About Drewbie's Insights

I daydream all the time and sometimes I develop ideas that I want to share. I hope you will find something beneficial to you!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Procrastination and the Internet

In school I grew up with the computer.  From the baby stages of DOS in elementary to the grown up stages of Windows XP and beyond.  Soon every home had a computer and with that came the internet. Maybe it was the other way around though.  Did the computer become a staple in every home only because of the internet?

The internet is the most captivating piece of technology with endless entertainment and is ever expanding with each passing year.  Today we have this party on a screen available to us anytime and anywhere in our pockets on a number of mobile devices.  Information available to us at any moment of the day.  So this means we have become more productive with all this information available to us, right?  We look up just the information we need or talk/text to just the person we meant to talk/text to and get back to the task we were working on?  Or do we become distracted as soon as the screen lights up?  Check email, play a game(just a few minutes), text back friends who texted you, update the social media status on where your at, I wonder what movies are coming out, what will the weather be like in the coming week?, and of course have to find out what people are complaining about the president this week.  That only took 15 mins right?  Probably more like an hour to an hour and a half.  How many times a day does this happen?  Now you have to throw together something for dinner.  It taking you twice as long or more to finish reading a book.   When did you say you were going to reorganize the basement or garage?

Research shows that 47% of internet use is wasted time.  It serves no real purpose.  So almost half of internet use is preventing people from having productive lives.  At what point does the internet stop being a tool and start becoming an addiction?

I used to be really addicted to the computer and internet.  Right after high school I was introduced to computer games.  They blew me away on how advanced and more complex they were compared to video games.  My brain was hooked.  I saved up around $1500 and bought my first computer.  I played games more and more after my purchase.  College didn't pan out for me and I quit the job I had at a foam factory that was giving me physical problems.  With my new free time my computer/internet addiction grew.  I was living with my parents and I had $20,000 saved up so money wasn't an issue.  My computer became my life obsession.  From when I woke up to when I went to bed(really late) I was on my computer.  For two years this continued until my money started to dwindle.  I had to get a job.  I still played games all the time when I wasn't working.  I wasn't the best worker though.  I couldn't focus well and I would miss bad parts.  One time I even mislabeled a box.  Eventually I figured out I was a computer addict and I cut my computer/internet usage drastically.  My work improved and I felt better physically and mentally.

I still find myself being drawn to the screen.  I play only one game now and this game can only be played a limited amount per day.  I have to limit my screen time to a manageable level for me not to become sucked in again.  Even the rough draft of this blog post I wrote by hand in a notebook.  It is slower to write this way, but I can concentrate better so for me it takes less time this way.

What I want people to take from this post is to be mindful of your screen/internet time.  It's easy to switch into auto pilot mode and lose track of time.  Set a timer if you have to.  Knowing you have a limited amount of time will help keep you more focused on the task you originally turned on the device to accomplish. If you don't you may procrastinate your time away, it may be an hour or maybe two years of your life.  It's time you can't get back.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

TPP Part 3 - Can't Focus?


Have you ever tried working on a project and your mind keeps wandering or you feel slow and fatigued?  You want to work and get this task done, but can't focus?

It may be the time of day your trying to do the task.  Our energy levels rise and fall throughout the day.  Trying to work on difficult tasks when we have low energy will just make you frustrated and lower your energy even more.

Try to think about the times of day you feel energized and what times you feel tired.  Then plan on working on harder tasks during the energized times and the less mindful or easy tasks at the low energy points of your day.  It may help you to take a day or more to do a log of your energy levels throughout the day.  Marking down your energy level every half-hour or hour and see where there is a trend of when your high and low energy points of the day are.  Then you can use that data to know when to accomplish your more difficult tasks.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

TPP Part 2 - Three is the Magic Number

So you wrote down your values and what activities go with those values, Now What?  Now it's time to get stuff done.  What tasks do you have to do to promote those values?   That could be a big list and more than likely it is maybe a never ending list for values like family.

What if I told you to pick three tasks each day that would be top priority?  These tasks would make the most impact moving forward with your values.  Three isn't so bad.  You will still be getting stuff done and feeling good about it because it accomplishes your values.  You can do more than the three, but make those three top priority.  They have to get done today.  If it is something that you know will take you longer break it down into more steps.  Like say you want to oraganize your basement.  The one day you might buy and assemble shelves or move boxes.  Make sure it is somehting that you can finish in one day without exhausting yourself.

