30 solid minutes of creativity

Get that egg timer ready to sit down and write for 30 solid minutes. Within that slice of joy the promise of 30 solid minutes of creativity exist. It starts with the tepid spark of a blank canvas and expands with each splashing of creativity. Maybe that was enough to make you want to imagine a world of possibility just on the other side of the possible or maybe a yawn will overcome the will to extinguish procrastion. Some people tend to believe procrastination is inherently the reward of relaxation, but that duality never really made sense to me in practice. The simple act of hammering keys on a keyboard or writing with a fountain pen to me is relaxing. Pracrasition that drives me from that act shuts the door to a certain degree of peace of mind knowing the things worth doing were done.

Today a thought arrived related to writing a manuscript titled, “Power & Consequence.” It has been a few years since I sat down and wrote a purely philosophical weighty tome of thought. Maybe now is as good a time as any to carve out a bit of time and make that happen.

Thoughts on what a newspaper brought you

Probably the most compelling aspect of reading a traditional newspaper is the daily summary aspect of the whole experience. It brings you a highly curated summary of the previous day in a highly expected and repeatable way. One of the hardest elements of giving up reading daily newspapers is the ongoing dialogue or the continuity of events that reading the same writers day in and day out brings you. For better or worse they bring a certain degree of perspective to each article. Maybe it is the continuity of a curated set of materials that I really truly miss. My current news routine involves digging into the Google News feed and reading the things the algorithm things are both important and will draw my attention. That is not as fulfilling or it lacks something compared to what I remember form before. It is entirely possible that the algorithm is not as fulfilling as what the editors were curating by hand. Maybe they brought enough things together that they caught my attention.

Today is a planned day of rest and thanksgiving

Today started off with two shots of espresso from my Nespresso Expert machine. It is featured in the thumbnail today. Turning the photo to black and white made it look a little more professional. I used some filter called Eiffel within Google Photos. Overall, the filters seem to work really well. My Google Pixel 3 XL generally does take great photos. We have been looking for a new mirrorless digital camera, but they have such strange price points. A lot of them will probably be on sale today or tomorrow. This week seems to be the peak of sales season online.  

The thing that got me thinking about photos again was my Google Home Hub. That tiny little screen and speaker might not do anything extraordinary, but it does work as a great little picture frame. It has been showing pictures from my family album and some of the throwbacks are pretty fun to see. We rarely look at archived photos. Over the last two years, I have purchased a couple of picture books for people and we have 3 of them in the house. That probably showcases about 300 of the 15,000+ photos that are archived.  

Today I’m planning on relaxing and engaging in some thanksgiving. Working on appreciating and being thankful for things seems like a good way to spend some time today. Outside of that goal I’m planning on watching a movie today. Tickets have already been purchased for a movie called, “Ralph breaks the internet.” That is the big adventure for the day a little bit of entertainment and a whole lot of working on being thankful for things. If that does not work, then I’m going to spin up some classic Warren Zevon records and work on relaxing. That is the order of operations for the day and we will see how it ends up going. Starting Friday, I’m going to start digging into my digital sandbox and working on crafting something new and interesting. 

These words get going again

Rambling. Even before the start these words were going to be rambling. These words being written today got going just in time to write. Today started off slowly. It was one of those days that just does not click. Maybe it was recovering from a slight back strain or just a poor night of sleep. Whatever the cause might have been things did not get going the way they should have to start the week off. That happens from time to time, but it cannot become the routine or things just end up being unpleasant.

Still rambling on. I’m listening to Monday night football on my Chromebook. The Denver Broncos are playing the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead. Opening the game in one Chrome tab and writing in another seemed to make sense. It seems like I can do more and more with my Chromebook. That has been working out in my favor. The whole writing thing for better or worse is about spending time engaging in the practice of writing.

My goal for tonight was to sit down and just write for 30 minutes straight without stopping, pausing, or reconsidering the nature of my efforts. I picked up a Boss Metal Zone M-2 guitar effects pedal from an eBay auction. At some point, I may have owned one of these pedals before. For some reason that is something that I cannot exactly remember. A long time ago, my original guitar setup was flooded out in a Kansas basement. All of the gear got wet and simply did not make it based on a combination of mold and water damage.

It seemed like a good idea after moving a couple of years back to get a small Marshall amplification stack for my office. A small head unit connects to two smaller speaker cabinets. In terms of a guitar amplification setup it delivers a nice warm clean tone that is ready for guitar pedals. Next week at some point it will be delivering the sounds of a guitar and a Boss Metal Zone M-2 guitar pedal.

The Quadrants of Doing

Over the last few months I have started using a new tool to be a better reflective practitioner. The tool is as simple as drawing evenly intersecting vertical and horizontal lines. The four quadrants include a daily reflection on what I should keep doing, stop doing, need to do, and what is taking up the most time. This simple exercise has helped me reflect on the totality of my daily efforts. I thought it would be worth sharing. It will probably evolve a little bit over time, but this is where it currently stands.

Keep doing: It is worth a few moments of reflection to think about the things that are working well. Those are the things that you should keep doing.

Stop doing: Instead of keeping a stop doing list I find it easier to think about the things that are not working well and how to stop doing them. You have to think about what it would take to move something from the stop doing list to the keep doing list.

Need to do: This is the hardest part of the list to maintain. It generally involves things that were put off for some reason. They did not make it into the keep doing or stop doing lists. They are the things that may go completely ignored.

Most time doing: It is very important to figure out what things are taking up the most time. We only have so much time to get things done. Sometimes things from the stop doing list end up consuming more time than they should.

Quadrants of Doing