Heartbeat, 12/13

No, I haven’t fallen off the edge of the world. I’m working hard on my music projects, of course. I entered two songs in the Great American Song Contest. I’ve also made 2 Squidoo Lenses, Songmeister and Synthesizer. These two pages make me an expert at each topic.

Exciting stuff.

I’m looking forward to Christmas, for now. I know it’s going to be a tough one since it’s the first without Daddy. I’m trying to make it as celebratory as possible for my daughters, though.

I don’t have much other news, check out my Squidoo pages, and keep listening to the music listed below. I ought to have an Uncle Widget CD available for purchase soon.

Day 41 of 48

Only one week left. I’ve made substantial progress internally, and have started to build a network of people who I believe will be instrumental in the journey. I have been with the book for several weeks, had time to reflect and have taken away the following:

  1. Being successful and sustaining by doing what you love is possible.
  2. Doing what you love is your best chance at finding success.
  3. Some people may find their passion working for someone else, some working for themselves.
  4. If you’d love to work for yourself, make it happen in a way that works for you. You don’t necessarily need to quit your job and start bootstrapping it tomorrow.
  5. Following through on an action plan is the only way to reach your goals.

There have already been some obstacles, and there will be more. Even though I’ve still got a week left, I’m now officially moonlighting as a composer/songwriter. If you’ve got a use for music in a multimedia production, video game, film, programming, advertising, or presentation, let me know. I’m interested in entertaining working on projects of any size.

There’s my plug, and you should do it too. Anyone making the switch to your passion, let us all know what services you’re providing and how we can get in touch with you in the comments (I won’t mark your plugs as spam).

Day 35 of 48

Last week, I finally finished 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller. The rest of the 48 days are dedicated to getting my music composition business off the ground. I’ve identified my strengths, weaknesses and passion core. I’ve learned what needs to be done to be successful.

There are two basic paths that the book may lead you on. The first is finding a job. I have a substantial amount of evidence that says this isn’t the proper path for me. The second is how to create a business out of what you really love doing.

The latter path suggests taking on your business as a sideline until it replaces your regular income. That is the plan. What I don’t think I can handle is the scenario where I’m not ready to exclusively run the business but my ‘day job’ ceases to exist. For now, I’m taking one step at a time.

I’m running in parallel on four types of music projects right now:

  • I’ve always been interested in writing video game music. I’ve got a sample I wrote for a prospective game developer at http://typica.cyefi.com.
  • I worked on a dance-inspired electronica project a few years ago called Rain Pilot. I’m interested in reviving that if there are people interested in hearing it. Some of the old stuff has been published at http://rainpilot.cyefi.com.
  • Since I’ve got children now, I’ve been inspired to work on some children’s electronica so my girls can listen to dad’s music while they sleep. The start of this project is at http://unclewidget.cyefi.com.
  • My main project is trooperseven. This is dance-rock that I’m planning to take to stage. I’d like to hear this stuff on independent films, college radio stations, advertisements, and the like. I publish unfinished and unpolished demos at http://trooperseven.com.

I’m excited about these changes, and thankful for having stumbled across Dan’s Book. Pick up a copy today.

Staying on the GTD Wagon (Part III)

I’ve talked about little victories before and I think this is important to keep Getting Things Done. Two tips to help gain little victories:

  • Track the little things. If I’m about to go to the store to go get light bulbs, I’ll go ahead and track the task. I’m not gonna forget to go to the store, and probably not forget the one thing that I’ve gone for. But when I write down the “run to the store and get light bulbs” action, a bubble floats up that I should check the supply of AA batteries. I’m out. If I had gone to the store, I would have discovered the battery shortage after I got back and the bulbs were out of my mental stack.
  • Brainstorm for easies before a review. Even if you keep a tight system, there are probably a few things in your psychic ram you could afford to dump. Before a review, think about the things you think or know you’re about to do and get them down. They go a long way to reinforce confidence in your system and they might remind you of another action, or uncover some creative idea that will make you millions.

Staying on the GTD Wagon (Part II)

It’s much harder to stay on top of your GTD if the system isn’t working for you. GTD works, so don’t blame the system. There are a number of small things that can go wrong, however, if you aren’t careful.

Exercise regular reviews. If you aren’t reviewing, you aren’t Getting Things Done. I review my action list a minimum of once a day. I review my action list when I think to myself “what should I be doing?” I review my Someday/Maybe list at the first of every month, and whenever I’m feeling day-dreamy. I review my project actions every time my brain switches contexts to that project.

Staying on the GTD Wagon (Part I)

I’m starting another series on GTD. I hear from a lot of people that they have a hard time staying in it once they start, so this will be a series of quick tips to keep it going.

Unify your inboxes. Since I use gmail for GTD, I never fall down on keeping my gmail inbox squeaky clean. In addition, the constant reminder that I need to process all items with David Allen’s method keeps me going.

Stay tuned for the next tip for keeping up with your GTD.

iBook Heat Problems

Remember my iBook hard drive issue? I’ve had a feeling since it happened that it was related to heat. I was having some connectivity issues this morning and noticed that the region directly above my keyboard was hot to the touch. I started googling, of course, and ran across this (significantly old, but useful) information.

I ran activity monitor and GmailStatus* was spinning at about 80%, making the iBook crawl along and causing the processor to really heat up. I suspect there’s a bug in GmailStatus that puts it in a tight loop if it has a hard time connecting to gmail for a while.

After closing GmailStatus, the extreme heat dissipated in about ten minutes.

I’ve turned GmailStatus off for now since there’s no telling when it might run into this issue again and I’m trying to be gentle with the iBook.

*I’ve been using GmailStatus over Google’s official notifier because GmailStatus provides the option of reducing the frequency of interruptions, and Google’s does not.