lazy

365 Challenge: Day 107 – Idle

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Idle: without purpose or effect; pointless; avoiding work; lazy

idle

As an advanced warning, today’s post will be an exaggerated one to wake myself up. And it’s not about a car engine or someone patiently waiting for someone to arrive. It’s 100% about me, as I had a moment this morning where I realized I am absolutely, positively, certainly, and any other definitive word, being IDLE about something. You’ve probably read at least one post where I’ve talked about trying to figure out my next career, searching for a job or looking for an agent for the book I’ve written. And on the outskirts, I must seem pretty busy and prolific in all that I’m doing. Well… it seems I must confess that I’ve been lying to you, by way of lying to myself, by omission and tunnel vision, that is…

I claim to be smart. I pontificate about how focused I can be. I tell everyone how I’m determined to achieve my goals. Yeah, sure, that’s all true. But I’m not practicing what I preach, and I am starting to realize it more and more as each 365 Daily Challenge post is released. A few pieces of background information to set the stage… I actually am an extremely hardworking individual. I have an incredible passion for what I want to do. I usually achieve more than feasible in any given period of time. My former career and frequent promotions serve as evidence. The project plans I’ve kept to achieve so many goals clearly speak for themselves. That I wrote my 400 page novel in less than 2 months supports these statements. And the 500 book reviews I’ve written in the last year certainly show my stamina. But you know what? Somehow I got off-track in the last few months… and I became idle.

And here’s how I know why… for someone who claims to have needed a few months rest and re-focus so he could plan his future… for someone who wanted to make a giant leap into a new and different future… for someone who provides so many thoughts and advice to others in the 365 Daily Challenge, here are also some facts you deserve to know:

  • I am not consistently sending out my query letters to potential agents.
    • How will it get published if I don’t do this?
  • I have not researched the Amazon self-publishing route.
    • How will I have a back-up plan if I don’t find a traditional publisher?
  • I have not truly started the second book.
    • How will I have more works to be published without putting myself on a writing schedule?
  • I have not joined any writer’s groups or developed stronger relationships with writers.
    • Who is going to push me and help provide guidance?
  • I haven’t connected with publishers and online sites to get my name out there.
    • How will people know of me as more than just a blogger and book reviewer?
  • I spend at least 6 hours a day sitting on my ass, reading other people’s posts and reviews on all the social media sites but don’t have any sort of regular plan or approach.
    • If I’m so inconsistent, how will people trust me?

So… since I always put myself out there… it was important for me to say these things aloud — to recognize them and be fair and honest. It’s all fixable. I strayed. I went off track. But if I want to pursue a different future, well then I better get off my ass and get back to what has made me so successful in the past. I’m wallowing in my self-pity and it ain’t a pretty sight. No… this isn’t a pity party… and I promise you, I don’t need anyone to tell me “it’s good you realized it now and can change it.”

I need everyone to hold me accountable… to push me for content, to partner on changes for the future… and to ask to see some sort of a plan within the next 7 days. Because if I want something… or if you want something… how is doing the same thing every day hoping it achieves a different outcome anything other than the definition of insanity?

______________________

That’s the line in my sand. This week I write my project plan. It’s always made things more clear and organized in the past. And next Monday, I will start the second half of 2017 with my formal plan in place to achieve my goals in publishing, writing and reviewing.

I will get back to being me!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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365 Challenge: Day 78 – Lazy

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Lazy: unwilling to work or use energy

It’s Monday 5/29 at 2:37pm EST and my daily 365 Challenge post is only just beginning right now. Let’s set the stage even further. It’s Memorial Day and I am officially not working today. It was a 3-day weekend. I’ve done nothing so far today except catch up on writing book reviews, interacting on social media with all of my e-friends and new e-friends. I’ve completed all but one outstanding tag/award/meme, which only just arrived in the last hour. But I still haven’t written the 365 Daily post. But it gets worse. I have not left my apartment. I’ve barely gotten off the couch. I haven’t gone to the gym. I haven’t even yet showered. Sure, you probably didn’t care to know that, but I’m just creating a little ambiance here…

At first, I thought to myself… you are worse than lazy. It’s Memorial Day and you’ve done nothing to support this important day. But… I did, as one of my posts earlier this week was thanking our veterans, active duty  armed forces (all branches) and anyone involved in this type of a role. So at least I don’t feel too guilty about being completely neglectful, as I’ve properly extended my humble appreciation via the blog; however, even if this were a regular normal day, it’s half-over and I’ve done nothing by normal standards. So…I am officially lazy today. Not everyday. It’s just today and I can accept it. I’ll be back on track with my schedule tomorrow. Actually, after I finish this post, I do plan on hitting the gym, then showering (thankfully), and I will pickup food to cook for dinner this evening.

