Day 866: Personal Focus Goal, Jerkpod in One Go (Day 4 of 100)

It’s rare I just do this in the morning.

A normal Jerkpod consists of me sitting down, turning my computer on, opening a web browser, logging into this site, then opening my email in another tab, then writing the title for today, then possibly checking another site, or MetaFilter, or looking up some bit of trivial information that wandered across my brain.

I almost never do this in one go: sit down, computer on, browser open, write then record, upload, and post. I’m trying to do it today and it’s actually hard. I have every temptation to just check my email super quick or find out whether or not Huey Lewis and the News released any albums after “Fore” or… something.

The social media diet has helped with distractibility, but it’s clearly not a cure-all.

So today, I’m forcing myself to do this in one go: write this post, record it… all the steps up to being done and online. Again, it’s difficult. It’s almost like my hands are itching.

I do have an attention span! If I need to focus on a project at work, or at home, I can crack away no problem for long periods of time. But my mind wanders a lot during creative processes — even just a simple blog like this one. Which is a good thing, I guess. I wind up wondering, though, if there’s just a baseline resistance to self-reflection, even after 860+ days, that pushes me to distraction when I do this exercise.

Day 323: Good Start, Bad Internet

A good start to the day today, despite the cat almost getting me away from Operation Don’t Get Up and getting sucked into the internet on my phone. It’s rare that I can recall what EXACTLY leads to these fugues. But this morning, it was checking Facebook re. a survey for this podcast I put up there yesterday. From there, it was “holy crap, Charles Manson is dead.” From there, a story on the Internet about Charles Manson dying. From there, remembering my dumb adolescent fascination with serial killers (like every slighlty gothy teen, right?) and reading Helter Skelter in high school. From there, looking up Helter Skelter on Amazon to see if there are any $1 copies. Then realizing I was being a dumbass and putting the phone down and getting to it.

It’s so easy! There’s so much information! It’s right there!

I mean, the mistake was obvious. Nothing needed to be done at 5 a.m. on the Internet. Literally nothing. Even now, I’m a bit late doing this because I was delayed doing that. And I could have Mansoned at 7 a.m. as easily as 5 a.m.

It’s a constant challenge, right? Not a “make a decision and you’re done forever.” A constant rear-guard action against your not-great self.

Some interesting results already from my little survey, which is  right here:

I suspect that putting “interviews” on there may be setting too high a bar for myself to clear, but it’s good to know there’s interest.

The good news is I pulled myself out of the Internet Death Spiral and managed to get a good workout in, personal best at a 6k row (not great by “real rowing” standards, but good for me, wheee) and I’m back on track for the day.




Day 258: Exercise Rejigger

All right, so it’s time to look at the exercise program again. My wife’s probably going to keep running consistently, but my recent “hard” row reminded me of how much I like it when I’m taking it seriously. So I may wind up doing it a bit more… aggressively than previous. And more often.

Past successes: I think the best shape I’ve been in was when I was doing a combo of running, weights and rowing. So why not try to repeat that? I’m keeping an eye on for-sale groups for cheap weights, and will be trying to rebuild myself into a decent set of free weights over the next few months.

It’s — again — a question of avoiding my historic problem of overdoing it. Get to a point where I’m pushing myself, but don’t kill myself. Call it the anti-Crossfit. Slow, steady gains with no injuries.

Taking an hour to sit down and work out a real, functioning plan is basically my weekend goal… keep the long runs, get some strength training going, more rowing.

Exercise is back on track post-cold, diet is pretty okay, and sobriety is good, so I’m comfortable pushing out in this area.

Day 246: Holiday / Fast Day

Today is both a holiday and a fast day, which is going to take a bit of extra diligence. The strategy is essentially “stay busy”. I’m going to jam up my day with stuff to do, both in and out of the house.

The radio station is going through an interesting time… strong core, but staff turnover has been frequent lately. So there’s no full-time station or program manager at the moment. I’ll be dropping by for a couple of hours for some spring cleaning work, and also thinking a bit about station governance.

Other goals for today: an hour of weeding outside. Start to learn Kontakt to keep beefing up my music-making skills. Drink a ton of water.

There’s also some work-work stuff that needs doing; not huge things, but some housekeeping and maintenance of a particular project.

