I dream a lot, and I dream big.  This is my white board for everything from poker to religion, and just about everything else sprinkled in between.  Comment, share, and enjoy yourself.

 

Recent Changes
Recent Changes

Blog: The Giant White Board of My Head

Saturday
Sep242016

Progress is being had.

Something that went well today: I played a lot of poker and stayed focused even when things weren’t going the best.
Something that went poorly today: I didn’t not manage my session time very well and played much longer in one session than I should have.
Something I will improve on for tomorrow: Focusing better when I first wake up to ensure I use my time more wisely.
Something I am thankful for: That I have been better about my challenges lately.
Something I must get done tomorrow: I must play with the bunny a bit more tomorrow.

I put in my first real day of being an adult today, or at least it kind of felt like that.  I ended up with about 8 total hours of poker played today, which is what I was hoping to go for, but I wasn’t really happy with how I broke up those sessions.  I had one session of 2 hours and 57 minutes, which is about what I would like for it to be at.  Perhaps a little bit shorter is better, but it’s about right.  The other session though was not good in that I went 4 hours and 51 minutes.  That’s far too long and normally results in me playing less than my A game.  I would much prefer that length of session got broke up into two pieces.

I can’t complain too much as actually getting that much playing in is really nice for me.  It’s like the person who accomplishes all their goals for the day complaining that they did them too fast.  Sure, the execution could be a bit better, but just getting them done in the first place is so overwhelmingly the better news that it shouldn’t really matter all that much.  I suppose in some ways it’s just me looking at how I can do better for the next time, which will be tomorrow.  I just need to be more careful and make sure that I keep an eye on the time a little bit better.

The results from the day were a little all over the place.  I was up in my main game, but really struggled in my secondary game.  This might sound good, but I need to be doing well at both realistically, because my main game doesn’t run quite as late as I would like.  Also, my main game was down for much of the day but I mounted a very solid rebuild towards the end of the night.  I think this is why I am not getting on myself more for going too long, because getting that rebuild felt really nice, even if it really doesn’t mean all that much in the overall grand scheme of things.

Writing has also been going a lot better lately.  I took a few days off from working on my main story to just do some random stuff, because I wasn’t really feeling what I was working on.  I started knocking it out of the park again though.  I’m finally starting to bring stuff together and finally starting to really make the story complete.  I wrote this one differently than I had written anything else I had tried.  I just wrote random scenes from the book that popped into my head.  I didn’t write it in chronological order.  It felt a bit weird at times to write, but I think it ended up best, because I worked on what was fresh and exciting in my mind.

I still have a decent amount to go until I get a full draft done, but I notice scenes are finally starting to come together and make a little bit more sense in my head.  I feel better about things as a whole story.  One things I need to work on is making chapters and then heading for each of those chapters.  It would make dealing with everything a little bit easier than the way I currently have it.  I never have any idea what is good to have in one chapter and what isn’t.  I get it’s supposed to break the story apart, but I also don’t want to make it feel choppy.  I am going to have to play with it a fair amount to get it how I would like it.

I’ve been doing a lot better in my goals overall, especially with working out. I had been doing fairly well at writing and stuff already, but I hadn’t consistently worked out over a long period, but I have really crushed that lately and worked out 4 days in a row now.  I know that sounds pretty small, but getting that kind of momentum built up and really doing well feels good.  It’s a lot better than I had been doing and I am glad that I am able to make progress on things.  This next week shouldn’t be as sad of a weekly report on where my hours went.

I think that’s about it for now.  I’m fairly tired and jess should be home rather soon.  Then it’s off to bed and then off to another day for me.  Got to keep the good train rolling. 

Tuesday
Sep202016

How Productive am I Really? Spoiler: Not Very

So where did my time go this week?  The easy answer to this is “not where it should have,” but who tunes into this blog for the short and easy answer.  I only filled about 31% of my total hours I wanted to spend on things actually doing things.  Now, that’s really disappointing to me, because I feel like I need to really be spending 70 hours a week on stuff that makes me better and more likely to become self-employed otherwise I am going to end up working a job I don’t like.  That’s just kind of what I have decided after a lot of thought and figuring. 

