One year of blogging and trying to get out of my funk

It has been a little more than a year now since I started blogging. I started writing Sql Server related entries at http://blogs.sqlservercentral.com/blogs/haidong_ji/default.aspx. Shortly after that, I established this site, where I post all my blog entries.

My purpose is simple: sharing my musings and observations, sharing my learning experience of various technologies, and keeping a somewhat loose journal of my life so that I can give it to my child(ren) later. I don’t think there are many people reading my blog, but I have learned quite a bit from the comments and conversations I had with the few readers I have.

A lot of things happened in one year. The most significant is that I found myself enjoying my son more. He had a great year in first grade. He is making great progress in second grade. He started Saturday Chinese school after summer, and we are very happy with the results. I am constantly thinking of creative ways to help him to learn and enjoy Chinese, because most times, kids born and raised in a language environment different than that of his parents often resist the parents’ native language(s). In fact, Benjamin has asked me not to speak Chinese to him so often, especially in public, as if that somehow embarrasses him. I, on the other hand, think that I am not using Chinese enough. So I’ve got to pay attention to methods and ways of delivery. Overall, we are having great time together. Often times I think that he gives me more than I can ever provide him.

I also spent some time on another Sql Server 2005 book, Professional Sql Server 2005 Administration, which will come out soon. I am currently working on the third Sql Server 2005 related title.

I have to say that I’ve been in a kind of funk for awhile. Sure, I have a lot of things going on at the same time. There are plenty of emails, meetings, and phone calls that cause constant interruption. The uncertainty of when my better half will finish her program is also a big factor to consider. But in the last few months or so, many times I feel I don’t get much done during the day, letting inertia or mindless surfing taking over, and wasted my time away. Now if you’ve watched/listened to Ellen DeGeneres‘ stand-up show called Here and Now, you may think that is ok, because she pokes fun at the pressure of modern life and suggests that procrastination is actually a good thing. But I guess there is a limit to that.

Anyway, I’ve read David Allen’s great book Getting Things Done more that one year ago. I know some ways to really organize my thoughts and put them in action. In fact, I used to write what I want/need to do daily on a piece of paper, work on them, and cross them off during the day, which was very effective to me. I’ve also made a life plan in a spreadsheet file (lifetime goal, 10-year goal, 5-year goal, 2-year goal, and 1-year goal). I need to analyze them again, break them down into actionable pieces, and drag over my big fat ass to just do it!

Kind readers, do you have good suggestions/tips? What works for you?

2 thoughts on “One year of blogging and trying to get out of my funk”

  1. I’m focusing first on the daily goal thing, then moving on to larger time scales. 🙂

    Right now what’s working for me is a 4×6 notepad. Label the top of each page for a month, and every morning check out what was missed the day before, schedule them on subsequent days, on Mondays I copy weekly calendar events down, and I also need to start pulling “actionable items” from the bug database. Things get crossed off as completed, and I have a seperate worklog.txt which is a text file, with day headers, and dash lines recording various things that have been acted on.

    (Evidence of slacking.)

    In the “day pad” which I carry in my backpack and place next to my keyboard, I have a “code” in the margin: Y is stuff I do at work (Yelp) and H is stuff I do at home . . . I try to schedule not only chores but like, self-indulgent bits too. They’re notes:

    TUESDAY 10/24
    H my photos =) flickr
    H glam shots
    Y double-check bacula
    H NAG for halloween RSVPs
    * Dovecot cutover @night
    Y SSL cert
    Y db1 mon
    Y milestones
    Y db1 analysis DoS
    H BILLS

    I’ll let things “slide” to the next day (and on and on) but I still gotta write them down every morning. 🙂

    The worklog would look a bit like this:

    Tue Oct 24
    – Did such and such.
    – Put out this fire …
    (potentially important technical notes, like ./configure arguments)
    – Yadda Yadda.
    – etcetc.

    @night
    – Fixed foo on bar server and mailed bahs.

  2. Thanks Danny for the great tip! I will try it out.

    Copying down weekly events on Mondays is a great idea, as is keeping a worklog file. I haven’t done either systematically, but will TRY to do so. You know, to move my hands away from the keyboard, grab a pen and notepad, and start writing, that is no mean feat and takes tremendous amount of mental strength 🙂

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