Sunday, April 17, 2011

What I've Been Up To / Productivity

Hey, long time no see. I've neglected this blog for all too long because I believe it's time to move onto something better. Sure, I'm still nailing an average of 100 visitors a day, but it's just not quite what I wanted to be doing by now. I was hoping to keep growing this site into something significant, but I realize now that it would be impossible to do that using Blogger.

If there are people out there that have frequently visited this blog, thank you so much. If I wasn't getting the traffic that I've been getting (there were a few days in January where I hit about 500-600 visitors per day) I wouldn't have continued down this road with the confidence I have now. Even though I feel that I can do something successful and meaningful with all that I've learned from running this small site, I don't think I can reach the level of quality I want using the tools and web knowledge I currently have. I need to move onto something else in order to pursue my dream of creating a profitable website with effective content.


Since my last post, back before my 30th birthday in March, I've purchased a new computer. A super-spiffy laptop! This was a very important step for me in regards to continuing my e-business learning experience. My previous PC situation was absurdly uncomfortable. The computer was half decent, but had issues, and the monitor absolutely sucked. Always blurry and hard on the eyes. Now I have a rockin' lappy and I can do my work anywhere I please, and I can do it comfortably.

I mentioned that I recently turned 30 last month. I don't feel any different, but I do get a few "old-man" jokes thrown my way from time to time. I don't really feel like it's necessary for me to go into great detail about how I feel at year 30. Everyone will experience it in time, or they've been there already. I will say however, that I don't feel any different. It's just another birthday that's come and gone. Another excuse for people to get together and celebrate something that really has no impact on our lives. An individual's experiences and accomplishments are what we should be celebrating, not a numerical indicator of how long your heart's been beating.

All done with the tangents, time to keep this post on track. The next hit on my list of plans is to build a better website. This time I'm actually going to be doing the building. It may be a long process to get my new site up to the quality I want it to be, but I'm enjoying it so much more when I'm in complete control. I'm just not feeling it with Blogger, I need my own space that I can do whatever I want with. Thankfully I have some positive people around me. My cousin stepped up and offered his assistance. He'll be hosting my new site on his server, and I'll need to learn some website design in the process. We're still in the early stages of building but it's going fairly smoothly so far. It's pretty exciting and really feels like I'm taking the next step. Hopefully it still feels that way when the site design is complete, and I move onto filling it with content.

I'm going to make sure I post at least one more time on Blogger before I move to my new site. No idea when that will actually happen, but as of this moment the site is in it's infancy. I'm working on either finding the perfect theme to use, or learning the craft to build my own from scratch. The latter will probably take awhile, but the site will be exactly what I want if I gather my patience and go through with it.

Most likely I'll pick a theme I like, something that is as close as possible to what I want to build myself, and then work on creating my own theme later. That way I have more time to work and fill it with good content. With this site I was a little more worried about reaching that 100 article plateau, rather than writing the best articles possible. It wasn't exactly "quantity over quality" though, because I did spend hours writing each and every one. I just know that there were plenty of times where I posted something first, and edited it to perfection later. That's definitely not something I want to continue doing as I move into bigger and better things. There's always room for improvement.

Moving forward through 2011 and into the pleasantly warm weather (I write this as it's snowing outside, what happened to April showers?) I'm staying on course to make sure that each and every day I do something productive. Everyday I'm finding positive things to do; like getting exercise, drinking more water (ugh), spending extra time with friends and family, returning phone calls (I'm terrible for not ever doing this) or working on my skills.

I shouldn't have to tell anybody this, but life is so much easier when you're on a steady progressive path to achieve whatever it is you want out of life. When you're stuck doing the same things everyday and not making any progress towards your personal goals, it's easy to get stressed out. Here's a quick list of some of my favorite things to keep in mind to help enhance your personal productivity and feel good about how you spend your limited time:

1. Timing. Set aside a certain amount of time to perform a task. 15 minutes to make a nice dinner for your family, or 45 minutes to work on your website. Whatever the task is, work on it for at least the allotted time you set for it. Mini-victories are important to prove to yourself that you can accomplish something, even if you only have a short amount of free time.

2. Seek and destroy. Figure out what tasks are the most important for you to accomplish right away. Delegate any small tasks to someone else so you can focus on the more urgent matters. Which objectives take priority? Figure it out. Have something unpleasant to do? Get it out of the way first. Feel like you're overwhelmed with responsibilities? Share the responsibility with a friend or family-member.

3. Environment. Ensure that you're working in the best possible location. Working at an office? Keep it tidy and efficient. Working at home? Try your best to avoid distractions and negativity from other people. I find it's extremely difficult to get anything done if you don't surround yourself with like-minded people. Or if you like peace and quiet, go for a walk in the park to clear your head and get mentally focused on whatever you need to accomplish.