I think the major areas that I need to focus on are: poker, poker study, exercise, reading, writing/editing and blogging. The reading isn’t really reading fiction, but more self-help or self-improvement books.  The rest are pretty self-explanatory.  Not I won’t want to spend equal time on all of those.  For instance, any more than 7 hours a week on exercise I feel is a waste of time.  The return on investment from that time is just not really there for me.  Any less than 30 hours a week on poker or 15 hours a week on writing I feel is not leveraging my best chances of making money into something usable.

So when I look at this past week and what I spent my time in I am pretty depressed, because not only did I not hit any of the goals I really had, but I massively missed on most of them and even the ones I didn’t massively miss on I missed pretty hard.  I have only one way to go from here, which isn’t the happiest way of looking at things, but it pretty realistic.  I will do reviews like this one every week of what I do and we will track to see if things are getting any better. 

It’s important to note that I don’t track hours spend on projects that don’t fall into one of these things, but might still be pretty useful overall.  For instance, I don’t track home improvement projects, but in reality they are pretty useful.  For instance, I spent 2 hours updating some of the hardware in the bathroom recently.  That was a useful 2 hours, but it wouldn’t show up on my spreadsheet.

The reason for this is that those hours should really be replacing my fun hours and not my hours where I need to be useful and actually do things.  I’m not sure if this is the right approach and I will be looking at it a bit more here in the coming weeks, but for now, I feel pretty comfortable saying that it what I should/shouldn’t be doing.

Below is a screenshot of my tracked hours.

Tuesday
Sep202016

i still know how to write!

Something that went well today: Read a really awesome book.
Something that went poorly today: I read the really awesome book and didn’t complete pretty much anything that I was supposed to.
Something I will improve on for tomorrow: Working towards my future.
Something I am thankful for: That I finally did something.
Something I must get done tomorrow: Writing, poker study and poker playing.

Long time no write.  It’s been a week, that’s for sure.  I’ve had pretty much all the emotions.  Things haven’t been going particularly well, but I guess that’s to be expected as nothing just turns too good after being bad for so long.  That lesson is really hard for me to grasp sometimes, because when things start going well for a while you fall into this false sense of security that maybe you are really turning this corner to have a better life, and then when you fall back a bit it feels like everything is lost.

I think that’s the hardest part of everything, is that what happened should have set me back, but I should have got over it fairly quickly.  I just didn’t though and I let it ruin basically 3 days for me.  I don’t really want to get into what happened that much, but I’m taking steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again.  Regardless, I shouldn’t’ have let it ruin three days of what I have been working for.  I shouldn’t have let it dictate my life that much, because even when bad things happen you need to keep moving forward and conquer things.

Tonight I read a really good book though and that helped me get into a slightly better mindset.  I was already pretty much back into the mindset that I needed, but reading the 9th Kate Daniels book really put me fully back into the mood that I needed to.  Hopefully I will actually be able to really sleep for the first time in a while and then things will be good tomorrow.  I’ve really been struggling with the sleep thing lately.  It’s just that I don’t feel that tired, and then when I try to sleep it just doesn’t work.  Doesn’t matter if I am trying to sleep at night, during the day in the afternoon it just eludes me. 

I took a four-hour nap yesterday and I felt pretty good afterwards and have managed to stay up for nearly 12 hours since that.  While I am glad I can do that, I can also realize that I am not fully rested and can’t quite reach the edges of my mind like I would like.  It shows in my writing as I haven’t been able to make much progress in my book.  It shows when I play poker as I make more mistakes than I should and it shows in my ability to really think about things critically.  I am just a little bit slower than I should be.  I’m hoping that a full night of sleep will actually get me on the right path eventually, but I am not sure when that will happen.

