So much to do, so little time

tumblr_lyw3ggpYDn1qa6t0go1_1280There is just so much to do. We have 12-14 hours in a day that we can utilize and get things done. It doesn’t seem like a lot does it? I mean if you really think about it, how do people really get things done in a day? Here are my thoughts on how my day usually goes:

  • 5AM (sometimes earlier like 4AM depending on meetings) – wake up and get myself centered. It usually takes me a good 15-20 minutes to really wake up and get going
  • I usually grab something to eat. It’s usually quick, maybe some waffles, cereal or eggs (my dad gave me a nice egg steamer machine that makes hard boiled eggs quickly and without having to use a pot to boil water)
  • I have meetings all morning since I still work on EST so that takes me usually to 10-11 AM. I try to get as much as I can accomplished during that time
  • Afternoons are a bit slower work wise but I usually end my day around 1-2PM
  • Now it’s time to tackle the eBay business that we have. Krista can sometimes crank out the invoices for the orders of the day but most of the time it’s a joint effort or I have to pack the boxes in advance because she sometimes does not wake up until the afternoon
  • So until 5:30 PM I have to fill usually 15-20 orders a day and of varying degrees. What I mean by that is we have a variety of items that range from small boxes, to even smaller power discs to big phones that we sell.
  • Oh I guess I forgot to put that sometime in here I have a lunch. I don’t really have a time blocked off for it, I usually just fit it in
  • After the eBay stuff is done, that’s already 12+ hours in the day that has passed. Krista and I usually have dinner with the family or go out and hunt for some items to sell. If we’re out hunting items, it can take some time and we don’t come back until maybe 8 or 9 PM.
  • Hmm it’s already 9PM… KristaRose at this point is usually telling me that I have to go to bed. Most of the time I try to honor that request, sometimes it doesn’t end up happening. The time after eBay business tasks is usually reserved for cleaning up the house, unpacking boxes (yes we still haven’t done that and I’ve done a terrible job of that), watering the plants, playing videogames (specifically Overwatch lately), connecting with friends and really that’s it.

So as you can see, in my typical day, I just don’t have a lot of time for extra things. I try to squeeze them where I can but I have to do a lot better. Part of the reason why we have an eBay business is because we had so much medical debt when we were living in South Bend that we needed some extra income. We’ve made some investments in items and it has worked out pretty well. The bad part is that it takes a lot of time and many days it is tough for KristaRose to work on it a lot.

It’s actually been very tough ever since KristaRose had been diagnosed with autoimmune illnesses. These illnesses will be with her for the rest of her life. With the current medications and methodologies, there’s just no end in sight and no easy fix. It has been tough because there is not only medical debt but I have to be able to keep her spirits up each and every day. This is a very difficult thing to accomplish and I can probably do multiple blog posts outlining this. I’ll try to summarize it in one paragraph for this post though.

The more she is not able to do things in life, the worse her outlook on life becomes. Think about it, if you’re physically and mentally not able to do things in life that you once did with ease, it would start to take a toll. I do my best to help her out as much as I can but there is only so much I can influence myself. That’s why the eBay business is so important to us. Sure I have to devote a lot of time towards it but it’s an activity that we can do together and it’s something that we both believe in and are doing well with. Our humble little store has really helped with the bills and we’ve been able to still donate 15% of our profits to charities. We’ve focused a lot on Donors Choose which is a site that helps out teachers in areas with supplies for their kids whether it’s for the classroom or for a specific project. Anything that I can do together with KristaRose is like a win for the day to me. It can be a business thing. It can be watching a movie together. It can be playing a videogame together. Anything really helps her out and helps take away the pain for a bit.

So really, it’s difficult to find time to accomplish things. Unless I write them out and try to tackle at least a few on the list each day, I tend to get bogged down and partially distracted at times. Now I’ve tried to do lists multiple times in the past and sometimes it has worked out ok and then it kind of trails off. You go in so motivated to cross things off your list and then it ends up not happening. I think I’ve figured out a method for myself.

