Monthly Archives: October 2009

I Ended Up On A German Book Cover

That’s right, I’m famous. Uber famous!

A few months ago someone from a German publishing company contacted my business House Of Rave to possibly buy some of the wallpapers featured on the site. They wanted to use one of the pictures on the cover of an upcoming book about the techno club scene in the 1990′s till present (or something like that)…

They offered to pay me a nominal fee for the rights, but I declined (in order to keep the full rights) and requested a copy of the book plus photo credit if it was published using pictures I own. I figured since I own a rave company, I should probably help support the rave community in whatever way I can…and it seemed like it would be decent publicity too.

So I provided them the original high-res files to a few of the pictures they requested, and didn’t really expect anything to happen.

Just recently I got a package from Germany with two copies of the book, and they happened to use a picture taken by me, of me demonstrating a product! While you can’t clearly see my face, you can see the silhouette of my face (so excuse the opening line…my SILHOUETTE is Uber famous)!

Front Cover:

Back cover:

Side-by-side:

That white line divide near the bottom quarter of the picture is actually a giant dry-erase board in my upstairs living room.

Photo credit on inside jacket:

Here’s the German Amazon link to the book.

So a picture of my hands are on the front cover of a book. This reminds me of when The New York Times did a full photo shoot with me, then just used a picture of my nose…but they used a full picture of Jim!

Ok, I finally get what everyone’s trying to tell me:
I’m too good looking to be printed.

5 Seconds to Vote

Update: Voting closed. Thanks to all those who voted!!
————————–

Hey…can you please take 5 seconds to click the image below and click “Vote for Me” on the page?

It literally takes 5 seconds or less, doesn’t require entering a lick of information, and would make me very happy!

I entered HouseOfRave in a competition and want to see if NevBlog visitors can sway the vote higher!

Very much appreciated,
-Neville

P.S. If you’d like to find out more about how House of Rave works you can see the whole series here.

The 2009 To-Do List Format

A year ago made a post called “Evolution of The Daily To-Do List” and added on the 2009 formatting of my to-do list.

Here’s the section of update, although reading the original post is better to read. This update covers a simple trick I use to massively improve my productivity.

—–2009—–
(updated 10-08-2009)

The 2008 formatting was very successful and I still use it till this day, however there was one problem: With so much work to do everyday, I’d get overwhelmed and scatter-brained about the work. Almost immediately I’d see tasks which I avoided doing or wanted to put off. This lead to many incomplete to-do lists, and postponing work till the next day, then next etc….

So one day I took a sheet of paper and covered the whole to-do list. I inched the paper down to reveal ONE task. I completed it. Then I inched down to reveal the next. Completed it.

Having a singular goal to work on helped imensely!

Towards the end of that day I inched down only to reveal I had completed every single task I assigned the day before! It was a great feeling to get through all the work in such a quick and easy manner. Since then I’ve been using this little trick to help me complete to-do lists, and it’s still working great.

Here’s a quick video documenting how I structure, complete and save my to-do lists:

At the end of every day I put each to-do list into a binder for future reference.

After doing this for several months, it’s nice to go back and look through them. If one month I didn’t progress much, I can clearly see why by looking at these daily performance reviews. I make notes of good days, bad days, workout regimens, interesting happenings etc.

4 Months of The Seinfeld Calendar

I made the original Seinfeld Calendar post 4 months ago.

It’s simply a giant year calendar that faces my bed so I see it all the time. If I accomplish my daily to-do list, I put a checkmark. If I don’t finish the to-do list, I put a dot:

The whole reasoning for this calendar is to make finishing my daily goals consistent. The quote I keep on top of the calendar sums it up:

Excellence is not an act, but a habit
–Plato

Here’s the number results of these four months (weekends included):

Good Day: When my written-the-night-before to-do lists get completely finished.
Bad Day: When to-do list not fully finished. Most of the bad days are weekends.


UNEXPECTED CONSEQUENCES:

The to-do lists I give myself are generally quite a bit of work. A standard to-do list generally will keep me occupied for a full 8-12 hours. Sometimes it takes less, sometimes it takes more. Most of this work involves me staring at a computer, so 8-12 hours of this per day gets a little straining.

I noticed when I tried getting a checkmark 7 days of the week, I burned myself out! The following days would be very unproductive and filled with low quality work because I was burning myself out. So after figuring out different ways of becoming more productive, I found out the best way is to allow myself about 2 bad days per week. This can be the weekdays or weekends…whatever I feel. This way the work is enjoyable and I still get large amounts of work done.

Here is a recent shot of the filled out calendar:

The first month I was getting REALLY pissed if I didn’t fill out a checkmark for the day, so I started working very hard the next day to fill it out. After a while I started making checking these off a habit. It’s helped me stop procrastinating as much, because in the middle of the day I think, “I can either continue to screw off and get a dot for the day, or just start doing this work, getting it out of the way and get a checkmark for the day.”

