "important". First I have to UNSchedule the 15 hour work days that I've set my self up to fail on.

This is very similar to Time Management For Systems Administrators by Thomas Limocelli that sets priorities as things that must be done TODAY, Soon, or later.

So I guess THAT is my current priority... figure out how to prioritize?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Although others have blogged about it before, and quite humorously I might add, I have felt more like I am in GND mode instead of GTD mode that I want to be. That is Getting Nothing Done...

I guess I need to admit that a LOT of time lately has been spent changing offices and moving servers around at work, but I still feel like I am not making progress on the 200+ "Next Action" items I have in my work list.

I am actually re-reading the Getting Things Done book which is helping further understand the missing pieces from the first times I've read it.

I bought the guys I work with copies of the Getting Things Done book as well hoping they will read it so maybe things will make more sense at work when I'm talking about it - time will tell.

Heck, maybe I am just in a down time just before things really start to come together... yeah, that's the ticket... downtime before massive productivity... sure... that's it... yeah. Wow I need to take a break after thinking that hard.

Actually THIS is a much better solution

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Awesome Mother

Well, yeah my biological mother is pretty awesome as well but the other night I watched Mother Nature put on an awesome lightning show before the rain began. First time I had just stood and watched old Mom do her stuff in a while and it was quite refreshing. First time I think I have ever tried taking some pics and video of a storm as well. Of course the pics just can't do any justice of being there, listening to the distant thunder, the patter and smell of the rain.

I used to never really think about rain or really appreciate it - well sure after 103+ degrees for a week or so you do 'appreciate' it but not like I should. A friend I know kind of changed that somewhat after talking about how she loves the rain. To me it's usually an inconvenience, to her it's a joy. To me I like to stay out of it, to her she likes to get out in it... I don't know, after watching that lightning I think I'll stay under the patio when it's raining around here but she is probably luckier than I am as well.

I have to say that so far this year August has been much different than I thought it would be. August is usually the hottest month in this area but I guess July decided to take that over this year.

I think I'll add 'Watch the Thunderstorm' to my GTD list and make sure I make time when the opportunity comes up again!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

For the birds...

Having worked on Saturday to catch up from my 'Office Move' last week and spending most of the day Sunday outside, the weekend has flown by. I did get to do some 'for the birds' work done on Sunday though. The old bird feeder I had built several years ago was worse for wear and needed replaced so I built a new one with the same basic design. So far only the hummingbird, finches and sparrows are the only ones that have checked it out. It even has plastic guttering - although I may pull that back off. This is an 'improved' version with an aluminum floor that will not rot out and a cap to keep the moisture out.

Otherwise I spent the whole day working on @OUTSIDE context items including cleaning the patio fans and reversing the blades so they won't sag too much, helping Austin mow and enjoying the mid 80's temps. Much better than the 103+ that we were having there for a while. The battery died on the riding mower after Austin parked it... just wouldn't turn over even after re-charging and jumping. Put a smaller garden battery I had sitting around and it worked fine. New battery time already :-(. Now I have two expensive batteries to purchase since I want a new one for the TurboCoupe so I can move that weak one over to the old '87 F150 to get it started again and try to figure out what is wrong with it.

Well - On to another work week. Hopefully we will get Ryan setup in his own office now that I'm out and we can start fire walling time for each of us to be more productive daily.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My Wonderful Connected Phone... Or Not?

So I've had a mobile connected phone now for a while.. Three years maybe? I know it's always there for me whenever I need to send an email, read one or jump on the net. That great feeling of knowing that GoogleMaps is just a click away on the phone if I am not sure where I'm...

Sorry, had to check an email...anyhow, where was I now.. Uh oh yeah, I'm prety much never lost with GPS and GoogleMaps and that is comforting. I know I can always jot down my idea in my task list or fire of that inspirational email anytime. Or even.. Just a sec.

Ok, back again. A reminder that I need to remove from calendar popped up again. BTW These things are great for that too, NEVER missing that important meeting or appointment. I think the one that just popped up was about exercising or something. I always just dismiss it and go on but it sure is handy.

This phone is pretty darn...

Dang, another IMPORTANT email there.. Sorry. Anyhow, it is really handy having this thing with me all the time. Heck i'm even typing this up on it right now. Sure i will have correct a few thumb typing or stylus pickle... ack, stylus PECKING errors, pickle errors, but it sure is handy being able...