  • Make a list between personal tasks and work tasks
  • List down everything you need to do. Even if you’ve accomplished something for the day, put it on the list. I know what you’re thinking.. why in the world would you do that? At least for my mentality, it’s always nice to see that some things are crossed off the list. It makes me think that hey I’ve done something for the day and I can do even more!
  • Once you’ve written down everything, cross off things that you’ve done.
  • Look at the tasks once again and if something is too high level or too big of a task to tackle, break it down into pieces
  • Then try to prioritize tasks. I just use a simple High, Medium, Low.
  • Set a threshold of what you think you can accomplish. Now if you can do 100% of the items, more power to you. However, in my case, I usually think I can tackle most of the high items and some of the medium items so I’ll mark the ones I think I can do
  • This all should be done at the beginning of the day even before you look at emails. However, it shouldn’t be the last time you look at it because you should be constantly crossing things off the list during the day.
  • Be sure to look at it at least a couple times a day to re-evaluate the list. Sometimes it’s too late in the day to accomplish some of the High priority items so you can just target a few of the Low to finish off.
  • Give yourself at least 30 minutes or an hour of free time before you sleep where you’re  not thinking about the list. You can relook at it in the morning and you should transfer over things you didn’t do the previous day onto the next day’s list

With this strategy, I’ve found that I’m able to get more things accomplished than previously before. There are always chunks of time during the day that you can do something really quickly. This method has helped me take back some of my time and get things accomplished but I do need to get better.

So let me know if this is helpful and tell me if you have any other methods that I could try too! I look forward to taking more time to write on the blog and make it a regular thing. It has helped so much in the past to organize my thoughts and I think I need to make an effort to do this regularly again.

Cheers!
– The Lermz

The Dirty Old Coin

The story is told of an unemployed young graduate who woke up one morning under a bridge and checked his pocket. All he had left was a few dollar bills adding up to less than ten bucks. He was frustrated as he could find no work and no one was there to help him. He said a prayer dedicating his last remaining money to the Lord and decided to use it to buy food, then wait on the Lord for an answer to his situation.

He bought food and as he sat down to eat, an old man and two children came along — the older of the two was a boy probably 12 years old and the other a little girl who looked as beautiful as an angel. The old man asked him to help them with food as they had not eaten for almost a week.

The young graduate looked at the children — they were so lean that he could see their bones coming through their skin and their eyes were receding. With the last bit of compassion he had he gave them all the food. The old man and children prayed that God would bless and prosper the young graduate and then gave him a dirty old coin. The young graduate said, “You need this coin more than I do — just keep it.” The old man insisted that the young graduate put it in his pocket — and finally he did.

The Old man and children sat down to eat and with no money, no job and no food, the young graduate went back under the bridge to lay down. As he was about to fall asleep he saw an old newspaper on the ground. He picked it up and saw an advertisement inviting people with old coins to come to a particular store. He decided to go there with the dirty old coin the man gave him.

On arriving at the store, he gave the proprietor the dirty old coin. The proprietor screamed loudly and brought out a big book and showed the young graduate a photograph. This same old coin was worth $67,000 dollars. It was part of a Spanish treasure ship that had never been found. The young graduate was overjoyed as the proprietor gave him a certified check for the full amount. He immediately cashed it at the bank and went in search of the old man and little children to thank them.

By the time he got to where he left them eating, they had gone. He asked around about the three people and found a lady who said, “The old man said a young man looking like you would ask about them — and when you do I’m supposed to give you this note.” She handed the young graduate the note which he quickly opened. He was hopeful it would be an address of where they were headed.

But it was not an address and this is what the note said: “You gave us your all and we have rewarded you back with the coin,” signed God the Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost.

— Author Unknown

One Beautiful You

ONE BEAUTIFUL YOU

There may be many stars in the sky,
But only one sun;
There may be many mountains lofty and high,
But Everest towers over them all.

There may be many pebbles on the shore,
None compares to the coral;
There may be many trees in a forest for sure,
But none as majestic as the oak.

All birds have wings and may fly,
Yet none soars as high as the eagle;
All beasts for some season may try,
But there is none as bold as a lion.

There may be many friends fair and lovely,
There may be many dreams, sweet and cozy;
There may be many diamonds beautiful and costly
But only one beautiful you.