But since we’re on the topic… is it OK to be lazy every once in a while? Do you feel wasteful when you sit on your a$$ and “play on the computer.” How often do you find yourself engaging in such a behavior? Up until about 3 years ago, I still had a flip phone. I did not have any social media accounts except for Facebook. I wasn’t big on searching the internet or reading any news or blog sites. I had other hobbies. But in the last few years, social media continues to take up more of my time. In some ways, it’s great, as I meet new people, learn new things and am connected across the world. In others, how do I measure this as true productivity of my discretionary time?

I’m not referring to it as a professional or business-oriented metric, but as a personal one. Many of us have families, children or parents to care for. Some of us work a lot more than the “standard” 40 hours, or have second and third jobs. Lots don’t have a personal computer and use their phone or at the library / work, when time permits, which is usually minimal. I’m sure there is a wide range of usage even across those of us who have blogs on WordPress (or other sites). It’s got me thinking more than usual today… about personal productivity versus laziness, when it comes to the art of just “surfing the internet.” How much is too much?

Many have asked this question before. Many have answered this question before. There are different answers as there are different kinds of bloggers. I would say I “work” about 40 to 50 hours per week on a normal schedule. I do not have children, which gives me more available free time. My parents are in good health, and although I visit with them each week, I’m not a caretaker at the moment. I exercise in my building’s gym, so no traveling around to work out or participate in sports. Basically, I’ve got a lot of “extra available” time for hobbies and pastimes, when compared to other people. It hasn’t always been this way, as I’ve had the 100 hour weeks and caring for others, so this is just a point in time contemplation over my own laziness. A few thoughts on my mind:

  • How much time on average do people spend doing this stuff?
    • A few hours a day, if I added it all up. Between the daily 365 post, reading other comments, an extra post or two depending on tags/memes/awards/summaries/updates, 5 past book reviews to catch up on for the next month or so, then syncing between all the different sites and social media accounts. That’s a lot of time. But I do enjoy it. I feel productive on some levels. I’m meeting fantastic people. {Aside: YEAH – YOU!!!}
  • How much time do I think we should spend doing this stuff?
    • I feel like 1 hour per day is sufficient, but using time wisely. Maybe a few checks thru-out the day during a quick free moment, but then back to the normal tasks at hand. I’d like to strive for accomplishing my blogging goals within a one-hour limit.
  • Is it important to consider “quality” versus “quantity?”
    • The more followers you have, the more people you follow, the more you want to engage. Today, I kept hopping from blog to blog, finding great new people and posts. And then I kept seeing “20 new posts in WP Reader” all the time. It was a bit of a rabbit hold, arguably a good one. Part of me thinks I could do this all day, but that might be unhealthy, unless it were my full-time job.
  • Are response times important on social media and blogging?
    • Even when I think about my work email, I am restless if something sits in my Inbox for more than two minutes without me reading it. And then I get nutty if I haven’t responded within 30 minutes to the sender. I’m now feeling that way about the blog! It’s definitely not a complaint — as I love blogging — but is there any “response time” that one would consider appropriate or inappropriate? It is probably subjective by person, as well as if you’ve setup expectations with someone in the past. Maybe that’s 30 minutes twice a day to keep up?

I could probably go on and on with thoughts and questions, but I think this is good enough for a daily post about feeling lazy versus productive on this specific day when speaking directly about blogging. How about you? Any thoughts on the questions above? I end with one last realization for today:

I’m not actually lazy. I have accomplished a lot since I awoke this morning. It was just all done while sitting on my couch, as part of a hobby where I’m not being paid, so… that’s why I felt lazy — because it was time where I focused on what I wanted instead of the things I thought I was supposed to do with an extra day on the weekend. So… where do I end up if not lazy… Superficial? Selfish? Silly? Oh no, another rabbit hole — and this one doesn’t sound as pleasant.

