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October 27, 2008

Wake Up Productive

As the internet evolves, it increasingly offers more. In the past few months, I've taken advantage of a few online courses that are beneficial and insightful. Fees can make one hesitant but as with any investment, you get a good amount of evidence with which to decide whether or not to buy the product before you jump in.

Wake Up Productive Eban Pagan Wake Up Productive is a program given by online entrepreneur Eban Pagan and I decided it was worth my time. I've been through two of the sessions so far and am excited by its lessons. Eban has online businesses that focus on different aspects of running your own business and also a successful dating site. He offers tons of free tidbits so you get a sense that the guy has a lot of solid information. And boy, does he. Here are a couple of the concepts that have stood out for me and already helped me from this program. In introducing the background for making yourself more productive, Eban Pagan discusses the competing aspects of our daily lives. One quote he gave was:

“Life is easy if you live it the hard way and hard if you live it the easy way.”

Wow. This really hit home for me. It means that if you try to take shortcuts, eat junk food, always go for instant gratification over long-term investment, you'll get the quick fix that often backfires in the long run. Most of us are good at certain things and not so good at others. I find that I can learn from the areas in which things come more easily for me and then apply those lessons to the areas in which natural answers don't flow as well. Here's another quote:

“Habit is destiny — First we shape our habits and then they shape us.”

Among the brilliant thinkers throughout time who have focused on habit are psychologist William James. When I read James in college talking about the importance of habit, it made sense but I didn't know well how to make habits out of things that were difficult to do. With a program such as this one, you will find tools to help you do so.

August 2, 2008

Balance

In the part of Brooklyn known as South Slope sits a fantastic restaurant called Applewood.

Applewood in Brooklyn Applewood offers a delicious menu; prices are the steep side of “regular” but are worth it for a treat. Nestled on 11th street between 7th and 8th avenues, the decor looks like an intelligent East Hampton place while the food is more refined still.

My friend and I went here the other night and had a great time. We talked about Park Slope and South Slope in Brooklyn sporting constantly opening and closing venues.

He always loved to go out; I preferred to stay in; now I've been going out more and he's been staying in. It made me think how many times things take cyclical turns. We often seem to need to go in extreme directions first before learning to strike a harmonious balance like a cultured menu.

July 30, 2008

Designing Your Day

The Mac calendar software that works best for me is DayChaser.

Day Chaser calendar software A small application (part of why it works well), DayChaser does almost everything calendar software needs to do without being overly complicated or causing software conflicts.

Now Software's Now Up to Date was my choice for several years. Unfortunately, while its interface is great, it conflicted badly as soon as System X came around. Apple's own iCal application is great in theory. However, if you're a “power user,” it too will eventually crash and conflict with other applications and once its files are corrupted, you cannot clean them up. You can't even start a new calendar because it is set up to be THE calendar for that user. You would have to sign in to your computer as a new user to create a new calendar, an unacceptable annoyance as all your other files would be with your other username.

The only way in which DayChaser appears to be lacking is an inability to create multi-day banners without blocking other events. You can do it but it ruins the view. So, for instance, if you wanted a two-week vacation (who doesn't?) to be a banner across a bunch of days, it would interfere with the display of other events. That feature aside, it does everything necessary and allows you to customize the display as needed in terms of color-coding categories etc. At $30, you can't go too wrong.