Tag Archive: time


Time with Benefits

Last Sunday I gave a talk in church. I was really grateful for the opportunity because it made me realize that I am rather unorganized with all my success information and that I lacked focus.

When writing my talk I wrote a little gem about time and procrastination. It had to do with washing dishes. Simply put, dishes may require about a half hour to wash, dry and put away. I do not like doing dishes but accept that they just need to be done. I procrastinate thinking that it will be easier later, or that maybe the wife will end up doing them. The gem I found is that a half hour will pass, I can guarantee it will pass in the next half hour that you read this or any time that you set a half hour timer…that half hour is starting now and will end in exactly a half hour.

THE DIFFERENCE is wither or not you did the dishes. The half hour that passed wither you wanted it to or not, could have yielded a benefit if you did something with it. Which comes to the point and fallacy about procrastination. You CANNOT SAVE TIME, and in many ways you cannot save your personal energy as well. If either fallacy were true we would have couch potatoes with all the time in the world and enough energy to run a triathlon any moment they wish!

Knowing about these fallacies have helped me tremendously. When I want to procrastinate I just remember that I want each possible hour or half hour to have a benefit when it passes.

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Better Than Not

So many times I have thought that I just cannot do something.  I waited too long, I’m too old or too young, there is no point and so on.  One day I was giving the missionaries from my church a ride to a town that was an hour away.  I was busy with oil pumps and had to work late, and even later since I gave the missionaries the ride.

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When I told my wife about it later I remember saying, “It’s good to be around the missionaries, or at least it is better than not being around them.”

For whatever reason that really stuck out to me.  How many things that we decide to do or not do are better for us if we do them?  Many times things are binary, it is simply better that we did them.  Of course there are those things that we have done that it would have been better that we didn’t, but I find that there are many more things that we should have done that we didn’t.

Safeguarding time by not using it?

One of my faults is that I won’t do many things cause it takes up time…time that I could be doing something more important…as soon as I find out what that is.  Or time that I could be sleeping…since I always need to catch up on sleep.  It seems that I always hoard my time thinking that it will help me, when really, the time passes whether I do something with it or not.  So, simply put, it is better to do something with the time you have, rather than nothing.

Are you hoarding your time?

When you sit down to the computer you (or at least I) have either a million things that you want to do and maybe do a little in all of them…or you have nothing to do and you fabricate things to do that…really…is still not doing anything.  Such things as:

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– update Twitter
– update Facebook
– Fill up my Buffer queue for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
– Build a website
– Learn more HTML, CSS, Javascript or PHP
– Read the news about whats new and cool
– Read your social media feeds
– Read or write blog posts
– Build an android app
– Work on a clients project
– Create computer courses curriculum
– Stream music
– Download podcast
– …..Listen to podcasts….
– Listen to audio books

And this is just a quick and dirty list of things that eat up all my time when I sit down at the computer.  But the sad thing is that I never do any of them well.  Just try to develop an app or a website while listening to a podcast.  You will either not hear anything the podcast says and struggle through making a website and having to re-align yourself with what you are trying to accomplish.  Or you will somewhat hear what the podcast is saying and be dabbling at best in your development.

The scattered brain is just that, scattered, and technology will not solve this for you.  All the todo lists, reminders and widgets will simply add to your scattered attention.  While nothing in my quick and dirty list is a waste of time in and of itself.  But dabbling in all of them thinking you are making progress in any of them…well then it is all a waste a time in my experience.

The solution that I have found and recommend is tunnel vision.  Take one thing such as learning Javascript, which is what I have been working on lately, and focus just on that for an hour.  Then you will make strides in actually learning and retaining!

Also…and possibly more important…is not getting on the computer if you have no reason…that will lead to wasting time or even doing stuff online that you really shouldn’t…

Does your computer help you stay organize or give you a nightmare of more stuff to deal with?

This has been something that has been in my mind for the last 6 months or maybe even the last year if I would have been keeping a proper journal. I am a techno geek, I love gadgets, I love computers and I love nifty programs and websites. I go through phases of loving and being disgusted by social network sites. I had a Twitter account a long time ago and it seemed that it was a million people talking and no one listening.

My daughter Chloe trying to figure out how the touch screen on this flip phone works...

My daughter Chloe trying to figure out how the touch screen on this flip phone works…

You cannot promote yourself or your wares, whatever they might be. Everyone posts quotes left and right, which I don’t mind…but it is still not a conversation. It is a bunch of people talking at you hoping that you will buy into whatever they are selling.

I use to be extremely excited about all forms of technology. When the iPhone was first coming out my brain exploded with all the possibilities. I could run a business from my phone! From the marketing to the quotes on services. Even the FTP accounts and the Joomla administration could all be done from the phone!