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 48 – Generous

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Generous: showing a readiness to give more of something, as money or time, than is strictly necessary or expected; showing kindness toward others; larger or more plentiful than is usual

Everyone is generous at some point in his or her life; however, we are also stingy from time to time. It’s often a matter of what’s being asked of us, our level of available resources and our mind-set. I’m no exception, but I will say outright that I am not as generous as I should be and want to be. And it’s something I need to work on.

For the purpose of today’s post, rather the cover examples of how I’ve been or not been generous, I’d like to discuss why it is people often struggle with being generous. It comes down to a few key things — in my opinion:

  1. Fear: It is easy to be afraid to do something. Perhaps you feel you don’t have enough money or time to share, so you hold back rather than lend or donate. Or maybe when you’ve been too generous with someone in the past, they’ve taken advantage of the situation. (No judgment here; each person should determine what is best for for him or herself, or how to handle relationships with others).
  2. Laziness: Often, we want to be more generous, but don’t make this a priority because we forget to think about it. (Again, no judgment; we are all aware of our own selfless level of thinking about things outside our own realm).
  3. Unknowing: I’ve found people are unsure of how to be more generous or knowledgeable about the ways they can actually follow through on it. (Double again, no judgment; we’re not always shown or taught the way to find these options on our own).
  4. Exhaustion: At the end of the day, we’re so busy focusing on the things we NEED to do, we forget the things that we SHOULD do. That said, there is an argument for saying being generous is a NEED and not just a SHOULD. (Yup, you guessed it about judgment… sometimes we just have no energy left, I get it).

I’m sure there are other reasons, and perhaps they don’t fall into 1 of these 4 categories in the most appropriate way, but that’s where I’ve gotten to in my head on this topic. Let’s look at ways to improve how we are doing in these areas:

  • Fear
    • Determine why you are afraid and either confront it, remove the roadblock or ignore it and move forward. Don’t stall or freeze by doing nothing.
    • If it’s fear of being taken advantage, find ways to limit the impact back on you. Or choose to be generous with others and not with that person if for some reason (s)he always takes advantage of it.
    • If it’s fear of doing something on your own, i.e. volunteering somewhere, find a buddy and go with someone else the first time.

  • Laziness
    • Make a note, send yourself an email or leave a reminder on your calendar to find 15 minutes a week where you do something for someone else — not just yourself.
    • Associate something you love to do with a method for being generous. If you have a secret ice cream fetish and go every Tuesday night, tack on 15 minutes to (1) buy a cone for someone else (if you can afford it), (2) clean up some garbage in a park on the way to the ice cream store, (3) donate books to a shelter for someone to have the ability to read.
    • Find something you love to do and figure out how to share it with someone else who doesn’t have access to it as easily as you do.

  • Unknowing
    • Ask your friends, colleagues or acquaintances.
    • Look it up on the internet.  You obviously have access if you’re reading this post (not meant sarcastically!). Find something local that would work for you.
    • Drive or walk around your neighborhood and see what is already there — or what’s missing. See how you can be of help.
    • Think about your relationships… is someone is need of a friend a little more often? Could you buy someone lunch once a week if you know they are struggling financially to support him or herself?

  • Exhaustion
    • Schedule it. Block out 30 minutes a week, an hour a month, whatever works for you. Make it part of the routine, not something you do if you have free time.
    • Start small. Increase as you can. Don’t take on too much at first.
    • Save coins you don’t use until it adds up enough to buy a cup of coffee, a meal or a coat for someone else.
    • Take a break from the things you don’t need to do every minute… don’t clean for 3 hours one day, only use 2 hours and save that last 1 hour for someone else who needs your help. Your house won’t fall apart. Another person can pitch in that last hour.

Here’s the deal (yikes, I’m sounding direct in this post when I really mean to just think aloud)… I have done maybe 10% of the things I just suggested. I’m not as generous as I should be. And just sitting here typing this kinda cements it for me. It’s time I became a bit of a better person. So my commitment to YOU — I will take on 2 new things (from what I’ve listed here) in the month of May. And I’ll report back to you (hold me accountable please) to review it. The good, the bad and the ugly.

With all that said, do you know of any other reasons besides these four (4) items that contribute to our lack of generosity with others?  I’m flat out ignoring the fact that some people just don’t care to help others or be considerate. So reject that one!

Whether it’s giving more time, spending more money or being more open-minded, what stops you from being more generous? Or… tells us how you are a generous person and offer some suggestions on how we can be even better. Thanks!

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay. I am 40 and live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.