Whoa, an actual voice call interuption there. Why do people have to CALL ME, can't they just EMAIL me! Don't they know I.T. people hate to talk on the phone. I'd even rather JOTT someone than call them. So, anyhow, I'm not sure what i would do without this thing anymore.

It's so nice having this tethered to me all the time. Nice always having my work email and my calendar with me. All my work notes and a link to the big 'todo list of doom' at work always available just a click away through the net. Able to browse through hundreds of Next Action items on this... well, this very small screen actually.

Anyhow, it almost makes me feel like i'm ALWAYS working! And that is a... Well, I guess that isn't a "good" feeling... But it is a... Well it is a... Hmm.. man, it's like a ball and chain! I can't get away! The dinging, the ringing, the reminders, it COULD be an important email, I better check it. Oh, that is the text message sound - must be something wrong at work. Another reminder - take the trash out?... I thought I did that LAST week! My GTD inbox of projects and ideas sitting in my task list that I have to process is there just begging to get ...

Ack. Another important email!

I have to go...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Why is it that I either feel like I can put forth 100% effort at home OR 100% effort at work but not both every day?

Last week I was 100% on home projects... worked on them, got several done, and felt good but was coasting at work trying to decide what to work on next.

This week I'm 100% on at work getting some things done that needed to be addressed long ago - specifically clearing out the current upstairs server room in order to make it MY office and let our Software Support specialist finally have his own office. (I told him in December 2005 that we would soon move the servers and let him have the office we shared - it is still like that as of August 2008).

This week at home has been a nothing... a good nothing but a nothing. I've rescheduled all my GTD tasks, barely had the desire to do much of anything and spent the last couple of evenings watching the birds and the rain or laying around in the hammock. Not that those are BAD things and down time is a very real need I suppose but this happens quite often.

Where is that 200% (naturally, without drugs, hyper caffeine or other forced results)?

Maybe I need to start thinking 50/50 more often.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Another Day, Another Shower

Yeah, that's a good thing - I know. We all take a shower or bath everyday... well, MOST of us do and we KNOW who you are out there that do not!! Anyhow, that 15 or 20 minutes each day is rather interesting to me. It seems to be the time I spend the most time 'thinking' actually. The motions are pretty robotic by now; wash hair, rinse, wash face, rinse, wash body, rinse, rinse off shower wall, squeegee wall, etc. BUT during that one percent of my day I am either planning my day out or pondering the results of the day depending when I actually take the shower.

During the week I have already done a quick review of my calendar and have all these thoughts of the day floating through my head. That 15 minutes is where I'm on physical robot action while my head is planning the rest of the day and what I hope to accomplish, what goals do I really have for TODAY - not this week, month or year but just today. I'm trying to find those 'big rocks' as Covey would say to fit into today's actions. I do think I need a water proof PDA/Phone though since I have to capture those thoughts as soon as I'm out of the shower or they can disappear.

In the evenings after working around the house all day it's a different type of thinking. A thinking of what I DID get done; the lawn, the house, the new vertical blinds, the latest accomplishments on the 69 Mustang or Turbocoupe or whatever else I feel good about getting done that day. I also seem to say 'thanks' to the higher powers in life for what I have, what I am able to do, and that I am still here to do those things during that time.

It's off to another work week and I will be 'thinking in the shower' again in the morning I guess. I still need to make sure those 'big rocks' get in the schedule first since right now I think I'm drowning in sand.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The $2,000 Lunch

I had lunch with my wife...

It cost me $2,000...

Ok, it wasn't just the food but still.

With a donation from Karen's mother we were supposed to look at a couch. We did... and we looked recliners... and we spent $2000 - twice as much as the donation.

Oh well, change never ends right. We had owned the chairs for longer than Austin has been around and the couch we had was nice but used to be my mothers. Hopefully this 'new' stuff will last as long as the old stuff did.

About work...
On the work front another week gone by. Although I do not really feel over productive I do feel better about what I DID get done at least. I have promised myself to do a 'weekly review' Saturday morning before starting the weekend. I have the complete incident list from work and hope to review it and pull out the important things - hopefully not the urgent... unless it's important AND urgent. Why is this so difficult?

On the Personal front...
My personal GTD list is still way too big but I've resolved to just keep chipping away at what I can get done. Hey - I'm NEVER bored that's for sure.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Week gone by..