Some days you might just only decide to do resting activities to recharge you energy for the day after.  Sometime you need the extra rest to keep moving forward with your values.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

The Productivity Project (TPP) Part 1

In this world of busy bodies people keep trying to accomplish the most amount of tasks in the least amount of time.  Most people think being more productive is about getting more of those task done quicker.  Making more parts in less time, sending more emails, or making more phone calls.  Speed is key!  This book taught me different.

Being more productive is somewhat like that; but more about wasting less time, being more accurate, and maximizing your time on the most important tasks.  Also known as working smarter.

Have you ever had those times where at the end of the day you are exhausted, but you felt you didn't accomplish much?  I definitely have too many times.  You research this and that, play a game, check social media, and check email.  All of sudden it's lunch time.  After lunch you do some tasks around the yard, watch a little Netflix, do a couple jobs around the house, and take care of kids.  Then it's time to make dinner.  Where did the time go?  You have so many tasks unfinished and no time to do them.  Out of all the mentioned tasks which ones were productive?  The answer is it depends on what your values are for that day?  If you value family most then taking care of kids was the most productive.  If rest was really needed then watching Netflix could be the most productive task.  With the rest you can be more productive tomorrow where if you tried to be productive that day you wouldn't accomplish much and still be tired for tomorrow.

One of the exercises in the book was to write down a list of values that you value most.  So I did a google search "list of values" as the book suggested and wrote down in my journal the ones that pertain to me.  I went a step further and wrote down the interests, activities, and hobbies I would associate with those values.  This gave me a clear picture of what was really important to me.  It told me what I can work on to accomplish those values in my life.  There is the usual values for most people family, faith, friends, etc. 

A lot of my life I dreamed of being an artist.  My goal became to be an artist full time and quit my factory job.  Sounds easy enough right?  That is what I believed.  In my opinion and other peoples opinion that they told me was that I am good at drawing.  Then there is a lot of businesses telling you that you can make it as an artist all you have to do is market and network on social media.  Then I read a book called Art / Work and learned the truth.  The only artist who quit there day job are the ones that sell to blue chip collectors(very rich people) which is not very many.  My heart sank.

After watching the video on my last blog post "Don't set goals, do this!" and doing the values exercise.  I came to the conclusion that I should scrap this hard to obtain dream and focus on become better at what my values line up with.  Most of my values line up with reading(adventure, curiosity, growth, knowledge, and wisdom) and writing(adventure, creativity, growth, meaningful work).  Drawing lined up more with my recharge time(peace, creativity).  So here I am writing and not caring if it goes anywhere.  It's fun and I love telling people cool things I learn from books and videos that may help you through life.

So what are your values?  What is really important to making you feel like you had a more productive day?  Try this exercise, the results may surprise you.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

In school they told us to set goals, they were somewhat wrong as usual



For a lot of my adult life I have been setting these long term goals and coming up short.  This left me depressed and feeling hopeless.  Watching this video taught me, hey don't worry about long term.  Worry about bettering yourself in the short term with small strategies to improve your life a little at a time.

Right now I'm reading a book on productivity that I will explain in further detail on how I'm implementing bettering myself with small strategies and increasing my productivity in  a focused manner.  This is a huge game changer for me.  Having a newborn and wanting my dream long term goal was exhausting me from the inside and blinding me to what I can be successful at or at least what I really value in life.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Emotional Intelligence

by Daniel Goleman

From my last article you know that I was going to read this book.  I actually listened to it for free on youtube and you can too.  I has loads of good information in it that can be applied, in my opinion, to everyone.

Emotional Intelligence is something that isn't taught in most schools, but should be.  Emotional Intelligence is the knowing of what emotion your feeling, how to cope with that feeling, and explain to someone else how your feeling.  It is also how you see motions in other people so you can have empathy for that person's feelings and help them cope with those feelings.  I've never been to a psychologist, but in movies I've seen they always ask, "How does that make you feel?"  To me that one question is that start of teaching someone emotional intelligence.

There is a lot of information in the book so my suggestion is you listen to or read the book yourself.  It may help you find and area in emotional intelligence that you need to work on.

