Milk and Cigarettes

Rambles about stuff I like.

A Monday ramble on planning and productivity

Having a much better day today productivity-wise. Got up without hitting snooze, did my goals, then 3 pages of notes for class, then exercise, do my piano, now I’m onto writing. There’s been very little dilly-dally today, I’ve been focused on getting my goals done as efficiently as possible.

Anyhoo, I think the key to a great day is to be productive first thing. If I can manage to get up and get going, then as my feelings follow my actions, I instantly feel more productive. And when I’m productive, I want to carry those feelings through me for the rest of the day, rather than just slack off. It’s like the snowball effect – doing just a little something in the morning to be productive will get me going for the rest of the day, like a snowball rolling down a hill.

After my writing, I’ll read my book for 30 minutes before working on my thesis. If I can manage to keep my head down while I do my math, and not watch tv or surf the net or anything, then it’ll be a nice and productive day. My math “to do” is to edit 4 pages of my thesis. But editing the thesis is somewhat tedious – so we’ll see what I do. My plan is to do head down math until 8:00pm, at which time I can relax. That’ll probably mean around 4 good hours working on my thesis. If I can get in a consistent groove on my non-teaching days, then I’ll be done this sucker in no time.

Actually, what I should be doing is spending as much time as possible on my thesis. I think I’ll uninstall Tinder and just focus on fitness and work for the next little while. I’d rather be in a better position career-wise before going on dates and getting serious with anyone. Of course, I could go out on dates just to practice going out on dates… so maybe I’ll hold off on deleting Tinder. But for sure, I’m going to try and spend a majority of my time on my thesis from now on, until it’s done.

And fitness – well, the only thing I really need to improve for fitness is my diet. I’ve been doing really well as far as exercising consistently, and doing around 4-5 workouts a week. If I could stick to a caloric ceiling on a consistent basis, I’d start losing all that pesky belly fat.

Yup. I think I’m going to focus on those two things for the next little while: thesis and diet. Of course, focusing on a diet just means “not eating whatever the hell I want”, which is my current diet. It’s all about prepping my meals for the week, measuring out my portions and counting calories. Thing is though, in the past when I’ve done this, I’ve felt great during the day. Good workouts, lots of energy – so there’s certainly benefits to eating well that I’m not enjoying. Another reason to focus on diet for the next little while.

I will say this though – I’m getting pretty darn good at piano. I need to start a new piano book, because as soon as I learn “Amazing Grace”, I’m done with Alfred’s Piano Book Vol 1.

What else? I was recently binge-watching House – but I’m somewhere near the end of Season 7 and getting pretty sick of it. House and Cuddy have this on-again/off-again relationship, and so I’m guessing Season 8 is all about their wedding and the final episode is one of them dying (or Wilson) at the wedding. Calling it right now. But we’ll see – I’ve no real appetite to watch that show again.

I’m currently catching up with the current season of Bob’s Burgers. I’ve got, like, 6 new episodes to watch, so I am stoked for this evening when I will be done all my goals and can veg out and watch some tv. Yeah!

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May 25, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A ramble about monthly goals, getting stuff done right away

I drove by her house today… sigh.

Meh – I was running an errand and passed by J2’s house on my way home. Had a twinge of regret, etc… but it went away pretty quick when I focused on my goals. I’m feeling much better and that I’ve moved on and stuff… but every so often now I’ll still feel regret about how things went down. But nevertheless, I’m moving forward, dealing with my issues, and working on my goals. Time will heal all wounds – and as long as I stick to my plan, I’ll eventually make that deep, emotional connection with someone that I desire.

But until then… let’s keep working on my goals.

And so how are we doing today? Today is a rushed day, because I TA a class tonight, so I’m on campus from about 5:00 to 8:00. But then I’ve got an 8:30 class to TA tomorrow, so I have to go right to bed when I get home. Sorta a bummer. But it’s the last evening class until I teach in May – more importantly, it’s the last 8:30 class tomorrow – and then it’s Tues/Thurs evenings from May until August.

I’m looking forward to teaching my class this summer. It’s a 1st year calculus course for Engineers – so I’m pretty stoked about that. The fact that they’re engineers means I can be a real hardass about the math, which is the way I like it. But that’s the way it should be – I don’t want bridges being built by people who can’t do basic calculus.

What else? Well, I’ve figured out my goals for the month of April, and they are as follows:

  • Health: Have 15.5% bodyfat by April 30th
  • Love: To have gone on 5 dates by April 30th
  • Math: To have 100 pages of the thesis done by April 30th
  • Fortune: To have saved $250 by April 30th
  • Fame: To have gone to amateur night at Yuk Yuk’s 4 times.

