Tag Archives: goals

The Great Gaming Generation

For the people in my age bracket, video games had become ubiquitous during our youth. Our older brothers and sisters may have been the ones who purchased the consoles and games, but we grew up sitting in front of a television, plastic controller in hand.

Though many of my peers have moved past that piece of adolescent behavior, and onto more important matters, such as jobs and social relationships, there are still a few of us who prefer the interaction of NPCs over our meatspace brethren.

It is not nearly as bad as it sounds, but it can truly be a problem when one of us is attempting to start a business, reconnect with our past friends, or even just function as a decent member of society.

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Resistance and Creativity

This may be an unorganized mess of a post, so please stick in there.

It has been a long time (far too long) since I last updated the blog. I have been getting a steady stream of hits to some of the relevant posts here on Worthless Genius, but truthfully, everything has been a bit stale.

I’ve updated the theme here, to make it look a little nicer, and a bit more modern, but that’s just about all the work that I’ve put into the blog lately.

The lack of update could be due to a large number of unrelated circumstances, or it could simply be that I’ve been lazy lately. So, I just want to touch on a few ideas that have been circling around in my head for the past month, with a brief explanation.
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When Do You Know When You’re Done?

Yesterday’s post, How Not To Write A Novel – Or 4 Ways To Drop The Ball quickly became the most read post on this blog. I wanted to follow up with another good writing topic that has been on my mind for the past few days.

When Do You Know When You’re Done?
Some writers start out with a clear vision, and a solid outline which allows them to write exactly what they need, regardless of whether there is extra content that seems to be needed for the story to properly be conveyed.

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How Not To Write A Novel – Or 4 Ways To Drop The Ball

As I’ve mentioned multiple times here in the past, I am working on writing a novel. Truthfully, there is enough material in the universe of this novel for three or four full length novels.

I started with the ideas in late 2002, and have progressively and consistently dropped the ball day after day since then. I have found that there are no less than four things that have played into my failure in finishing the novel(s) that I have been working on over the past few years.

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Resources for Web Developers and Designers

Recently, I’ve been going back to college to finally get my degree in Web Development. For a teacher, I gathered links that I had used in my work out in the field. Here is a collection of everything I could think of.

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Software Spotlight: GTDAgenda

Today I’d like to talk about a Getting Things Done application from GTDAgenda.com.

Thought I had been using the free Notebook service from Google for my GTD lists, I came across this pay application, and have truly fell in love with its organization and functionality.

GTDAgenda gives you all of the functionality you would expect with the most expensive GTD applications, for a very reasonable price.

The ability to create task lists, then change the tasks to Next Actions is the most important feature that I use multiple times every day. It’s very easy to me to plan out quite a few steps ahead for each of the Projects that I am working, so being able to complete the current Next Action, then move the next step to a Next Action is very important to the system that I’ve come to love.

Goal tracking is something new to me, but using it has kept my goals within my site. I can assign a Project, Task or Next Action to a goal, so that I can feel like I am taking steps toward reaching that goal.

When you complete a task, GTDAgenda keeps track of the task, so that it doesn’t completely disappear. This way, if you are working toward a goal, you can look back and see that you have completed x number of tasks in order to reach that goal. Though I had never thought I would need this kind of functionality, it has become a part of my every day life at this point.

Along with tagging Tasks as Next Actions and assigning them to a project, you can also assign them a context.

Say you need to call your boss. You put that on your Tasks list, and set the context to @Phone. Then, the next time you have a bit of free time, and you are sitting next to your phone, you can come back and view all the tasks that you have entered in the context of @Phone. This allows you to use the small bits of free time to your advantage.

The newest feature, which I am just getting started using, is the ability to email tasks to your list. Each user is given an email address for adding tasks to your list on the fly. This allows you to be anywhere, and send an email, which will put the subject as the task name, and the body text as the comment for the task. This sounds like a great idea, and I hope to be able to use it more over the coming year.

The only feature that is lacking from my point of view is that, currently, there is no functionality for attaching reference materials to your system. I have been assured by the developer of GTDAgenda that this functionality is on its way, with support for Links, Notes and Files.

