1. Which do I struggle with most of all? The Pilot, The Plane, or The Engineer? In what specific ways?
- I believe I struggle most with being the pilot. Most of my daily routine is either going to work and “resting” afterwards, or spending my day off by “resting” even more. Some days work can be seriously exhausting, in fact sometimes I’m scheduled a closing shift and then a morning shift on the very next day so I do allow myself free time so I can eat, shower, and sleep at a decent time. Oftentimes I would tell my coworkers that work can be exhausting and all I want to do afterwards is nothing at all. I think this sentiment can be valid, it’s that most of the time it’s not when I have personal projects on my plate. In other words, my lack of planning, or even my emphasis on not planning anything, is what’s holding me back the most. I struggle sometimes with the plane aspect too since I have AD/HD and my attention is either all over the place or too focused on a task that’s unnecessary. As of writing this journal, I even stepped away from my computer to daydream and then go get lunch to allow my mind to wander for a bit more. However, I wouldn’t necessarily say I struggle with the plane aspect more, or equal to, the pilot because I do have the ability to focus on the task and get it done well, in spite of what I just said. Most of what I said for the plane could apply to the engineer aspect as well, since there are moments where I’m not using my time or energy efficiently. However if I had to pick a single starting point, it would be the pilot because most of my work is reliant on spontaneity and the downsides of that are becoming more and more apparent. Plus I felt it wouldn’t be right to beat myself up over all 3 aspects since I do know I have the ability to get things done.
2. What am I avoiding with the phrase “I don’t have time”?
- I think what I avoid when I use the phrase “I don’t have time” is the commitment to do something that doesn’t align with what I’m doing at the moment. I used this excuse a lot whenever I was still in school because I didn’t want to do the work but rather stay at home, play video games and whatever. I would say 90% of the time I used that phrase it was to put off something I knew I had to do but something I knew I didn’t want to. Sometimes I do use the phrase whenever I’m off work and one of my managers calls me to come in because someone else called off. I think that’s the other 10%; whenever something completely on the side is brought to my attention and I decline because I have this off time that my manager already gave me in advance that I don’t want disrupted. At that point I think it’s justified because I have a life and obligations outside of my day job. Plus they also almost always decline or never answer the phone whenever someone asks them to cover a shift so in all honesty sometimes they shoot themselves in the foot. That said the myth of not having time being false makes a lot more sense and next time I’m called in on my off day I’ll really consider what I’m doing at the moment and whether or not it’s important enough to skip out on extra hours and pay.
3. What’s a goal I want to achieve? How can I make the process more pleasurable? Can I up my odds of hitting the goal by putting money on the line? How can I make the outcomes more tangible and desirable?
- This goal might seem silly but I started going down this sorta rabbit hole because I do Youtube as a hobby and I was starting to get upset at myself for not making good progress on scripting a series of videos relating to a certain topic. I’ll put this energy into a goal that’s more important for my life, like building my portfolio and landing a photography job since that’s in my career field, but for now I’m starting small so I can apply and tweak wherever necessary. I think switching up my music choice would help make this process more enjoyable since I started out having a lofi playlist and a classical music playlist in the background, even though I know either genre isn’t my cup of tea. Maybe something with a faster tempo and more energy to get me more excited? Since this goal is very low stakes, I feel like if I had to put money on the line it wouldn’t be much, like $5-10, and at that point if I’m putting so little on the line there’s not much point in doing it. Especially since I’m already saving up for a new car and phone so I should hold off on that for now. Maybe I can give up something else like a video game or a piece of clothing to Goodwill if I had to give myself any form of consequence? Maybe to make the outcome more tangible and desirable is if I looked at how other people on Youtube tackled the same topic I’m doing and see how it benefited them? Or maybe, since I enjoy complex video editing, I can set a couple guidelines in my scripts to account for visuals I know will make a future step more fun for me.
4. What’s one (or more) situation when I was in my ‘flow state’? What circumstances & mindsets led to that? Can I manufacture those conditions for other stuff I need/want to do?