I think all those are pretty reasonable goals. The ones I’m most focused on are Health and Math. Health, because I would really like to get better diet habits. My workout habits are generally pretty strong – I get in between 3-5 workouts a week. In fact, for the month of March, I got in 18 workouts – that’s almost 60%, so 3 out of every 5 days. Pretty good. But I’d be doing a lot better if I could get my diet straightened out. I’ve lost a little weight and fat since the beginning of the year, but now I want to step it up.

And the thesis – well, I want to get that done as soon as possible, because I would very much like to be called Dr. Sarcasticus, and then I could get a professorship or post-doc somewhere. Not to mention I wouldn’t have to TA any more classes. (I’d be teaching them, but whatevs…) The key for the thesis is short, daily, steady progress. So I reckon that if I can write 4 pages a day, I’ll be well in line to be done by the end of the month. Better still, once I’ve written my 4 pages for the day, I can relax.

Because the thing about a thesis (or any paper, really) is that it’s a chore. All the exciting research has been done, and now it’s about writing it up in explicit, technical detail. This is a drag. So what I’m excited to do, is to get up every morning and get it done.

That’s the thing about goals – if you’ve got a goal to achieve, you’re going to have to do the work. Often, the work will be tedious, or not as fun as other things you could be doing. That’s why I like doing it first – get it done! Get it out of the way immediately! Then the rest of the day is mine.

That’s one reason why I like exercising in the morning. Although I feel great after every workout, it’s still tough work. So if I can get up and get my workout out of the way immediately, I feel a lot better about myself, and I’ll carry those good feelings with me for the rest of the day.

Anyhoo, that’s a tight 15. Speaking of workouts, I’m off to do mine! Happy April schmools!!

April 1, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A ramble about my unproductive morning

Man O man has I been unproductive today. Didn’t do any math this morning, spent most of the morning surfing the internet and playing on my phone. I was thinking about skipping my workout, but now that I’m writing I think I’ll probably do it.

Here’s what I’ve done today so far goal wise: did my goals and visualizations this morning, did my journal and Zen reading, did the dishes, took my pills and vitamins… and 30 minutes of piano. And that’s about it. I should be spending the majority of my time doing my thesis.

Oh well, i think I will try and start doing 60 solid minutes of thesis first thing in the morning. That way I don’t have to worry about getting up early, I can just do my hour as soon as I wake up, and then the rest of the day is mine.

This thesis will likely take, oh, I ‘unno, 100 hours? 200 hours? The proof is all done, it’s just a matter of writing it up.

When it comes to goals, it’s all about daily consistency. So I won’t even worry about completing the thing. Instead, I’m going to focus on doing my math every day, first thing in the morning. And by doing just a little each day, before I know it I’ll be done.

And yeah! I will go do my workout after this. Even though I don’t want to, I know I’ll enjoy it after I get started. I can listen to the greatest song in the world, “Dopesmoker” by Sleep, and watch some sporting event on tv. Then a few circuits of core and that’s it.

I should say, I flexed in the mirror the other day, and I was looking a lot better than I did. I still have a steroid belly, but my chest and back and shoulders are all a lot more defined than they used to be. So my regular exercise is paying off. But more important than that, my diet is paying off. I previously did a 2-week diet challenge with my dad – where each of us sticks to our diet or owes the other guy $100 – so my weight is down. In fact, if I check my goal book – I see that on Jan 5 I weighed in at 169lbs at 17.5% body fat. And yesterday, I weighed in at 168lbs, at 16.7% bodyfat. Oh, so maybe my weight isn’t down so much – but I’m looking a lot better’n’d I did.

Anyhoo, that’s a sloppy 15 minute ramble. Time to get back on the horse and go exercise!

I’m sure that after I do my workout, I will attempt to continue on and work on my goals. Because that’s the way it goes with goals. Fail some. Get up, keep going.

February 19, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another tired ramble

I think I’ve gotta lay off the whole “getting up at 5:00am” thing. I keep waking up tired. I don’t get it – I was in bed at 8:30 last night, slept soundly until my alarm went off, hit snooze twice – and then was tired by 9:30am. Ridiculous.

Of course, the same thing happened yesterday – and then I went and did a workout and miraculously wasn’t tired anymore. So that’s probably what I’m going to do next. Or maybe I’ll do a let’s play real quick and then do my workout. After my workout, I plan on reading for an hour, which will have a high tendency towards napping, so I will resist that as well.

Wow – I spent the past 5 minutes just staring into space. That’s how tired I am.

