Shotgun with Woycheck

Last week I had the pleasure of riding shotgun with @woycheck while driving to somewhere Latrobe, PA. It’s always great to get alone with Mike because conversation is lively and we can talk about tech, blogging, and the past, present and future of social media. But if you know Mike you already knew that.

Observations

One item that is worth sharing was our conversation about listening to podcasts and reading blogs in your feed reader. Finding time to read and listen to shows has become a challenge since news is consumed in Twitter size chunks anymore. We both remarked that our Google Reader feeds have woefully become unattended as we turn to social media as our places to share and receive daily information. For Mike this is the chief reason he doesn’t currently maintain a blog. I couldn’t give up my website/blog as easily so I toil on.

Back 2 Work

As we talked about time management. Mike wanted to make sure I know about a workplace productivity show, Back 2 Work by Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin. I’m always interested in workplace productivity ideas and theories and I wasn’t aware of this show. After checking out an episode I do like Back 2 Work’s approach and enjoy hearing their view points. I’m worried each episode is a bit long for me, but I’m willing to add it to my list of shows.

Getting back to work seems fitting on this day after Labor Day. One work focusing process I’ve started is contemplating the first hour of my day and using it to get focused. This usually involves planning what I want to carry out and setting realistic expectations for the day. I can easily let my day-to-day grind pull me in a lot of directions but focusing on one direction can really work wonders for my productivity.

Blogging

This is true for a lot of bloggers I know. They spend the first part of their day writing and getting their blog posts written. Usually earlier in the morning that when the world starts to impede on their attention. Mike and I talked about how getting into the habit of blogging is important but getting into the habit at the right time of day is also important to the success of a writer/blogger. Feel free to share your blogging habits in the comments.

Speaking of blogging there is a new(ish) blogging group for Pittsburghers on Facebook. It independent from Pittsburgh Bloggers, a PGH blog directory that has been around since before MySpace and Twitter. The Facebook groups is creating their own directory and sharing tips, news, and opportunities with each other.

So check out the Facebook group and Back 2 Work. Let me know what is working for you as you start your day and get focused.

 

Hello 2012

After I completed my Goodbye 2011 post I didn’t feel as though I completed my thought. Especially after I realized I said the best thing that happened to me that year was having my computer replaced. A major highlight yes but kind of shallow.

To All My Peeps

So really the best thing about 2011 was how it brought me closer to a lot of people. I was forced to expand my network and get out of my comfort zone. On many levels. This post isn’t about naming names but me realizing that I am surrounded by many amazing and talented people who all should have been outraged by the fact I thought a computer is more important than getting coffee, drinks, or waving terrible towels together. You guys inspire me and keep me motivated and let me know if I’m procrastinating too much on a project. Keep it up.

And if you are reading this, extra awesome to you because I know I’m not always blogger of the month on this site.

What Else

BOOKS I’ve been reading more in the past few months than I have recently. Fast Company and Ad Age have become regular items and I sorely miss reading the New York Times on a daily basis, but there is only so much time in the day. I’ve always got a book I’m working on and currently have a few in the que. Now I’m reading the final book in the Otherland series by Tad Williams. Which is an excellent story about people in a future where the internet is a more realistic Second Life. On deck is the first Game of Thrones book and Brandon Sanderson’s Alloy of Law. Later this year is the final book in the Wheel of Time series, my favorite story and 14 books long.

GAMES Somehow I’ve found time to play a lot of Skyrim. One of the best games I’ve played in recent memory. The fun thing about Skyrim is how flexible the game is to you. I’m not going to write a review but if you haven’t played it I think that even “non-gamers” would have some fun.

I’ve played magic on and off this year. In November I started thinking about seriously blogging about magic again. Blogging about the game was an incredibly rewarding experience. I’m just worried about the time it takes. I’m planning on going to Indiana this year for a tournament, let the good times roll.

TV I got caught up on The Office (up to the beginning of the current season).  I’m not a big tv watcher but I’ve fallen in love with those characters and their story. For me it is rewarding to see what happens to them as well as enjoy the comedy. I know it’s good because I have to keep reminding myself it’s just a show and real people aren’t so ridiculous.

Also through the magic of Netflix I watched a few anime series. I loved how crazy and unique those stories can get.

MUSIC I wrote about Bandcamp recently which has reminded me how much I enjoy discovering new music that is a little left of center. Having a new computer has enabled me to digitize all my cds and rediscover some of the gems that previously just sat in a box. I know welcome to 2012 right.

In Summery

All of these things add up to me finding myself after a year of inconsistency. This post started and a quick reminder to myself about how the people around you are the most important element of your life, and turned into a what else I appreciated about 2011 in more detail. Next up I’ll need to review the projects that I want to accomplish this year.