Category Archives: Productivity

Brookstone Boogie Board Awesomeness

While pretending to buy something at Brookstone from the mall (I really just wanted to sit in those sweet massage chairs)!

….I saw they carried this little thing called the Boogie Board.  It’s essentially an LCD writing tablet.  But it’s not a computer screen…in fact it uses zero power except when erasing the slate.

It does nothing but let you write on it, then erase. I played with it from one second and immediately knew I would be buying it!

I always carry around one these standard journals for keeping my notes:

…but this little board allows me to graph out temporary thoughts, doodle, or just things I don’t need to keep written down. When I DO happen to write something on it that matters, I snap a picture of it with my phone.  It’s crude, but it works.

No color options, no spot eraser, and you can even use your fingernail to write (or any make-shift stylus like a pen cap).

I often jot on it in the mornings.  Even though I always plan my to-do lists the night before, I tend to jot down a few random thoughts on this when I wake up…just to get the day started.

…but mostly I use it to doodle! I learned how to draw these weird house-looking-things from Commander Mark when I was in elementary school:

The erasing feature is really neat….and I can see this concept being developed into many other neato products.  All you do is push a button, and the LCD screen “wipes” like this:

I bought the Brookstone Boogie Board a little before the Christmas rush for $19.99…but now everywhere I look they’re $39.99.  Guess they got popular QUICK!

Working Time Lapse

Have you every wandered what it looks like to see me work?

Of course you have!

Enjoy 5 hours of me working on a computer condensed into 1 minute and 20 seconds.  EXCITING isn’t it!

You can actually see it start to get dark around the 1:00 minute mark:

It’s a little funny how many people would LOVE to work at home…little do they know, it’s just you sitting at a computer for hours on end.

…but I love it :-)

Weekly Quota Fill

In order to meet one of my Oct 2010 goals of making two photo/video sets on House Of Rave per week, I figured I may as well just stamp that out immediately for this week.

This morning I posted edited two sets:

Glow in the dark necklaces:

Phaser Light Ball:

These were product samples I had laying around the apartment, and I filmed/photo’d these all when friends came over.  It’s actually pretty fun to get friends to play with stuff, I take pictures, and I make profit!

Mixing Business and Pleasure for Profit

I enjoy: Being productive.

I also enjoy: Hanging out with friends.

What if I COMBINED those two??  GENIUS!

Fortunately I currently own a rave company, so that often isn’t hard.

Just recently we scouted out a spot in Austin to have a little nighttime picnic (always one of my favorite thing to do), and I happened to have an LED Frisbee in my trunk.  It was a product sample I’d been meaning to take videos and pictures of.

It lights up at night, so naturally we started tossing it around, so I started snapping a few pics to post them on House Of Rave:

It’s fun to have fun AND be productive at the same time!  Click on any of those pictures and they take you to the HoR product page….these pictures help sell more Frisbee’s, and we had fun doing it.

I did however find out the limitations of an LED Frisbee…apparently they CANNOT get run over by a truck and survive in one piece.  I was  overly aggressive in a throw, and it went in the street.  A few moments later traffic started driving over it, and one lucky truck hit it.

The result:

With the exception of a partially-broken side….the thing still worked!

However, tossing a fast-spinning disc with sharp plastic edges isn’t always safe…so I decided it was the end for this Ole’ Yeller.

Like any male under 30 who’s about to throw something away, I thought it be MORE fun to first COMPLETELY DESTROY it…then throw it away!

Let me tell ya….that was one tough Frisbee.

Carver Matrix for Monthly Productivity

I was reading a book from the library like I so often do, and I came across this interesting thing:

C.A.R.V.E.R. …it’s a way the military (or in this book, the Navy SEAL’s) use to determine which target is the MOST important.

Immediately I was intrigued because this could so easily relate to everyday situations not-cool-as-blowing-up-a-power-plant on enemy territory.