I’ve gotten out of the habit of blogging and I am guessing that might have something to do it.  I don’t want to get to overtop about things, because I don’t like throwing around false prescriptions, but I haven’t blogged in nearly a week and I haven’t been sleeping well that entire week.  I guess if I sleep well tonight then maybe I will actually have to look a little further into it.

I have a lot of plans for things that I want to write tomorrow and the next day.  I want to write a review of Kate Daniels 9th book, I want to get a poker and health blog journal up and I want to get a post-up about how I spent my week.  I’ve decided that I need to spend 70 hours a week doing things to improve myself.  I don’t want to get too much into here, because I have a post to write about it, but actually writing down how many hours I was productive last week was a real slap in the face.  I failed pretty hard last week and it for sure shows me where I need to be improving.

Jess and I needed a vacation, so I booked us a flight and hotel to Vegas the first weekend of November.  She randomly got that weekend off from work, and it allows us to fly out there for a few days.  We haven’t been on a vacation with the exception of the one day we spent in Omaha since we went to Ohio with my family two years ago and we haven’t been anywhere just ourselves since our honeymoon over three years ago.  I think that we really need some time away from everything and just get a bit of freedom from everything.  So we are going to go to Vegas, so we don’t have to rent a car, worry about food or have to have any responsibilities.

It’s not the 100% best use of money, but sometimes you need to look past just eh short game of money use and do things that are going to be helpful to yourself and your relationship long term.  We are spending less than $700 combined for hotel and airfare, so it is realistically a pretty small amount for us to spare and we have both worked far too hard the past couple months to not spend our money in a way that we deem good.  We will have the money we spend back in our savings by next week actually and will pretty much be going to Vegas without spending any of our savings.  We essentially just aren’t going to be amassing more.  Sometimes, holding steady in savings, but vastly improving your mental health is best for long term success.

Something I would like to do over the next week and a half is completely disconnect from the outside world with a few exceptions.  The issue is that I am find it kind of hard to do that.  I feel like I want to be available, but I also need to really focus on stuff for myself.  It’s really tough to try to turn off all the outside influences on you for that long, because some of them are actually very useful and add a lot to what you are doing.  Many are also semi-useful normally if for nothing more than a distraction.  I find that I am clinging to them though to not get work done.  It’s the depression creeping in again, I know that.  SO finding a way to completely absolve myself of it would be best, but I am just not sure how.

It’s something I will put more thought into, but for now, I am making way too many mistakes typing, because I feel kind of tired.  It’s not the world’s longest blog, but I have had much shorter.  Glad to get something out.

Sunday
Sep182016

Chvrches

Saturday
Sep172016

Always keep learning. 

Friday
Sep162016

One of the opening acts from last night!

Wednesday
Sep142016

A bit more upbeat and fun than some more traditional rock. 

Wednesday
Sep142016

The writing just keep going in the right direction.

Something that went well today: Good workout and good writing session.
Something that went poorly today: I was far too distracted today from my biggest goals.
Something I will improve on for tomorrow: Actually putting my effort where my mind is.
Something I am thankful for: To be making solid progress on my book and not having many “bad” writing sessions.
Something I must get done tomorrow: Study poker and play another session.

I’m over the moon about my writing this past couple of weeks.  Ever since I got booted from H and R Block I have been hitting on all cylinders as far as my writing is concerned.  It’s been really nice and has helped me make a ton of progress on my book.  I think I have written close to 30,000 words in it since the end of August with about 22,000 of them coming in the first 13 days of the month.  Not only if the word count much higher than I thought it would be, but the quality has been really nice.

I’m hoping that I will get it finished by either the end of this month or early next month.  I then anticipate another 2-3 weeks of really heavy editing until I will send it off to 3 or 4 people to read through it and let me know if the book works.  Once we get that out of the way, then it’s more revisions and then going through major edits on everything that makes a book not seem amateurish.  I don’t know what my goals overall for the book are, but getting something that I could publish is for sure included in them.  What that means past that though, I really don’t know.

