My productivity notes for 2013

Here is an older secret, but a very good one, from my favorite comedian of all time, Jerry Seinfeld:

What I do, on a weekly basis, is block my calendar with colors for each type of activity. Pale colors are downtime or non-income add, so those need to be optimized or avoided

 

 “…get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker.

He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day. “After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”

“Don’t break the chain,” he said again for emphasis.

Over the years I’ve used his technique in many different areas. I’ve used it for exercise, to learn programming, to learn network administration, to build successful websites and build successful businesses.”

Source: http://lifehacker.com/281626/jerry-seinfelds-productivity-secret

Holiday Movie Guide

I had every intention of working and being productive over the Thanksgiving break, but thanks to Candice being in Costa Rica, the weather being crappy, and Apple TV and Netflix being awesome, my long week turned into a gluttenous banquet of movies and documentaries.

Rather than letting this “effort” go to waste, I thought I’d share my picks for the holiday season.
If you share some of my tastes for these films, check them out! Happy Holidays!

A note about Love and Other Drugs: I thought this was going to be a chick flick, but it was a very touching story. For anyone that has lived with someone with a life-long chemical imbalance or serious disease, it is very poingent.

Thanksgiving:
Pearl Jam 20
Dylan Dog: Dead of Night
Gonzo, The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S Thompson
Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride: Hunter S. Thompson on Film
Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop
Love and Other Drugs
The Pixar Story

Christmas:

So far, just one movie… THE MUPPETS!!

One more thing…
I am very disappointed about the american release of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
This story is MUCH better in Swedish, with Swedish actors.

Do yourself a favor and watch the originals.

Remembering Jim…

It’s been just over six years since I lost a very close friend and mentor, Jim Bentley.
He died in February of 2005, and every year since, at this time, I recall his impact on my life.

Jim and I worked together at Eaton, where I got my start in the IT field as a tech grunt.
Most afternoons, Jim and I would walk over to the shop floor cafeteria and get two vending machine chicken broth’s, piping hot and served in the little cups with the playing cards on the bottom.

We would sit and talk, and I would usually ask for advice, which Jim would give with kindness and insight.
He would always help me with that extra 10% I needed after getting 90% there, whether it was life, work, or family.

When Jim passed, I was forced to figure out that 10% myself, becoming fully responsible for my decisions as a man.

I miss you Jim, not a day goes by that I don’t remember you.
I poured myself a mug of chicken broth this morning, and a wish you were here to enjoy it with me.

The memorial that was written and printed in the Rochester College newsletter can be found here:
Summer-2005

Three Things – Holiday Gifts for 2010

1. Gadget: Amazon Kindle: now only $139 for WIFI version
http://www.amazon.com/kindle

Why: Battery life, size, I can’t read books on my iPad, price, easy to read.

2. Book: Tim Ferriss – The 4 Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman
http://amzn.to/e4K4nm

Why: 4HWW = real results in my life, extensive research, effective results, lifestyle NOT fad diet

3.  Kitchen: Keurig B-70 B70 Platinum Single-Cup Home Brewing System

http://amzn.to/g6UOui

Why: better than a Senseo, great taste, fast, consistant

Three Things – Microsoft is doing well for 2011

Often in conversation, especially around the holiday, I’m asked “what’s new”.
This has motivated me to start writing a short series of posts with 3 things, usually related.

So, let’s talk about Microsoft.
Although I love Windows 7, and my XBOX 360, I usually focus my cool tech stuff on Apple.

Lately though, I’ve noticed 3 significant things from Microsoft that really got my attention:

1. XBOX Kinect – Not only is the Kinect a revolutionary device for controlling games without any physical device, but Microsoft’s acceptance of hackers leveraging the Kinect for DIY projects is a sign of an open-architecture. http://engt.co/fJtc91

2. “To The Cloud” – This new ad campaign is powerful not only because Cloud Computing is the future, but the story told in this ad is one of New Work – inspired people frustrated with the status-quo, leaving to start their own business. http://bit.ly/igvkCz

3. My Ford Touch – Kudos for creating such an innovative in-car experience, and partnering with Ford, the only automaker of the former big 3 that didn’t take a bail out, and is also leading the industry in innovation: http://bit.ly/i0KMCe

What do you do?

How often are you asked this question?

It’s happened lately to me, and my recent trip out west for 2 weeks to Arizona and California has allowed me to clarify my response to this common cocktail question.

I have two different ways to answer this question:
First, inspired by Simon Sinek:

Why –
In everything I create, I believe that compelling digital content can be used to inspire people, deliver messages, and explain complex concepts.

How –
I create compelling digital content in the form of video, web media, and visual thinking illustrations.

What –
This content helps sell, explain, promote and inspire.
And it is awesome.

Second, simply list them:

1. I Produce videos for Plex Systems
2. I Produce videos for The Social Philanthropist’s Foundation
3. I also make websites sometimes.

I also have a desire to create great mobile apps in the near future

Thanks it! Keep it simple!