Seriously – I feel like there’s been a bunch of posts in the last little while about how I’m waking up tired. So that’s probably gonna be it for waking up at 5:00am.

I can remember back when I was living downtown, I would reliably fall asleep around 11:00 every night and then naturally wake up at 7:00. That’s probably my best bet for sleeping. Not to mention I can keep that routine going throughout the weekend.

Anyhoo – not much else going. I blocked reddit, twitter and my regular sites from my main computer. It really helps with keeping my disciplined about working on my goals. However, I haven’t figured out how to block these sites from my phone – so now all my procrastination tools are on my phone. But lemme tell ya, it’s a LOT easier to just leave the phone in the other room, or turn it off and not touch it, than it is to resist clicking on an internet link on the computer I’m working on.

There’s a tip for anyone looking for a productivity boost. Find out what websites you habitually click on in order to take a break – and then straight up block those websites from your computer. You’ll still be tempted to visit those sites, but if they’re blocked, your brain does an, “Oh yeah!” and gets back to work. At least, that’s what mine does!

In other activity related news – the game I’ve been playing a whole bunch of lately is Factorio. I wrote a post about it before. But man! What a deep game. It’s all about production and input and outputs – optimizing flows, basically a math game. Except there’s bugs that roam around and try and wreck your stuff, so you have to defend your base. And as your base gets more and more efficient, you unlock better technologies, which allows for more efficient factory lines, and you can now harvest more and more resources, etc..

The game’s only in its early stages, which means that it’s going to get better and better as it goes on. I can’t wait!

February 10, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Say you had a billion dollars… then what?

Oh man I love getting up early! I had my alarm set for 4:30 so I could hit snooze 4 times. But then I was up and out like a shot at 5:06. Made some coffee, said my goal statements out loud and got to work on my goals.

One thing I did differently today was not open up my internet browser first thing to check my e-mail. I think that I, along with absolutely everyone else, lose the most time on the internet doing trivial things that don’t help with their goals. So today, I’m going to forego the internet until I’ve done all my goals – except for a couple internet dependent things, like writing this blog post, and checking the weather before I head out.

Anyhoo, I was thinking the other day about all the fabulous wealth I’m going to attain. But then I started thinking, yeah, I may have over one hundred million dollars in the bank, but then what? What am I going to do after I’ve bought all the cool stuff I want to buy.

So here’s a goal exercise that I propose: say you had one BILLION dollars. That’s right, billion with a B – so effectively, you’ve got unlimited wealth. You’ve got all the money you’ll ever need. Ok, so you’ve got a billion dollars – then I have two questions for you:

  1. What are you going to buy?
  2. What are you going to do afterwards?

That first part is the most fun. If I had a billion dollars, what would I buy? Well, I’d buy a nice, big-ass house for starters. I’d buy this huge house and a big plot of land to go with it, so that every morning I’d wake up in my big house, in a nice big bed, with lots of covers – and a big window so I could see the sun rise every morning.

I’d have my own workout room, so that after I got up, I’d go work out for 60-90 minutes. Since it would be my own workout room, I’d have the music I want playing, and I’d have the tv set to a loop of inspirational videos – or heroic sports clips.

After my workout, I’d go shower off in my huge master bathroom. I’d have a big, two-person walk in shower, with heated floors, and a big counter with a couple sinks. Rows and rows of huge fluffy towels – do they make towel warmers? Heck, I’m rich – I’d have a dryer in the bathroom specifically for towels, so that after my shower I’d have a warm fluffy towel ready to go.

After my shower I’d get dressed for the day. I don’t really care about fashion, but since I’m rich, I’ll have a large selection of suits to put on. Or, if it’s winter, I’d just put on warm and woolly sweatpants.

Then I’d head down to the kitchen for some breakfast. Naturally, since I’m rich, I’d have a hot wife (or sex maid, same thing) making breakfast for me. My kitchen would be nice and big, with a professional style grill and fume hood for cooking – possibly a deep fryer – a big pantry stocked with lots of food. All the latest kitchen gear that my wife (or sex maid) would want.

Ok, so that’s a small sample of all the cool stuff I’d buy. But then what would I do all day? I’ve got a billion dollars, so I don’t need to rush into some goddamn office and deal with people all day. I’ve got the whole day to myself to do whatever I want.

I think when most people fantasize about winning the lottery, they think about all the stuff they want. Yeah, having neat stuff is neat – but what are you going to all day? I’ll tell ya, watching youtube videos and playing video games all day will get boring fast. Despite having fabulous wealth, you must also have a purpose. A mission.