I’ve tried to make my book unique and different than other urban fantasy books, but at the same time I realize that some will read it and feel like parts are borrowed from many other books and that the feel of it is similar to other popular series.  The tough thing with writing any genre is that lots of people have done it before you, and you need to find a way to make your characters a bit more endearing than anyone else.  I feel like the plot has to be well written, but the characters and how they interact are so much more important than the plot itself.  If your characters are flat and boring, then you are just not going to connect well enough.

I think going through my edits in a few weeks that is going to be a major focus of mine.  I’ve tried to work on it while actually doing the writing, but I know that it’s also one of the toughest things to do.  Spending a lot of time going through how interactions take place is going to have to be something that I really stress about if I want it to be good.  I also want to utilize flashbacks a bit more than other books have.  I know that they aren’t really too popular sometimes, but I hope to add more the characters through flashbacks. We will see if that works though.

Past writing, I have been trying to keep on other things.  I played my first poker session yesterday after spending all that time focusing on studying and it went pretty well.  I made some mistakes, but I realized them almost immediately.  While I would obviously prefer not to make those mistakes at all, at least I see where I need to focus more time so I can make sure I don’t keep doing things that lose me money.

It actually was a winning session though.  I also played it pretty late at night, so it was nice to know that I will have games running for me pretty much whenever I feel like playing.  I had 6-8 tables going until 4:00am when I decided to call it a night.  That’s really nice to have so little boundaries on what I can and should be doing with my time.  If I want to play super late sessions, then I can do that more than easily enough.

I’m still deciding if I want to stream or not, and if I do, how much I want to.  I keep going between wanting to do it and not thinking that it is worth it.  The extra effort it’s really going to be that much as long as I don’t do it all the time, but at the same time, it is extra effort and so either my outside activities or my play will suffer at least a little bit if I decide to start streaming.  I’m just not sure what to do overall.  I think that I could end up going either way on it, but I am glad that I have most things set up to be doing it if I so chose that it is the right thing to be doing with my time.

Either way, Friday is really going to start my time that I have to focus primarily on things that I need to be doing to make a career out of everything.  While the past 2 weeks haven’t exactly been time I have had off, because I have been doing many productive things with them, they have also been a bit lighter on things than I would ideally want them to be.  It’s not like I have been failing a lot the past few weeks, but I can also be succeeding at a much higher rate than I have been.

Well, I think that’s going to be all for now.  I wanted to be asleep about an hour ago, but just didn’t feel like heading that way.  Hopefully after getting some writing out I will fall asleep a bit easier.  I think doing these blogs every other day is going to be more realistic for what I will actually get done.  I would like to do them every day, but I also just don’t feel like it sometimes.  I will see what works best once I really start playing a lot more though, because that might also change how I feel a lot as well.

Monday
Sep122016

You make your own life.

Monday
Sep122016

Purge the bad and keep the good!

Something that went well today: The past two days have just been insanely productive from a pure productivity standpoint.
Something that went poorly today: I’m still not following my routines and stuff as much as I would want to be following them.
Something I will improve on for tomorrow: Focusing more on keeping my breaks in their desired times and not going over and pushing them back.
Something I am thankful for: To really be hitting my stride on things as of late.
Something I must get done tomorrow: I want to actually do my morning routine when I wake up.

So I was pretty disappointed Friday night with how productive I had been, or really the lack of how productive I had been.  I think that led to a lot of the sadness and then the overly long post about things that don’t really matter.  I think that not being productive seems to be a catalyst for me then getting depressed.  I think that makes a lot of sense actually, but it’s good to realize that about myself.