I have been using this software since October 7th, and I have grown really fond of it. I have been moving my “stuff” from Google Notebook into the GTDAgenda system. This has allowed me to take a new perspective on my Someday/Maybe and Projects lists, so that I can better streamline my system. It looks like I actually completed some of the Projects, but never got around to removing them from my system.

If you are looking for an excellent GTD application, I would tell you to look no further than GTDAgenda.com.

Project Visions: Independence

While not a traditional “project”, the notion of financial independence is a goal that many people strive for.

Since high school, I’ve always known that I really dislike working for another person, and have always wanted to strike out on my own. Now, I don’t know if I really have the drive and nature that it takes to be an entrepreneur, I know that I at least have a few good ideas that could help me along in the trip.

Blogging
How do other people in the modern world achieve this goal? Well, there are quite a few people who write blogs with over 100,000 unique visitors a day, and are able to make a living from the ad revenue. I, on the other hand, have close to 20 hits a day, and make about $0.02 from ad revenue. I have no delusions that I’ll become some really successful blogger of my time, but every penny counts. OK, so strike that idea.

Writing
Next we have the notion that I could be a writer. While I have written over 10,000 words in one of my novels, I have neither the structure nor the drive to see this through. I really, really believe in the stories that my work conveys, but I am having a very hard time forcing myself to put the rubber to the road. This would be my most preferred method of independence, as I could do what I love and still bring home the money that my family needed to survive.

Most likely, another method would bring me to this goal, and writing would be what I would do in my spare time.

Freelancing
I have tried this in one form or another over the past few years, without any magnificent results. I am not disciplined enough at this point in my life to really be able to provide a worth while service to a paying customer. It pains me to say it, but that is the truth.

This stems back to my adoption of Getting Things Done. I have a system (now moved to GTDAgenda), and I use it every day, but I have not put my full attentions into it and find myself wandering around aimlessly sometimes.

I have also bought and paid for the materials (php|architect’s Zend PHP 5 Certification Study Guide)
for me to get my Zend PHP Certification. Though I have read through about half of the textbook, I am nowhere near ready to take the exam. I have set the goal for myself to take the exam by the end of 2008. I fully intend to stick to this goal.

The Startup Spirit
It seems as though the best option for me is to learn about business modeling and creation, and do something that would challenge my intellect. Drawing up a business plan is no small feat, and I need to learn all the ins and outs of venture capital.

This is another whole set of problems. What idea should I start with? What will I do in the next 6 months while I get all of the plans laid down? Well, I haven’t gone past the brainstorming phase at this point, and I will have to do some marketing research to see which idea is most financially viable.

So, basically, I need to get a job. These all might be pipe dreams of mine, but at least I have dreams. I need to work with some structure in order to build up my work-a-day skills.

Goals / Streamlining

Over the past few weeks, I have been shunning a lot of my responsibilities in exchange for what feels good, or whatever kind of time wasting I can achieve. My work and blogging both suffer from this.

I came across a new service, RescueTime, which allows me to track my PC usage, and categorize the programs/sites that I use on a daily basis so I can tell how much time I’ve wasted today.

There is a program that you download (Official releases for Mac and Windows, and a third-party Linux build), and sign up on the website, and you’re good to go. It tracks which programs are running, and through a browser extension, you can find out which web pages you’ve been visiting the most.

Another great feature is the ability to set goals in the system. I’ve set two goals:

  1. More than 8 hours work per weekday
  2. More than 30 minutes of blogging per day (7/week)

When I’ve reached the threshold of these goals, the service will notify me via email that I’ve exceeded the time set by myself.

These goals might seem a bit ridiculous, but they’re based in a reality in which I would like to live. I want to be able to devote a true 8 hours a day to my work, so that I can be better responsible to my job and my employers. Also, I would like to try to get this blog up and going with regular posts about various things, so if I put in a measly half hour everyday, maybe I can generate some more traffic.

I guess really my problem is content. I haven’t really provided anything exciting for everyone, but my plans are vaguely set out for the future.

If I can finagle it, I am going to put some sort of widget for everyone to see how much time I’ve put into each project anytime they log into the blog. This will also help me create a sense of accountability, because otherwise I look like I can’t reach my goals on a regular basis.

If you’re in a similar situation, you really should check out RescueTime, and give it a try for a while.