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The Life and Times of Jeff Woodman

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Entries Tagged with “life-hack”

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Crash & Burn!

Posted: 04/20/2009 04:30 PM | permaLink

Tags: personal life-hack geek-love inspiration

A week ago, the hard drive on my laptop crashed.

I had managed to get a decent backup of my most important data about a week before the crash (intuition?), but I have lost several gigabytes of music, digital photos, and stock art forever.

At first I felt pretty badly; I actually had sort of a hollow, empty feeling in the pit of my stomach when I realized what had happened. I wasn't mourning the loss of data so much; I just had no idea whatsoever what to do with my time!

Hard drives are relatively cheap and it won't take me long to get the machine back up and running. So why haven't I done it yet? Well, the truth is, I am finding that not having a home computer immediately at my fingertips brings its own rewards.

Before the crash, I would typically spend one to two hours after work on the computer. That's in addition to the 7-8 hours I spend on a computer at work! I'd typically do things like check my bank account, mess around with financial spreadsheets, and surf news and current events. Occasionally, I'd piss away a whole evening on a website like Now, don't get me wrong here - I'm not blaming my PC for my own lack of time-management skills; hell, I love that machine. LOVE IT. I'm not saying it's not useful, either - for instance, I used it to create the website that you're looking at right now. It's just that with so much time daily on a computer, I tend to end up with what I call "computer head": bleary eyes, fatigue, and a seriously degraded ability to communicate effectively with other human beings.

I have survived a week without my home machine. I've had to find other ways to spend my time, and I feel much better somehow.

Now, I'm not going to get all high-and-mighty here and tell you I've begun the Great American Novel or anything; my time-management skill haven't improved at all, and I'm now totally addicted to Xenosaga III for PlayStation 2. However, I feel vitalized, more cheerful, less tired. I'm more likely to get out of the house and just go do something. Energetic and peaceful at the same time, like a zen monk who springs out of bed in the morning and goes about the morning chores, whistling all the way. Except I'm not a zen monk and there's no way in hell that I will ever spring out of bed in the morning to do chores; not without coffee anyway. But you get the idea.

Re: Nothing in Particular

Posted: 06/09/2007 06:28 PM | permaLink

Tags: life-hack pop-culture

Wow - I just noticed a huge typo on my last post (re: Mind Mapping). Just goes to show how scattered I've been lately. It's all good though - I tend to get a little flaky when I'm deep into a project, as is the current case.

Paris Hilton is back in jail, and that makes me happy. It's not that I hate her personally or anything, but let's face it - she gets off easy because of who she is, and that's wrong. She IS spoiled. I know it sounds a little mean, but - I downloaded a pic of Paris Hilton with sobby-face in the back seat of a squad car. I'm going to keep the image to use as a pick-me-up when I feel down. I'm serious. Sorry, Paris.

FreeMind: Think Tweak for the Frazzled Geek

Posted: 05/27/2007 09:43 PM | permaLink

Tags: life-hack mind-mapping

From the Wikipedia for Mind Map:

A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks or other items linked to and arranged radially around a central key word or idea. It is used to generate, visualize, structure and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving, and decision making.

Yup. Last week I really needed an aid in organization, problem solving, and decision-making. Specifically, I felt like my software project was going to drive me completely raving insane.

I downloaded FreeMind from Now, I am sane again. Happy!

Update (March 14th, 2009): Corrected some typographical errors in this post. Still think FreeMind is great for organization, brainstorming, and even family trees!

Reboot your Monday!

Posted: 10/25/2005 12:13 AM | permaLink

Tags: humor life-hack

This Monday morning, I woke up feeling especially lousy. 4.5 hours of sleep, no clean clothes, and I was out of NicoDerm Patches. To boot, my work office was more hectic than usual, and my co-workers were beginning to pick up on my nicotine withdrawal-induced veiled hostility.

That's why, when I came home for lunch, I decided that a Monday Reboot was needed: I took a shower, made some (more) coffee, and ate some breakfast food for lunch. And, of course, donned another nicotine patch.

Surprisingly, afterward I felt as if the crappy Monday morning from hell had never even occurred. I may have to start doing this on a more regular basis!

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