Well almost another week gone - been pretty good though. I have my task management back under control at work, not that I am getting lots done but everything has been re-negotiated/re-scheduled and I only have 10-12 hours per day in the list for the next couple weeks now. No I am not getting 10-12 hours of things done at work - just scheduling them.

Anyhow one big project is winding down - the development of an online Crime Alert system for the police department. End user sign is done, managing those members is done, adding the alerts to the database is done and I just cleaned up most of the email them all code today. One down, 159 more projects/task to do.. at work. Yeah, I'm never bored.

I am back into my personal GTD task management website as well with things rescheduled - only 88 projects/items in there at least. I'm not feeling too guilty about re-negotiating/re-scheduling them since at least the are not forgotten.

We are very close to having all the servers moved to the new server room at work as well which will allow opening up the existing room for my office. I promise my software support person we would not be sharing an office too long... that was December 2005.

Slowly but surely...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Quick day...

Wow.. first day back at work in a while went really fast. This was a
Commission meeting but with a very short agenda it was only 45 minutes
long... much better than the FOUR HOUR meetings of the past. But then
again very little business was done. I am trying once again to really
get into time management and project management and actually see some

Unfortunately my scheduled task end up totaling 12-14 hrs per day so I
have to renegotiate many but I think that will clear up as more gets
done... time will tell.

The challenge will be sticking with the system better than in the past
and making sure I do a weekly review of goals, projects, and the
current situation.

My Domain:
My World:
My Humor:

Sunday, August 3, 2008

End of Vacation II

Well this is the end of Vacation Part II. I took off another week to finish out this summer. Spent most of it at the lake with family and ended it with a birthday party for my mother. The party's over so to speak. It's not that bad since I hope to be moving into a new office which will be the former server room so it will be a new beginning as well.

I spent most of this day getting ready for the birthday party (cleaning, prepping the cook out food, etc) after having coffee on the tree patio area and reading up on some GTD tips. Weekly Review - the thing I have NOT been doing that is a big part of GTD and other time management concepts. Gonna start that this week.. ha.

Here are some pics of the party;

The Cake - Yeah, it's weird

Mom enjoying the weirdness;

Here is a little video of the weirdness;

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Busy day

Well I said I was going to use this to keep track of what I DO get
done so here is today:

Watched Austin mow the yard and mowed my little piece that I keep
green and finished up the details for him - it was over 100 again so
that was fun.

Cleaned up the living room finally picking up the paperwork I had
scattered everywhere

Cleaned up the Lego corner moving everything into the 'Play Room'
which is also the studio for stop motion

Setup the play room so all the Lego is easily available, a little
better organized and ready to animate - now we'll see if I actually
animate anything.

Vacuumed the house and dusted it most of it - fun fun.

Listened to Austin learn a new solo from a Skillet song - amazing how
easily he can pick up something like that

Watered the plants and my little piece of green.

I guess I do get some things done. If I get too much done I'll crash on the Futon in the 'animation studio' - ha!


Friday, August 1, 2008

August Already?

Wow? It's August already - where did the summer go. I think I'll start using this as a 'What I Accomplished Blog' since I have no idea what I have accomplished over the past several months.

On the fun side we just got back from a short family trip to the lake - LittleGlasses at Texhoma. Thought it would be long since we were staying three nights but it ended quite fast. We even made it RAIN... something we do well when we go to the lake. At least we stayed in a nice three bedroom trailer instead of a tent.

The last few months have seen a few accomplishments I guess;
  • The 88 Turbocoupe is up and running with working A/C and 21+ mpg even when I hammer on it all the time.
  • I released another lego animation for the old Poodles song Toy Town People - Odd but fun little song.
  • I have most of the outdoor plants on auto-pilot watering wise now so they actually may survive.
  • I even have a small green patch of grass in front of the patio - I can handle mowing that little bit more often especially since Austin is mowing the rest ;-)
  • We changed up the patio a bit moving the old A Frame swing to the 'forest' and buying a cafe table, chairs and a small fire pit. Haven't used the fire pit yet but maybe when it gets below 100 degrees for a change.
  • We used our 25th Anniversary gift money to buy new vertical blinds and drapes for the house. Something Karen has wanted for some time now.
Sizzling summer fun - with 100+ for several days now it IS sizzling for sure.