But alas! The simple truth is that real business is done when you get clients or customers. Customers give money to people they can trust, and they trust people who they can talk to, have a conversation with, and hold accountable for the services or products that they purchased.

And while Smartphones can do so much they do not improve how we communicate or work. If anything I find all the alerts and buzzings from my phone as a nuisance and treat it almost like spam. But oddly enough the first thing I do when I wake in the morning is check my email on my phone, and more likely than not I delete all of them as they are spam or marketing of some sort.
With this series that I have dubbed “Digital Discipline” I hope to move myself, and anyone else that is interested into a new era of technology. Not the gadgets and computers themselves…but our on self discipline to use all the technology around us to our utmost benefit and improvement.

We could be learning new languages, improving the knowledge to become the best in our fields and careers, and improving habits. The most important thing is not use it when we don’t need or really want to. Go to bed if you are low on sleep. Make a phone call to someone if you are lonely or just looking for some human interaction instead of trolling down your facebook page replying to everyone wither or not you care about what they have written.

The world at large seems to be socially caving in on itself and it is no fault of the software out there, much of it works in a fantastic manner.

Can you see the negative affects that technology is having in your life? Is it outweighing the positive effects?

Social Media is a Big Investment

I see that everything is on either Twitter or Facebook. My kids diapers, the place that changes oil and even kids toys.

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I got on Facebook and Twitter quite a few years ago and was frustrated back then that social media was just everyone posting at you but no one ever listening. I swore off social media for awhile, just looking at it once in a blue moon.

Then I went on a reading binge when I had a Kindle for awhile. I read Michael Hyatt’s “Platform” and it, of course, stressed the importance of having a well maintained social media presence.

So I decided to get back into the game. But I know myself, I have super productive phases and then phases where I can only do the minimum. Lucky for me there is a service like Buffer that will queue up my posts when I think up a dozen in one sitting and spreads them across the days and weeks ahead when I don’t post at all.

I have been researching the negative affects that technology is having on actual social interaction and also seeing that unless you are a big company that can have a social media team, then social media pages and posts don’t make you sales or money.

I am not anti-social-media but I just want to take about the illusions that we have about it and how we should develop the discipline to waste our lives on it.

Do you think your investment in your Social Media usage is giving you a good Return?

The Matthew Effect

So I have really fallen off the wagon with blogging, and I have fallen off the wagon on many good things that I have been striving to do and make into habits that would better my life.  I have almost stopped listening to audio books and of course have not been reading my scriptures.

There was something very interesting that I heard from the last audio book that I was listening to and that is the Matthew Effect. It comes from this verse in the Bible:

For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken even that which he hath.
Wikipedia gives what I would call and over-simplification of this verse and what I believe it to mean.  Before this verse is the parable of the talents ( http://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/matt/25?lang=eng ) giving the account of men that had talents (a form of money) and how they used it.  The ones that did something with their talents earned even more, while the one who did nothing with his talent had his taken away and given to the one who did use all of their talents or actually made an investment instead of hiding the money in his stewardship in the ground…
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25 And I was aafraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo,there thou hast that is thine.

 26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked andaslothful servant, thou knewest that I breap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:

 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with ausury.

 28 Take therefore the atalent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

 29 For unto every one that hath shall be agiven, and he shall havebabundance: but from him that hath not shall be ctaken away even that which he hath.

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The way I understand this parable is not just that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer!  But that those who use what they have to the best of their ability will be given more.  If the person with only one talent did something with it then he would have received another, then with those two he would have received two more and so on.  It stands to reason that the increase would grow at a geometric rate, doubling each time the talents were used(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exponential_growth).

The month of December has been a really bad one for me and my family, I got my truck stuck in the ditch, I throw out my back really bad, then the wife and kids got sick, and only now near the end of the month is my back really on the mend and my wife is somewhat feeling better from the nasty flu that has been going around.

Now in this troublesome time my mind has constantly be dwelling on the Matthew Effect.  I have been the slothful servant, while I was in good health and sound mind I had all these good things I could have been doing, but have neglected them thinking that I am too tired or my head is just not in it.  So instead I watch TV, veg and sleep in as late as I possibly could before getting ready for work.

An interesting thought occurred repetitively in my mind. Oh how much more I could get done if it did not take me five minutes to get my shoes on!  How much more could I get done if my wife was not sick so I didn’t have to do all the things that she does that I have taken for granted? I could write a blog post if I just felt a little better, I could work on my side business or read something good!

I was thinking that I would blog about this when I finally felt better…but wait, I neglected to write when I was in good health, why would the powers that be believe me when despite how I feel or the health that I may have, I still did not do the needful things and the things that would improve my character and my willpower?

I think and truly believe that I needed a month like this, that to become better than I am now I needed to suffer for a time to figure out that I am wasting so much of my time and energy…and to put it bluntly…that I am just plain lazy and apathetic!