4. Tell a friend. Let someone you trust know about your commitments. When you actually open up and get your thoughts out into the world, I find I'm much more likely to actually go through with it and achieve the desired results. Your friends and family can help keep you accountable.

5. Take a break. We all need a break from time to time. As long as you're trying to accomplish a goal, you're already a step ahead of the majority of individuals. Feeling frustrated because you can't achieve the goal as quickly or precisely as you'd like? You deserve a break! Take a breather for all that hard work you've been doing. I find the quality of my work really suffers if I feel like I'm in a hurry, or if I have other things on my mind.

What I've been watching

Smallville

As of this posting I'm onto season 6 of one of my all-time favorite shows. Although I love the addition of Mr. Queen as the Green Arrow, so far this season is mostly meh. Especially after the awesomeness of season 5. So far, season 5 is easily my favorite season of the show. I can't recall a terrible episode at all, though I'm sure there were some, it's just impressive that none stood out to me as a memorably horrible episode. Lana as a vampire? Sure, it was pretty hot for a holiday episode. Lexmas? Loved it. That was the episode Lex Luthor leaped off the diving board and dove into the dark-side end of the pool. Good stuff Smallville. Green Arrow is keeping me watching right now, he's a very interesting character. Sort of an anti-hero type. Which is all the rave these days with shows like Breaking Bad and Dexter.

Prison Break

Last month I was browsing the Canadian Netflix content and saw they had uploaded all 4 seasons of Prison Break. A show I used to be into during it's original airing. I watched up until the second season ended and never did go back to it when the third began. I've heard mixed feelings anyways, so I wasn't too excited to watch it again. I was bored one night though so I decided to start the first season. It was in HD too so that helped. The first season of Prison Break is some of the best television you'll ever see. I'm very confident in saying that. I really enjoyed it. It's too bad the show changed so much as it went on.

NHL Playoffs

I bleed blue and white, I'm a Toronto Maple Leafs fan. They haven't made the playoffs is something like 7 years though. Even without my team in the playoffs, there's nothing I find more exciting than watching playoff hockey. This year, I'm cheering for the injured Pittsburgh Penguins team in the east, and the President's Trophy winning Vancouver Canucks in the west. Playoff games are on each and every day right now during the quarter finals, sometimes games can start as early as 2:30 in the afternoon, with games finishing off the night at around 1am. I couldn't be happier with so much epic hard-hitting hockey to watch. Maybe next year my Leafs will be able to play a little post-season. Crossing my fingers!

What I've Been Playing


DC Universe Online
 
I'm still enjoying this PS3 Massive Multiplayer Online game. Though I'm on the fence about whether I'm going to continue paying for it after my subscription is up next month. The league I created is going strong, with plenty of friendly and dedicated players filling out the ranks. I've made quite a few friends because of DCUO, I'm very thankful for that. These are people that I would have never spoken to (that's right, voice chat baby!) if it wasn't for this game. I'm just not sure if it's worth the $15/month I'll need to pay to play it after May 19th.

Patapon 3

Now here's a game with a difficult to define genre. We've got deep RPG elements, rhythm based game-play, unique visuals, and some tunes you'll find yourself suddenly humming from time to time. Chaka Chaka Pata Pon! You start off as an Uberhero, and you get the option to start as one of three job classes. They all have totally unique and sometimes hard to pronounce names for each of the job classes, but basically there's the bow type, spear type, and shielded type to start with. Each of these Patapon types can be grown and evolved into plenty of new job classes.

Once you get your team set, you can jump into some story battles, which is where things get really interesting. Your party moves across the screen on a 2D battlefield. However, they won't do anything without your commands. You use each of the PSP's face-buttons (X, Circle, Triangle, and Square) to play different instruments, making sure to go along with the beat as best you can. Songs can command your units to advance, retreat, attack, and defend. There are plenty of songs to use in different situations.

Overall, it's a pretty awesome game and I find myself staying up way later than I planned to. There's always that new weapon that might drop during the next battle. Or perhaps a new job class will unlock with just one more level up.

In conclusion...

This post has kind of been a mish-mash of topics, and I could have probably separated it into at least a couple different articles. Seeing as this might be one of the last few articles I write on Blogger, I figured I'd just post about all the things I've been thinking about. As soon as my new website is available to be browsed by the web people, I'll post the details on here so people know where to go. I'm not really sure if I'll be sticking to the television/gaming tag though. Who knows, I have several ideas about where I should go next. Maybe I'll write an e-book or something!