- I remember in my later years of university I would take my laptop, pull up music on Youtube, and do my homework while I had my free time. The circumstances and mindsets were very specific. In the first semester of my senior year my schedule would be just one 1 hour 15 minute class on Tuesdays and Thursdays and then go to three 3 hour classes on Mondays and Wednesdays with about an hour total of break time. What I would do is that on those Tuesdays, Thursdays, and even weekends, I would just go to the student center, pull up a video game music playlist on my laptop, and just chug away at all my homework until it was done. Surprisingly, not only was it not that bad, but it was my best semester grade-wise (All A’s and a high B). Unfortunately that success could not be replicated again for when it was time I graduated because that was when the lockdown ordinance was in place and things were made way harder. I feel like most of my success was attributed to the fact that I had a place to go on campus where most of my distractions were at my home. It’s gonna be a lot more difficult to manufacture those conditions again but I think it’s possible. What I’m thinking is I could move basically everything off my desk except for my PC setup and my water jug (stay hydrated!) and maybe even use my green screen setup and spare table to block me away from the rest of my room so I can replicate the isolated locations I would pick at campus.
5. Make a list of 3-4 long-term tasks you want to do. What would you do if you only had half as long to do them? What about if you had to do them in the next 24 hours?
- Create a new photo series and have it presented in an exhibition, Make Youtube a decent side hustle, Lose weight. I feel like if I had half the time to do each of these goals, or even 24 hours, my answers would be the same for all three, that being “Be way more seriously committed and see what happens by the end of it”. I would still do appropriate research for some of the tasks and toss out all my snacks aside but for the most part if I had a shorter time limit I would try to wing it. Of course doing any of these in 24 hours is near impossible but I think what would matter most is my progress rather than the end goal for that time frame.
6. What 20% of my work is driving 80% of my ‘useful output? And what’s taking up 80% of my time but not actually contributing much to my outcomes?
- I would say the 20% of the work is laying out my initial ideas into a draft or sketch of what I want my final result to look like. But what takes up the 80% of my time is daydreaming/worrying about the final result and what comes after that and not actually spending the time refining my ideas or doing anything.
7. Turn off this class and go do something you’ve been putting off. We’ll be here when you’re done =)
- I cleaned my desk and brought my green screen over to where it’s basically a curtain towards my desk. :)
8. What 3 things would boost my productivity if I made them a habit? How can I help make those habits stick?
- One thing I can do to help boost my productivity would be to schedule out my day and what I hope to accomplish. I don’t have to have a comprehensive list of everything and expect to accomplish everything right away but jotting down 2 or 3 things (at least) to do at the start of my mornings would go a long way to getting more done. The second thing would be to do at least one creative thing each day. It doesn’t matter what it would be, whether writing a paragraph, sketching a drawing, taking some photographs, or messing around in After Effects. It wouldn’t even matter if it’s good or finished, as long as I’m keeping myself busy with some kind of art form, I feel not only would it boost my productivity but also my creativity. The third thing I could do to boost my productivity would be to clean my room and work spaces more frequently. Cleaning my desk and moving some stuff around during this course already helped remove a lot of distractions so keeping my entire space more organized would go a long way. What I think would help make these habits stick is when I decide to do them. For example I could do the scheduling in the morning, the creative thing in the middle, and the cleaning in the evening. It would allow even my habits to be organized and put a note in my head telling me to do these things. And I could maybe even attempt something while I’m at work too, since I’ll have a notepad on me at all times so I can jot down any thoughts I have during down time.
9. What are some chunks of the day in which I find myself wasting time in ways I’d rather not? What useful (small) things could I do with that time instead?
- Basically any time I’m off work I always find myself wasting lots of time scrolling through social media and watching Youtube videos I’ve already watched. Ironically, most of my thoughts on this were answered in the last question but the main thing I think I could be doing is jotting down my thoughts and what I hope to accomplish in the day, week, month, etc or writing scripts/ideas for my creative work.
10. What items on my bucket/task list can I procrastinate my way to progress on? How so?
- Technically I’m productively procrastinating right now by watching this course on how to be more productive rather than actually being productive hahaha. But in all seriousness I think whenever I end up deciding I want to scroll through my social media or Youtube, I should surround myself with whatever form of media I’m procrastinating from. For example, I recently took up pixel art because I love video games and the aesthetic, so I wanted to take a dive on how to incorporate that in my Youtube hobby or my art or whatever. However, whenever I’m not actually creating any pixel art, I find myself watching Youtube tutorials or sprite animations and really look at how each pixel was placed and how it creates the shape intended.
11. What do I have to do in my days that I’m currently not enjoying? If I had to, how would I make this stuff more fun?
- I would say the thing I would enjoy the least right now is my job, not to say I don’t enjoy it at all, but there are of course things I would much rather do than be at work. However, what made it more fun was getting to be around other people and having those few good customers so I would say feeling more privileged that I do know these awesome people and the fact I get paid pretty well would help me enjoy my time at work more.