Since I did not use what I had, even that was taken away.

Have you noticed the Matthew Effect (as I understand it) in your own life?

Get Away from Being Blank

I have written a few post on where I was completely blank, I could not think of anything to write and so I wrote some dribble and posted it saying I was blank.

Today I had the same problem.  I was sitting in front of the computer and not able to do anything productive…I knew this was a problem and I just could not let it continue.  So here are some ideas that I enacted to help get me moving.

*  Do something else that needs to be done:  My boss sent me an email that he needed a sign back.  I thought I would do it latter since I really needed to be at the computer getting something written.  But I was blank, so I just grabbed the sign and took it to him.  Then came back home to the computer.

*  Make a list of stuff you want to do:  I grabbed a notepad and wrote down 10 blog post ideas, then instead of my mind wandering all over the place, I took those ideas and started on a post staying inside the topic that I had written.

*  Just do it:  So even after these things I was still struggling.  So I just did what I could, as I wrote and starting putting a post together I was catching momentum!  And now you have the post that you are reading!

Being blank sucks, move around, read a book, put on some music on your computer.  Being blank is for when you are relaxing and watching TV, not for the whole day when you want to get out there, make money, or improve your life in general.

What are some ways that you escape being blank?

Use PHP for your Links

I have been working like crazy on my own website, and on a few others, while I love being super busy and making a little extra money, there are some things that I do not want to spend endless hours on because it would make my work earning $2/hr or less!

When you are making a website you usually have navigation links, and if you have about a dozen pages or more, if you change one line then you have to go through all your pages to change that one link.  Just imagine the work if a client wanted a link one way and you change it in a dozen pages, just to have that client change his or her mind a day later!

PHP to the rescue!

Instead of having your links written in HTML on each page

<ul class="left_ul">
 <li><a href="page_learnsoftware.php">Learning About Software </a></li>
 <li><a href="page_absolutebest.php">Being Our Absolute Best </a></li>
 <li><a href="page_writesomuch.php">Why Try to Write So Much?</a></li>
 <li><a href="page_androidappdev.php">Android App Development</a></li>
 <li><a href="page_exhaustiveresume.php">My Exhaustive Resume </a></li>
</ul>

You could have this as a separate file, something like “mainlinklist.php” and then have an include snippet in your content pages


<!-- buttons -->
<div id="buttons">
<ul>
<?php include("mainlinklist.php"); ?>
</ul>
</div>
<!-- content -->
<div id="content">

Your main link list file should have a php echo statement in it, here is my entire file for my link list…


<?php
 echo '
 <li><a href="page_learnsoftware.php">Learning About Software </a></li>
 <li><a href="page_absolutebest.php">Being Our Absolute Best </a></li>
 <li><a href="page_writesomuch.php">Why Try to Write So Much?</a></li>
 <li><a href="page_androidappdev.php">Android App Development</a></li>
 <li><a href="page_exhaustiveresume.php">My Exhaustive Resume </a></li>
 ';
?>

This will insert the code inside the echo statement into your webpage, now when you need to change a link across dozens of pages there will only be one place that you have to change that link!

Errata:

If there is something incorrect about how I did this OR you need or want more information on how this is done or other little gotchas please let me know and I will update this post.

Febuary 12, 2000

Today’s the first day I’ve got this Journal, today was a slow “I’m tired” type day, mostly because I stayed up all last night, at a dance with my friends.  I went shopping with my mom, she went in and out of material store’s very quickly, she wanted me to be proud of her.  I played the computer a bit, found out my friends CD is missing, “Magicaly”  But later on I went to a dance with my cozin GUY1, I didn’t do much, probably because it was a major western theme, and GIRL1 wasn’t there, and I was also very tired to begin with.  So all in all it’s been a pretty good day, and now I go to sleep.

End 12:53 AM sunday 13, 2000

[Now me in right now…at the time of making this post]

I left the spelling errors in and tried to make it as much like my journal entry as possible.  Maybe not as magical as I had hope, but hey this is really my first time writing in something that I would keep for as long as I live!

It’s Scramble Time!

So I have dug myself out of my self-loathing pit and put quite a few whines out there.  I have gotten great feedback from the 48days forum with ideas to dig myself out of my situation.

The best ideas still require that I market myself.  Which I find hard to do, but if I have an audience then marketing myself is not hard at all.  Some of a great ideas have been side jobs such as painting, mowing yards and that kind of thing, the other is selling Xango…which again I have no idea if I can do that, but I am from Utah and could be really close to them if I needed to be.

There is also a job washing tractors that pays around $15/hr.  I dunno what would be best, but the matter of fact is that I need to scramble and get on these things and try them, there is no downside to attempting all the things that have potential to make my life better, what does everyone think?