Productivity is strange

Productivity is strange. You can sit down with the best of intentions. Your writing plan can be top notch and the things you need to move forward are all lined up. Productivity might just end up being at a deficit and things can quickly fall apart within that writing plan. I ended up working on all sorts of things beyond my writing efforts for the last week. That happens from time to time that my attention will get pulled from one effort to another one. Managing to pull that attention back to the task at hand and saving productivity from failure is a useful skill. That really is an understatement. It is a very useful skill that this last week has eluded me on a daily basis. Part of it is just making the effort to sit down in front of the keyboard with a word processing document up and ready for input. After that it’s a strange mix of process, creativity, and certainly that illusive productivity that generate the words on the screen. 

Right now is a good example of that my words and thoughts have really focused on the moment and the process of writing. I’m not locked into the right headspace where I’m focused on what’s next and generating future focused prose. At the moment, I’m really locked in on looking at the process of writing at this moment and I’m certainly present in that effort. Getting my focus to switch to something more deeply philosophical will probably be a bit of a challenge. Certainly the two shots of espresso from my Nespresso Expert machine are kicking in and I should be ready to go for an hour or so of magical highly focused efforts. We are nearing the golden hours of my daily productivity. That is a good thing, but it’s very rarely spent on the grand effort of writing and producing high quality prose. My writing window is generally the first hour or so of the day when things come into focus and my thoughts are sharpening around the start of the day. Knowing that is how my process works is a good start to being able to master the time and be highly productive. 

Right now behind me on my credenza is an Lpbin Bin-e LP storage container that is supposed to hold about 75 vinyl records. It took me a made in America vinyl record container that could fit on top of the credenza. I wanted to move my record collection from the book shelf to a rack right next to the record player. This effort corresponded with a choice to move from episodic ordering to alphabetical and a culling of anything that did not make the space. From here on out it’s going to be a one in one out method of record collecting. In practice the storage container is currently holding 52 vinyl records. Based on the number of double records the space did not allow the storage of 75 vinyl records. That means I’m functionally limiting myself to about 50 records which should be plenty of space for a best of the best collection. I don’t need a complete anthology of every album that crosses my path. The collection really needs to be focused on albums that I play on a regular rotation and enjoy.

Right now the weblog posting process involves a few different elements:

  1. The content has to be cut and pasted from the word processing document to the weblog post page.
  2. A customized message has to be curated for a post on Twitter.
  3. Within the post settings a category for the post to be archived into has to be set. The list at this point of categories is pretty long. 
  4. Under the tags section 3 different tags have to be entered to help feed my tag cloud widget. I’m not sure this effort is mission critical, but I do enjoy it.

More productivity housekeeping

Yesterday was a good day in terms of productivity across a variety of projects. A new song got recorded out of nowhere. It was just a moment of inspiration that happened to get caught during a session where Pro Tools was recording in the background. During the album generation process I have taken to just recording some of my playing sessions and editing it all after the fact to find the gold from playing in the moment. One of the tactics I have found works best for that is that between pieces I turn the volume down on the guitar to make it visually easy to see in Pro Tools where the different segments of effort stop and start. I’m also trying to work on compositions that are shorter than 10 minutes. Most of the time it seems to be the case that a song falls in that window. It’s possible maybe later on that my jam sessions could end up being 30 minutes of glory, but at the moment that is simply not the case. 

My whiteboard has a few ideas for academic papers on it and at least two of them are promising enough to warrant some future work. My current process for getting writing and academic work done is that my Fitbit Sense smartwatch has a daily alarm setup to vibrate and wake me up around 0520 hours every day. Most of the time I wake up a few minutes before it would vibrate and start my day before anybody else in the house is up and around. This brief window of an hour to an hour and half gives me the time to really focus and get going on some work. 

Obviously, every Saturday morning is dedicated to writing the next addition of The Lindahl Letter newsletter for Substack publication each Friday. It has been a long time since I have been able to work more than a week ahead on that effort. Each week I’m also looking out for topics to add to the running list of planned work on that front. I have actually wondered if next year I should just take the list of 52 topics and start over and rewrite, rework, and refine the previous content to really work toward something special. That might very well be a viable strategy to recursively work on the content making it more ready for publication into a manuscript instead of a weekly missive. 

Using the “Print My Blog” plugin I did a couple of quick prints today to archive off some content in a different way and realized that it was only printing 46 posts now instead of the full content. It was during this process that I noticed that the plugin now has an upgrade option for a set of “Pro Print” features. Online a lot of things have an opportunity to find an audience, but I did not expect that this particular plugin would have a very wide adoption of users that might need professional printing features, but apparently my assumptions on this front were not accurate. 

It’s about time to go through the entire catalog of websites I support online and take captures of them as a tertiary backup plan. Sometimes it makes me feel better to know that multiple types of backup plans are in place in the event of catastrophic failure. That could very well be something that happens later today. I like to take backups that are stored outside of the cloud for some reason and have them in case of a real emergency.