In the past I’ve wrote down challenges and goals I have for a month, and try to indicate which is most important.  The biggest problem is I pull those numbers out of my ass. There’s no QUANTITATIVE number assigned to those issues to see which one is most important.

This method seemed to help with that.

Carver Matrix

A little while ago I wrote about putting my monthly goals on my iPhone….that was a pretty good idea that has worked well so far….but I think taking that up a notch and labeling them by importance would be even better.  To do this I’d simply run them through the Carver Matrix. I did a sample run to see how it would work:

P.S. The book is called Unleash The Warrior Within….it was decent material with some good stuff tossed in.

Unexpected Benefit of the Six-Pack Experiment

After doing MyBodyTutor for the Six Pack Experiment for several months….everyday…..I learned something:

The sheer power of consistency.

It’s blatantly obvious being consistent in something is powerful, but I never really HAVE been consistent at anything.  Look at my blogging habits for example.  Right now I’m blogging everyday, but there have been MONTHS in between posts at times.  Inconsistency.

Even through school I would have strong periods of doing well in all my classes…followed by a total fall-behind.  Inconsistency.

So when I did the Six Pack Experiment and used MyBodyTutor I had to answer everyday to Adam (whom I didn’t want to disappoint), and also to NevBlog readers (whom I also didn’t want to disappoint).  I also had a solid end goal in mind (getting a six pack) which I didn’t want to miss.  TRIPLE accountability definitely helped me stay on track.

Adam probably used the word “Consistency” more than any other during that experiment…and how true it was.

As Earl Nightingale put it:

Plan out what you want to do for the day.  Accomplish it, and that will be a successful day.

Have 5 or 7 successful days in a row, and you’ve had a successful week.

Do this 4 times and you’ve had a successful month.

…then year.

…then lifetime.

Imagine a bricklayer building a wall.  He starts with laying a single brick.  He may be able to lay 200 bricks in a day.  Everyday he continues laying the bricks, and after a while an immense building can be made.  However it all happened with single bricks, day after day, week after week of diligent work.

It’s such a simple concept I truly don’t think I’ve ever applied till this Six Pack Experiment!  Imagine…I’m 27 years old and never ONCE have been consistent for over 3 months in anything.  Definitely a late bloomer.

However lately I’ve been keeping the consistency up.  I learned that after about 120 days of MyBodyTutor the eating habits I developed stuck around.  I’ve done 30 day experiments before in consistency, but it seems it takes me 4X longer to learn than most people to learn.

The crazy thing is, when I’ve applied consistency to something and its done very well….I wasn’t even working that hard! Usually I would just do a moderate amount of work each day towards the goal, and if I do that little work EVERY DAY it usually ends in a BIG RESULT.

SO I can either be inconsistent and garner decent results with periods of laziness followed by working very hard.

-or-

Just be moderately productive EVERY DAY and garner BIG results.

I choose the 2nd.

Alpha State of Mind

Somewhere in my adventures in reading random books at the library I came across this little trick:

Getting into a hypnotic-like, Alpha state of mind.

The steps were:

  1. Wake up in the morning.
  2. Quickly go to bathroom if needed.
  3. Immediately get back into bed.
  4. Lay down, close eyes, and slowly count down backwards from 100 to zero (2 seconds between each number).
  5. BAM! You’re in the “alpha state”!

It seemed like a pretty easy process and was worth a try…just for fun.

I gave it a try the next morning, and the damndest thing happened….IT WORKED!!

After an almost excruciatingly long count down from 100, I realized that (and yes, this sounds a little weird), that I was kind of having a conversation with myself…in my head.  It was like I could ask a question to myself and get a very quick, non-censored answer instantly from my subconscious.

Wow…that sounds like I’m on drugs!

I do it every once-in-a-while, and it’s actually been a pretty useful tool for helping me sort out my day before I officially wake up.  I can also “ask myself” a question about a problem I’ve been having, and the mind generally spits out the answer you already know is right…but might not want to admit.