— Copyright © 2013 Olanrewaju Success

Understanding Others: My GenCon 2012 Experience

I am a gamer. Or at least I thought I was going into the GenCon experience. On any given night you can probably see me gaming on either my iPad or on a PS3. Some of my favorite games are very simple in nature such as Words with Friends where the object is to score the most points for words like in Scrabble. With this game, it’s easy to keep in touch with others and also easy to enjoy the classic word game that many grew up with. I like games like that and also more complex ones such as Parallel Kingdom for the iPhone/iPad/Android which is a game where you can be a part of a kingdom and work together and collect gold, collect property and defend against others. So there are many games that I enjoy but I must say I was pretty overwhelmed going into GenCon. From the first step into the convention center and seeing some of the people in costumes, I felt immediately out of place since it was my first experience. That’s when I knew, I’m not that big of a gamer.

It’s not really a problem at all that I’m not as hardcore of a gamer as some of the individuals at the convention. Everyone was having a great time whether they were dressed up (some of the best costumes included power rangers, various Star Wars characters and Final Fantasy characters) or whether they were there to play a tournament.

I guess I should step back and describe what happens at this convention. The Indy Convention Center is effectively taken over by GenCon. Each of the exhibit halls and even some of the conference rooms in the surrounding hotels were full of game demos, tournaments and seminars of various sorts. I had never seen such a sight as this as so many excited people talked about strategies of what weapon or spell to use for games.

I got a chance to walk around the main exhibition hall many times. This was where the most action for me was. A lot of game companies had booths where they displayed their newest games and had sales for all of their products. I got a chance to demo quite a few games and even though the demos themselves are abridged versions of the games, they gave a good flavor of what the games were about. There was anything from card battle type games to full on panorama and figurine type games. There were many retailers that sold many sided dies. The crowds were thick and sometimes it was even hard to navigate.

One of the coolest things about the experience was when Keller won a big prize. There was a raffle that was held and he won $300 worth of games. It was the first time either him or his dad won big at GenCon and being the avid board gamers that they are, it was very exciting indeed. One of the games, called Thunderstone, we ended up demoing later that day and it ended up being a pretty sweet game.

Another interesting experience we had was an event called True Dungeon. You team up with nine others and go through 12 rooms of a dungeon that are designed to test your puzzle solving skills and “combat” skills. We ended up doing the mostly puzzle type dungeon. Our group for the most part worked ok until the very last room when we all ended up dying. It was an experience though in trying to do a real life dungeon which gave me lots of memories when I played RPGs as a kid. I just wish that last room was a little more forgiving. Well that and we had more members that were interested in working as a team instead of doing their own thing.

I think the overarching thing that I got out of experience though is that there is a whole other culture out there that centers around gaming and maybe more specifically board gaming. Each game that was played in tournaments or just for fun around the convention center centered around specific gaming jargon. I couldn’t say that I understood much at all but I did see that many of them were having fun with what they were doing. Many were getting very into the strategy parts of the games and discussed with others about the best moves to use for certain situations. There were others that were very serious and were pros at the game they were playing because they could make decisions as quick as a flash and react very well to changing conditions.

The culture that was present at the convention is not that different than the real life honestly. The types of personalities ranged from the quite types to the serious ones to the very bubbly types. I think when most people look at these individuals, they automatically dismiss them as “freaks” or people who are just misguided and spend too much time not doing anything productive. What I’ve learned though is that this is just another culture of individuals who demands the same amount of respect as everyone else in the world. Their craft is gaming. They take it seriously and it provides a great escape and entertainment.

I think we should be open to all individuals no matter what their interests are. It’s a hard thing I know because most of the time we make judgment calls on anyone that are in our lives. But if we are open to seeing things in a new perspective and from the eyes of those individuals that we judge, we might change our minds about how they really are. There are so many things in the world that are interesting and that makes us all so unique since we like a different combinations of interests. These gamers are no different than the rest of it.

For me, I am glad I got to experience this and see another side of humanity. I can’t say I will be converted into a hardcore gamer like many of those individuals are but I definitely have a better understanding and appreciation for them. Hopefully, the rest of the world can get this understanding as well!

~The Lermz

Blackberry Empathy

This is a concept phone from Blackberry. The thought is cool, you’ll have a full touchscreen pad, easier to navigate networking system and the ability to send out the emotions of the caller to the phone. Will be interesting to see if it takes shape.

It also looks kind of like a rupee from Legend of Zelda lol.