For me personally I have a hard time putting my emotions into words to tell someone else.  I also am not very empathetic to others emotions even though I can read their facial expressions well.  The main thing that has held me back is anxiety and fear.  I've worked on it through the years so it's not so bad now, but it used to be quite bad.  I would almost have a panic attack in some situations.  One book that helped me a lot is The Fear Project by Jaimal Yogis.  The other thing that has helped lately is not suppressing my emotions and keeping emotional elements in my activities.  It makes my life easier and less stressful. You can see this in action by watching the Olympics.  If an athlete looks like they are focused on enjoying the sport they are competing in rather than dwelling on whether they will be better than the other people, they tend to do well effortlessly.  That is why sometimes the underdog who thinks they have no chance of beating their competition goes out and has the performance of their life, and they people who are expected to win have many troubles.

I again suggest that everyone listen to or read this book.  If you find something you need to work on search for books, videos, and even podcasts on that subject.  Also I suggest you teach your kids emotional intelligence, because more than likely the school won't and it can greatly improve their lives.

Here is the audio for the book.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Emotional Resurrection

Before you start reading this article I'd like to say what I write about may not pertain to everyone.  You may not be affected as much as me from electronic devices.  I'm just writing from my own experience in hoping it will help people have a more positive life that are like me or who know someone like me and can pass on the information to them.  Also this article will be a segway from my last article(The Lost Art of Entertaining) to another article I will write after this one with my thoughts from a book called Emotional Intelligence.

About a month ago I started have a money problem and I went into a controlling survival mode about it.  This problem had to be fixed.  I was focused.  Doing the budget, working overtime, and keeping track of our spending.  On top of that it's tax time of the year and having to shovel snow every other day.  I was getting tired, cranky, and came to a point where I didn't want to do anything or talk to anyone.  My brain felt fried.  My wife kept asking me what she could do to help and I told her, "Just leave me alone."  I went to my bedroom and laid down for awhile.  Then I went to my drawing table and worked on my drawing while listening to music.  A song came on itunes radio about how much God loves me and I started softly singing along.  While I was singing and being reminded of how much God loves me it was like a switch turned my emotions back on.  I listened to a few more songs while I drew more, just taking in how emotional I felt.  Then I went and hugged my wife and told her I'm sorry and that I love her very much.  She couldn't believe how much I changed in about an hour.  I thought to myself, "There has to be something to this!"

These are the thoughts that I came up with:

Suppressing emotions can lead to depressing especially in right brained people like me.  I've been emotional all my life.  A lot my life, looking back, I suppressed those emotions, therefore I've dealt with a lot of depression.  I think a lot of people do this.  Every year, at least lately, we hear about some celebrity overdosing on depression related medication or committing suicide because of it.  Most actors or actresses are right brained as are people in the music industry.

It's harder to learn from sources that have no emotional element.  Think back to high school.  Who were your favorite teachers and why?  More than likely they were the funny ones or the ones who told stories as examples about what your learning.  Laughing is an emotion and stories are have emotional elements to them.  I had a hard time in school especially with doing homework.  Reading textbooks just made me want to take a nap.  Now if I read a book like Unbroken, I can't put it down.  I remember most of the details even the historical parts.  Philip Yancey is a great writer and uses stories throughout his books and writes with emotion.  Now think of music or movies you love.  How can most of us repeat every line after only listening or watch them about 5 times?  Music brings emotions out that is why we SING the alphabet song.

Being emotional makes you a better leader.  I've read books that say differently.  In some instances maybe this is true, but lets look back in history.  David was a great leader.  A man after my own heart God calls him.  Did he have emotional restraint?  Nope, he danced like a buffoon in the middle of the street.  Abraham Lincoln was a great story teller.  He wanted the slaves freed so badly and with that emotion he wrote the Emancipation Proclamation.  Martin Luther King Jr. also was a great leader of the elimination of segregation and civil rights, even with death threats if he didn't stop.  Did Jesus keep his emotions in check?  His love for us drove him to the cross to die for our sins.  In all these instances being emotional helped these people stay focused on what they were trying to accomplish which to me is the definition of being a good leader.

Thanks for reading and as I said there will be another article after this one after I read Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman.  A book that is recommended in a lot of places on the internet that I have been visiting lately.