I also have less fun going out if I don’t finish all my work. When I finish off a great day of work, it feels good and well deserved to go out. So being more productive actually allows me to have more fun!

Anyhow, I’d highly recommend this Seinfeld Productivity Calendar method. It’s definitely helped me become more focused and productive through the day!

Good Comments, Bad Comments

I’m making this post so I can reference it later.
—————————————

Dear Commenter’s,
If you’re going to comment on an article and leave a ridiculous comment, most people find them entertaining yet totally moot. If you want your opinion to count even an iota, express your feedback in a constructive manner.

When a person simply flames another person….I visualize them as the insane guy on the street corner yelling gibberish at other pedestrians:


What you look like.

AN EXAMPLE:
I recently did a Homeless Experiment which delivered some pretty strong opinions on homelessness. In fact, I concluded that in my opinion I will no longer give money to homeless people holding signs in certain areas of Austin. This statement alone can elicit a fair amount of criticism because some people interpret it as “I am commanding you to NEVER give money to ANY homeless person ANYWHERE.”

Here’s an example of a person who very much disagrees with me, but clearly explains what he’s disturbed about, and even offers solutions. When I view this comment, I see this guy as intelligent, calm and someone I should probably listen to:

Nev, I’m the president of an agency that houses homeless families in Durham, North Carolina. I’ve been following your “experiment” with interest.

I must say I have mixed feelings. I find it admirable that you seemed to want to gain some understanding of how people very different than yourself live. But you seem to have viewed the experience as a lark or an adventure, a personal challenge or growth experience, a bizarre vacation rather than anything deeper. And it really bothered me to hear you keep saying how easy it is to be homeless. Sure it is, if being homeless is optional, if you didn’t have to really experience the final crisis (and the series of crises leading up to that) that makes most people homeless (eviction, illness, layoff, divorce, domestic violence that’s so bad that you finally leave), if at any minute you can go back to your 4,000-square foot loft and take a shower, and if that’s what you do after a few days. When you know you have a college degree and a good job.

I was also hoping you might express a desire to get involved to help homeless people in Austin in some way. I’ve read the whole blog, and I haven’t seen any inclination toward that yet, though you did seem to gain some understanding of the people you
met.

I’d like to challenge you to volunteer at the ARCH or another agency that helps the homeless. It would also be nice for you to at least donate $50 or whatever to the shelter to make up for moral transgression of crowding a truly homeless person out of a bed that night you stayed there. (Nev Note: which I did partially thanks to this comment)

What I’m most wary about is that some people may read your experience as “evidence” that homeless people are not worthy of our help because they have it easy or because they are making poor decisions. Emergency shelters like the ARCH are an important community resource, but we also need agencies that help the homeless solve their problems (addiction, mental health, education, illness) and attain maximum self-sufficiency long-term.

Each of us fortunate to have more than enough has a moral obligation to share with and try to help our neighbors in need who were born without the advantages we have. So I agree you should never give money to a person begging on the street — you are often enabling addiction, and you are certainly enabling continued homelessness. But all of us who enjoy plenty should give money and time to agencies working to help homeless and other less fortunate people find long-term stability and return as contributing members of society.

Best,
Bryan Gilmer

See how eloquent that was? I’d say if anyone made me feel even remotely bad about taking up space in a homeless shelter for this experiment it was this comment. All the “You’re a stupid asshole” comments in the world can’t do that. He even agreed with my “no giving money” policy to homeless people with signs, but quickly noted the money could go other places that would be helpful to society.

So while this gentleman didn’t agree with many things, he didn’t make his comment a personal attack that would’ve fallen on deaf ears. Therefore his comment was actually read and taken to heart….and whoever else sees his comment will definitely listen to his opinion.

Here’s why I say don’t leave poorly constructed criticism…IT DOESN’T HAVE AN IMPACT.

If I read this:

Anonymous said:
How cute… an affluent geek pretends to be homeless for a few days with a sleeping bag and thinks he can make sweeping moral generalizations. How about you learn a little more about the mental health issues surrounding homeless (most of whom are vets) before you pretend to know what you are talking about.

….before even finishing the comment I have a million comebacks:

  1. I already stated I could never truly get a full homeless experience in such a short time and knowing I have other options.
  2. I never made sweeping moral generalizations. I always state these are things I observed in my tiny bubble of an experiment in certain parts of Austin, TX. (which I mention is very homeless-friendly many times).
  3. More about mental health? Ok sure….what resources are good? What books have YOU read? Do you actually know ANYTHING about this subject at all? I have previously done work with homeless shelters and HAVE seen true mental cases…but not every homeless person is a mental case. YOU sir are making broad generalizations.

You see? I barely listen to this comment because I have more retort than they have comment. It’s like arguing with a really irrational or stupid person….it just isn’t worth the time to bother.

So next time you have an ignoramus comment, please save it for YouTube!


Image Source: http://xkcd.com/202/

-Neville