Back in May, I celebrated my birthday by staying indoors and logging out of everything to do with the social internet. No more Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
A total social media detox, part of a pact my partner Vicki and I made together to ditch Twitter for one month.
It was absolute bliss.
I spent the month reading, writing, making phone calls, and running. It was a peaceful month and at this time in the Anthropocene was a sorely welcome thing.
No more was I mindlessly scrolling, or itching to see if I had a new notification to add to the pile of fake internet points to compare against the more famous people’s point piles. …
The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is about sleep.
Every hour of sleep before midnight is worth two after.
I was told this 15 years ago, by the principal teacher of my school. He was also my counsellor, and he always remarked on how tired I appeared. A combination of a high sugar diet and an unhealthy amount of World of Warcraft will make anyone look haggard.
While long forgotten is the 2 litres of fresh orange juice a day fueled MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Game) habit, I’ve never forgotten that advice. …
Your head is swimming with tasks you need to do, projects to start, emails to read, bills to pay, home improvements to finish, relationships to maintain, hobbies to practice, on and on it goes.
All of it swirls around like a whirlpool, the force of it all dragging you down. All you want to do is stop what you’re doing and relax, but relaxation can’t come because there’s way too much to do.
You start measuring yourself up to others, the successful, happy, got it together productivity masters.
How do all they seemingly get everything done?
How do they seem cool, calm and collected, while you’ve got a todo list that grows faster than you can score things from it? …
About a fortnight ago, I was on the cusp of burnout. Things have been a little crazy at, well, at just about everywhere right now. Sitting on work’s morning stand-up, I was feeling wafer-thin, the last of the light in my inundated head about to go out.
I took a deep breath, then another one, and then a whole lot more. Was it a panic attack? Not quite, but it was the unpleasant realisation that I was overwhelmed, there were way too many things on my plate, heck, there were too many plates.
I’ve got one of those good-bad habits — the “yes” habit. I like to please, and one of the best ways I’ve found to do so is to say yes (and then deliver). However, saying yes to too many things is often the best way to delay disappointment. …
Every creative I’ve sought advice from has said in some form or another “create for yourself”. I love this mantra, but there’s one thing those I idol somewhat gloss over; that while it is easier to create what you want to create, it’s still hard sometimes.
It’s actually hard a lot of the time. Creative juices do flow — phrasing I’ve never been on board with — but only once you’ve cut through the skin of the fruit. Sometimes that skin can be tough, folks.
I’ve started and stopped many blogs, covering all sorts of topics from film reviews to swords & sorcery fantasy fiction to software development. All those past ventures failed because I forgot that lesson to create for myself. …
About six months ago, I started to experiment with the Pomodoro technique. For those that don’t know, Pomodoro is a system for dividing time between focussed work and short breaks. The traditional split is 25-minutes of focus, followed by a 5-minute pause (this pairing is known as a tomato). After four tomatoes, the break extends to 15-minutes, and a full round is complete. The name Pomodoro comes from the technique’s developer Francesco Cirillo and his tomato-shaped kitchen timer.
When I started using tomato-time, I got hooked. I found the cadence of focussed effort and short breaks melded nicely with my natural attention span. It was easy for me to click start on my timer and zone the world out, diving deep into the task at hand. The comprehension of my work expanded, my throughput accelerated; as a result, my job satisfaction went up, and my happiness elevated. …