Without a mission, all that wealth will be wasted. You’ll feel useless and bored without a reason to get up in the morning. You can play around on your wealthy toys for awhile, but that will get boring. You can travel the world for a long time. But eventually, that will get boring too.

Because what are you going to do? 

You’ve now got all the time in the world, how are you going to spend it? All that this wealth has earned you, really, is free time. You’re free to live without the hassles of an office job and worrying about car payments and all that. You’ve got no stress and tons of free time.

Now what?

Let me tell you – question 2 up above is WAY more important than question 1. If you really want to set goals for yourself and achieve what you want in life, it’s imperative that you answer question 2.

Because once you’ve answered question 2, and you’ve figured out what you’re going to do with all your free time, then I’ve got great news. You don’t need a billion dollars to do what you really want to do. If you know in your heart of hearts what you would do if you had all the money in the world, then you can make a plan to start doing what you really want to do today!

That’s the best part! You CAN do what you really want to do, even if you don’t have all that wealth. Because ultimately, it’s what we do everyday that matters, not what we own.

Figure out what you want to do, then figure out a way to do what you want to do today! It’s closer than you think!

November 25, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A good Saturday morning ramble.

Wow! A post on a Saturday!

Let me explain. Doing 15 minutes of writing everyday is one of my goals. Last month, I had designated Saturday’s as “Goal-Free” days. That is, days where I don’t have to do any goals. Basically, a day off.

Problem was, during my days off, I felt antsy and unproductive. So I came to the conclusion that I shouldn’t be taking any days off – instead, I’ll just divide my days into “Heavy Goal Days” and “Light Goal Days.”

“Heavy Goal Days” are going to be weekdays – days where I work 12 to 14 hours straight. These heavy days are days when I go to the gym, do some intense math, etc…

But light days are days like today – where I can get all my goals done in about 4 hours and then have the rest of the day to myself. So today, continuing with the Get Up Early Initiative, I was working on my goals by 7:00Am. It’s just after 10:30, and after this post ends, I’ve got about 30 minutes of goals left today.

Which is awesome, because I’ve managed to download the Early Release copy of NHL 14 – so once I’m done all my goals for the day, it’s going to be nothing but hockey for the rest of the day. (Also, it’s rainy out today, so it’s a perfect day to stay inside and play videogames! Huzzah!)

Anyhoo… yeah, but what to write about now?

Hmm… Well, I don’t really know what’s going on in the world ’cause I haven’t read the paper, or looked at the internet today. One of the keys to getting all my goals done in a timely fashion is that I set an additional goal for myself of, “No internet/tv/games until all goals are done.”

I mean, when it comes to getting stuff done, the internet can be a huge distraction if you let it. I know in the past, when I had to do something unpleasant like study, then I’d often study for 2, maybe 3 minutes and then take a quick, 30 minute internet break. Either that, or I’d try and study with the TV on.

Now, I personally think that there’s no such thing as a successful multi-tasker. I think the brain can only really deal with one task at a time, and the people who claim they’re good at multi-tasking are really just saying they’re not good at focusing. Now, multi-tasking doesn’t mean things like rubbing your belly and patting your head at the same time. No, it’s more like doing your TPS reports while talking on the phone. There’s no one who can focus on two disparate things at once – the brain doesn’t work that way! Why do you think texting while driving is such a hazard? It’s because when you’re texting, you’re not focused on driving – and if you’re not focused while you’re racing down a street in a 2000-lb death machine, you’re gonna have a bad time.

Anyhoo, I’d say that my recent increase in productivity is solely due to swearing off internet while I’m working. Further, when I go on the internet after a long work day, I find I get pretty fed up with the internet very quickly.

Well, when I say internet, I mean Reddit. Reddit is my “go to” site for news, entertainment, general web surfing, crazy pictures of cats. But ultimately, surfing Reddit is a HUYGE [sic] waste of time. Because mostly, reddit is just funny and interesting pictures. That’s what I estimate over 90% of people on reddit are doing – just aimlessly looking at pictures. Really, when you’ve got goals to accomplish and you’re focused on productivity, you quickly realize just how much you don’t care about how cute someone’s puppy is, or how much of an asshole this guy is for parking in a handicap space.

The absolute worst part about Reddit is the comments. First, if you don’t subscribe to the hive-mind’s particular brand of PC-liberalism, you’ll be branded all sorts of illogical things. Second, every man on reddit is as thirsty as a motherfucker, and the 5’s who post candids of themselves get 10 attitudes. Sickening.

Anyhoo, that’s my 15 minutes!

September 7, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment