Night time panics

It’s not so much a panic, but more a huge imagining of potential future outcomes for projects that live in my head.

Once I am awake (usually kids crying) my brain throws a thought at me, I think of some way to change the outcome and then the snowball effect means I don’t sleep for hours.

I can feel it when the Adrenaline hits the body and at that point i might as well get up and have a coffee. I ain’t sleeping anymore.

Last night was bad but gave me a few ideas to work on.

Hoping for sleep tonight though.

Happy Saturday chimps.

Evernote = A creative’s app

I am slightly obsessive with productivity and the internet. I want a go-to app that will encourage my creative streak, and which helps me organise my life. After many trials and tribulations trying to find the best note taking and general productivity app out there, I have used Evernote since 2012.

It is my favourite for one main reason – the way it makes me FEEL! I want an app which makes me feel creative, engaged and in control when I sit down to try and work. I feel like I could write a novel, organise my life, and manage a project when I open up that beautiful green elephant. It is the colours, the simplicity of the interface, the kind of earthy, coffee-shop-esque vibe of the whole app that keeps me coming back.

The design of the app looks like it goes with headphones and a coffee, and it works fantastically with my other devices all synced in. It’s great as a free beginner package and it gets better with payment.

I am not a partner or earning anything from referrals, so this is pure app-joy expressed in a blog format. Take it or leave it…. (Take it….:))

If you, like me, want to harness the web and the digital world, rather then be controlled by it (ahem…Social Media!) then try out Evernote.

And blogging. Everyone should blog.

Happy Thursday chimps.

Bail out mindsets and remedies

Sometimes my brain will flick a switch and bail out. Just like a wrestler tapping out of a choke hold, when my stresses build up and become too much, the brain seems to automatically hide from responsibility. It searches memories for simpler times and childhood. Sadness creeps in. The search for distraction and pleasure creeps in. It bails out of life. This happens quickly and quietly.

Inevitably when this happens, and when I take the time to look at my life, I will see a pattern emerging. Usually this “bail out” mindset happens when I haven’t looked after myself in one of three ways. Either I haven’t done any exercise in a while, I haven’t done anything artistic in a while, or I’m not sleeping enough. Or some combination of the three.

So yesterday my brain bailed out. So I ran in the afternoon….yes….endorphins! Then i went to bed early. Today I’ll try find some time to doodle on the guitar or work on the podcast….Yeah, the podcast I reckon.

Do what you can. Which is more than you think.

Discomfort and tequila

I just watched a motivational clip which told me I had to “embrace discomfort”.

This reminded me of a friend of mine who used to have a party trick. He would order a tequila with all the lime and salt as usual. But he would do everything wrong. He’d snort the salt up his nose, squirt the lime in his eyes and then drink the liquor. He would punish himself for our amusement, but I don’t think it was worth it.

I’m going to try and wake up early and be productive tomorrow despite my desires to lie in.

Embrace discomfort….while drinking responsibly….unless there’s comedy value.

Rehydrate…mate

My daughter once was hospitalized and became dehydrated from the sickness. Part of her recovery was to take rehydration formula. She got better, but we have bags of formula left in our house.

Like a teenager sneaking sips of his Dad’s whiskey, I have been pilfering the formula after my runs. I feel guilty, but I also feel great!

I’m going to have to invest in some man-sized rehydration packs because I am nearly out of my infants stash….which seems to be the good stuff.

If you feel groggy or tired or stiff, rehydrate…mate.

Dreaming to doing

I couldn’t sleep last night because of an idea. A business idea. The idea created adrenaline in my body which fueled my heart and my brain which developed the idea further which created more adrenaline! No sleep, but an idea nonetheless.

I have let a lot of ideas go by the wayside. This one I will try and develop though. That’s the hard part. An idea is easy to come up with. Making it work is a lot harder.

They don’t teach you calendars at school

Or maybe it was just that I wasn’t listening – either way, I think this should change.

Who doesn’t know how to keep a calendar? This sounds ridiculous, but it has taken me about 10 years to understand how to use and trust my computer’s calendar. At school, timetables were dished out at the beginning of term, pinned up on walls and referred to by everyone else around me. I could always ask my parents, teachers, friends what was coming up and what was due. I could remember a lot (well, enough) of what was important without needing a reference. The net result is that I never developed the skills to keep my own time. I have never trusted my computer calendars until very recently.

When you start using a calendar though, they build upon themselves. The more you use them, the more dependent you are on them, and then the more you will trust and use them again. You are invested, and that makes the whole system work. In this way calendars are a great example for projects in general. If you want to get a project started, then just start. The mental buy-in is what matters. The same thing seems to apply to relationships, exercise, blogging, working a job, keeping healthy.

That is what no school ever taught me – the importance of mentally buying into a concept, and that you can train yourself to do it in order to get something done.

Seems to me, this mental trick in and of itself is one of the most useful things in the world.

Behavior vs. logic

Behavior trumps logic. If you want to pay off debt quickly, the maths says that it is best to attack the highest interest amount first, then work your way down to the next highest.

However, it turns out that debt payments are not a maths problem, they are a behavior problem. Therefore the opposite (attacking the smallest interest amount first, and then using the payments from that amount to pay off the next smallest etc) is the best way to change behavior and cancel debt.

Small manageable victories are always more sustainable than large sacrifices, even if they are not scientifically going to get you to your goal most efficiently.

Complicated or Complex?

The two words are often used interchangeably, which is wrong.

If a system is complex, it means it has many components in the system. The complexity makes it hard to apply any hard and fast rules for problem solving. Think of a large company or organisation.

If a system is complicated it can be hard to solve, but they are addressable with rules and recipes. Think of a machine.

My next guest on the podcast, Dan Rogatschnig, did a masters degree specialising in this stuff and he laid it out for us during our chat.

Come and have a listen on Friday.

Systems thinking

The next guest on my podcast has not one but two masters degrees.

I worked with Dan for a couple of years in a corporate, and since then I have always been curious about his LinkedIn bio which reads as follows: “Thinking in curved lines of interdependence rather than straight lines of causality”

I pinned Dan down recently to explain himself. We had a nice long chat which I will release on Friday as the fourth episode in my podcast series.