How do you stay focused on a task or activity?
Honesty time. I suck at staying focused. In my life I’m never far away from an internet-capable device, so distraction is a big time sink for me. Twitter, IM, RSS feeds, iPhone games, Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, so much will drain away my time.
When I am on task, it’s usually because I’ve set myself crystal-clear goals for the next few hours. If I can see the desired result and I know exactly how I can get to it, that’d be a good clear goal.
I try to rock the Getting Things Done methodology, using Cultured Code’s Things, with good results: I know exactly what it is I should be working towards. Where I currently let myself down is not doing my regular/weekly reviews, and sometimes slacking on writing good next actions.
Maybe I should mix in the Pomodoro technique to build focus. Anyone out there tried this, or something similar?
How do you stay entertained when you are snowed in?
Well if it was snowing, I sure wouldn’t be inside; Snow in Wellington? EPIC. I’d be out there enjoying it!
If it snowed so hard I couldn’t leave the house? Alright.
1. Video Games
I’d be all up playing any combination of Minecraft, DoomRL, Weird Worlds, Team Fortress 2, or Spelunky, or whatever! If my girl was with me, I’d probably Wii Bowl for a while.
2. Catch up on my bible reading
I’ll be honest, I’m currently more than a few days behind on Arise’s One Year Bible plan (M’Cheyne’s Classic). I probably should be reading up now as is.
Bible reading is pretty interesting when you have it in context, so I like to use a commentary like the ESV Study Bible. The Bible’s books, especially the New Testament was originally written by their authors with specific audiences in mind, which usually aren’t explictly me. For example, Paul’s letters were to fledgling churches around the Mediterranean: I think context helps a lot for understanding what’s actually going on and why the figures in the Bible wrote what they did. The ESV Study Bible has lots of great insight in its commentary.
4. Read or listen to a book or podcast
I love to read, or listen to, science fiction. It gives me a chance to see inside other (fictitious) people’s lives and how they would react to crazy circumstances. Science fiction isn’t so much about the explaination about how futuristic technology might work, but rather how we as human beings might react to it, and how we as a race might change because of it.
What would you do on a snow-day?
I’m taking what might look like some big risks this year. I’m giving up my well-paid full-time work for an internship at my church in Wellington and a part-time job at a Wellington PHP and ActionScript house.
Part of the internship at Arise will be doing a Local Church Certificate qualification. It’s not much, or probably even all that difficult at NZQA Level 4, but means I’m a student again. Probably a financially-challenged student. The rest of the time I’ll be helping out where my skills and time lead me. Most likely helping with the website and creative side of things, and with anything else that I can help out with.
Slicing my work-time in half when I’m (almost) 30 isn’t something I intend to take lightly. I probably wouldn’t have applied for the internship if my buddy Dan didn’t offer me part-time work at Instinct working on ActionScript and PHP projects.
I’m pretty excited though. I’m gonna be put through this tough time to come out at the other end a different person. Beyond what I’ve said above, I’ve got very little more idea of what will go on. But I say to all of it:
Do you prefer to talk, text message, or a different communication method?
I’m assuming this is omitting face-to-face, which is always best, but as the next substitute:
Instant Messaging, for sure
I’m not great on the phone. If you call me and I don’t have your number, and I say “hello” and you say “it’s me”, I might not be able to place your voice, and that’ll throw me off for the whole phone call. Ask my girlfriend the first time she called me!
I guess text messages fit into this the same way, but they cost cold, hard, cash money. I have been chatting since dial-up BBS days, and we had live see-everything-you’re-typing-as-you-type-it chat back then. We used to press enter twice to say you were done and it was the other person’s turn.
I also learned bad habits with ICQ: I might send you a few short text messages in quick succession rather than save it into one message. This means my message might have cost me double or triple just because with IM if you were typing big long messages,
> you might type sentence fragments
> so the other person knew you were still there
> and hadn’t been disconnected
> by your younger brother
> picking up the phone in the other room
because back then, IM programs didn’t tell you the other user was actually typing something. You might do something like this even:
> yeah I saw that last year
> it’s oldie but a goodie
And that’d be more sensible as one SMS.