Well, I have done my best to combat that the last two days, and I have been very happy with where I am going and what I have been doing in said time.  I have put in a lot of hours writing, studying poker and even working out.  I have been 3/3 on my 30-day challenges two days in a row now and have just been hitting everything exactly how I want to be.  It’s been really nice, because I am moving forward in exactly the way that I want to.

On top of all of this I feel a lot better and more positive than I have in a while.  I feel excited and really happy to be working on stuff.  I don’t want to sleep and just want to keep pushing myself to do more, do it better and do it faster.  I can’t keep that kind of thing up though, as I am not a miracle worker.  I need to still take breaks, I still need to get my sleep and I still need to have fun.  So I have been trying to temper my thirst to be doing everything while still not losing that edge.

Tonight I did 8 straight hours of productive things.  This might not sound like a lot, but writing and studying poker for 8 straight hours is not an easy task if you are not in the zone.  I wrote 5.5k words and really felt happy about where I was going with my poker study.  I also got a full workout in, one of the best ones I have had in a long time.  I changed how I do things a little bit to feel like I got more out of my workout.

So everything is just going awesome and I have no complaints about anything, right?  Well, not so much.  I woke up a lot later today than I really wanted to, because I am not managing my sleeping times very well.  I would prefer to be going to be around 6 and waking up around 1 in the afternoon.  Today I got up around 5pm, which is just not where I want to be.  I am going to end up going to sleep around 7 today which is much closer to where I want to be, but is still not optimal, in my opinion.  Now I realize these are kind of arbitrary times overall and I should really get too caught up in them, but I really want to make sure once I start playing poker that I am allowing myself to really hit my stride with my full brain power.

I’ve noticed that I am normally pretty active and awake about 2-3 hours after I have woken up until about 12 hours after I have woken up.  I then dip down aa bit and then am awake for another 4-6 hours after that.  So I think what I should be doing for maximum use of my time is waking up around 1 in the afternoon, using the first 2 hours to really get my mind in the right place, exercising and other things like that.  Then from about 3-5 I should be doing some writing and reading, kind of just depending on how I feel.  Then eat dinner from 5-6 or there about.  Then from 6-2 I should be playing poker.  After that, I should take a break, eat some food, relax and then from about 3-6 in the morning I should be doing some poker study, doing some more writing and just kind of doing some other stuff until I decide to go to sleep. 

All of this is still very open for debate and I would like to make sure I get it a little more hammered out before I really get into it, but right now, this kind of sounds like it is going to be the best thing for me to do.  I have a 30-minute break scheduled for the middle of that poker session.  If I need a small nap I have no qualms about taking a short nap and then getting back up and crushing.  I think it will be kind of a play it by ear thing and then make the best choices that I can to maximize how I feel.

As you can tell about this schedule is that it is insanely simple.  I’m no trying to do too much.  While I am a bit disappointed to say that I can’t do 50 different things really well, I think that it’s a good realization that I have come to.  I am just not able to pull myself in a million different directions and do everything well.  I’m not one of those people.  The good thing is though that I think I can do 2 or 3 things really, really well while not faltering on any of those things.  It’s the year of less, but also more.  Less distractions, more productivity.

On the note of less distractions, I uninstalled Chrome from my phone, and dear god has it made a huge difference.  I have gone from wasting a ton of time being on my phone for no reason to being on it almost not at all.  It’s something I needed to do a long time ago, but I just never actually forced myself to do it. I kept telling myself that it was too important and that I just couldn’t live without it.  As I see now, that was just a lie so that I could keep wasting time.  I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that I have been the most productive I have been in a long time when I have cut my phone time per day down from 2.5-3.5 hours to about an hour or less.

Things are really moving in a good direction. I have written almost as many words this month already as I did all of last month.  I have studied poker more in the past 3 days than I have all year and maybe all of last year too, I had one of the best workouts I have ever had, I have been getting in tons of steps after really making myself do it and I have even been sleeping a bit better the past few nights.  I need to keep this positive going, because I know it will die down here soon.  I just have to ride it for everything it is worth until that happens though.