I think I’ve got plenty to keep me hopping — it’s a break day from exercise, but there’ll be a lot of walking around and stuff as well. So as long as I can stay distracted and not hanging around the house feeling snacky, I’ll be all right…



Day 240: Fast Day Freakout

Yesterday’s fast day went well except for the very end. Fasting works great for me — it’s really not that hard during the day– but while the official plan allows you to eat up to 500 (or 800) calories, I find if I eat anything I flip out.

So last night’s banana-and-peanut-butter-before-bed turned into a bit of a rampage. Not like a whole day’s worth of food rampage, but enough that I don’t feel like I really did the fast thing as I should.

Thursday, as embarrassing as this sounds, I might ask my wife to supervise my evening snack. She’s invested in my success, so why not? Enlist the help available.

Oh, and some good news from yesterday — remember a while back, the conference being organized and all the resulting stress? Turns out it made a profit — not a personal profit for the organizers, but enough that we might be able to create an endowed fund for the university to support technology. Which is pretty amazing. So while the conference and it going off 100% hitch-free was a good thing, this is kind of a bonus gift. And a surprise out of nowhere, which is really nice.

Not quite September yet, which means if I can get this fasting thing right starting now, I’ve got a month to tool around with it as an experiment, and extend that experiment later if I like it.

…I got distracted there for a minute. I don’t talk about other projects on this blog much, but my weekly radio show/podcast I do with my wife is themed. This week is “fictional languages,” and I just found a guy who raps Eminem songs in Klingon.  Which you have to admit is pretty distracting.

Anyway. I just spent 20 minutes down a Klingon music rabbit hole. Time to record and get this posted! The Internet: is there anything it can’t do?


Day 227: Three out of Four

Feeling pretty good these days about sobriety and exercise. Recovering from the half-marathon and overheating, but did a good 10k this morning.

Sleep is going well, too. Operation Don’t Get Up seems to be working! The cat has been doing a lot better about morning antics. I’m trying to get to sleep before nine every night, with more or less success.

All of this, and weighing/food tracking has fallen right back off. It kind of starts with vacation and being out of town, but then turns into a “meh” thing when I get back. And I’ve been pretty good about food lately. Not perfect, but pretty good.

But, as past experience has shown, repeatedly, being pretty good doesn’t mean I don’t need to keep track of it. That’s the cycle I know well. Doing well,  giving myself permission to slack off with tracking, then getting off-track entirely.

So it’s time to start reasserting the food stuff.

Again, I’m feeling good. I’m batting .750, with sobriety, sleep and exercise going well. But the missing leg of the table, or chair (what’s my metaphor again?) needs attention now, while it’s still going pretty well.

So I think it’s time to re-institute the evening checklist and morning food check-in. These aren’t big deals, they’re just minor pains in the ass. I don’t like doing it because they’re pains in the ass. But they’re necessary pains in the ass, and I need to stop looking at them as optional and more as mandatory.


Day 191: Morning Distractions

Checking in first, quickly, on the water drinking thing. It’s going well! Much harder when I’m at home than at work, but I’m powering through.  I’m getting bad about morning distractions, though.

I got back from a run at 6:15, had coffee and breakfast, and was upstairs at 6:30. It’s 7:00 now; I got sucked into an article about the National Lampoon (which I don’t care about) and testy emails with a service provider trying to bill me for something I cancelled a week ago. Which I do care about, but shouldn’t be caring about right now.

It’s a bit maddening, because I actually enjoy the stuff I should be working on. I like doing it! So it’s weird when I get pulled into… static. It shouldn’t be this hard to stay focused.

Morning distractions lead to evening stress.

Morning sets the pace for the day. That’s not a big genius revelation. But it’s something that’s helpful to remember. Mornings that I get up and get going and feel like I’ve accomplished something lead to great days. I like to leave the house feeling like I’ve already done stuff.

And I guess I’m short-selling the blog/podcast: I am doing stuff! But this is kind of doing stuff about doing stuff. I don’t know if it counts. I’m neurotic.

But I don’t want to feel rushed or stressed in the evening, which means getting stuff done in the morning is kind of my secret weapon.

I don’t know if I have a fix here. There’s a Chrome extension that blocks sites at certain times of day… maybe I should hook it up to keep things on lockdown until 7 a.m.?

Oh! And I haven’t gotten anywhere on the to-do-list/Gantt chart/whatever yet. Frankly, it kind of slipped my mind. But I should get back on top of that.