Doubt & Fear just ahead

I’ve really enjoyed writing a guide to Nozbe a productivity software application I use every single day. (Think of a paper todo list with a jetpack and a lightsaber Mum!). It has been fun and challenging squeezing it in-between my real life. It’s had it’s ups and downs, having to re-write it half way through as the software was updated to a new updated 2.0 interface made me laugh (I lie, I cried!), but it’s been a goal to ship something (anything?) one day.

It’s almost that day, I’ve just emailed hundreds of subscribers of my Productive Wizard blog, many of whom are Nozbe users. I’ve asked for some volunteers generous enough to give some of their own time to help to apply some polish to my book, finding errors so I can correct them and giving me feedback before I release it to a wider (paying!) audience.

I’m anxious.

You see, I’ve not shared my work with anyone before, sending a small mockup to the CEO of Nozbe to seek his permission in creating a book is the only interaction I’ve had. (He was thrilled thankfully!) The self doubt that now hangs over me is heavier than I imagined. What if no one likes it? It makes no sense? What if it looks terrible on some devices? The layout is bad? What if it’s too basic? Too in-depth? Too long? Too short? What if I’ve missed something really important? 100’s of things rushing through my head of how much people will think it sucks and I look like a fool. We all know the internet can be cruel.

Yet, deep down, if I look deep enough, I find I am proud of what I’ve produced even in its current unpolished form. A book that could help someone organise their life might not excite many people, yet for me, I’d be thrilled if one person got something out of my work.

Deep breath…. almost time to press send….

I think Im going to enjoy The Happiness Advantage book

I’ve just started a book that is set out to convince you that the route to ‘success’ in based upon your happiness and not your happiness is based on your ‘success’

The usual school of thought is something like this;

Get good results at school and you will be happy.

Get a job and earn money you will be happier.

Buy a nice car and you will be even happier.

Earn more money and you will be even even happier.

The book makes you re-think these sort of ideas and suggests that if you are happy already you perform better across all area’s of life and then the results, the job, the car and the money all come to you. The book teaches you how to achieve this somehow, I have not got to that section yet, hopefully it’s not just a ‘Think positive’ exercise!

This is the short 2 minute video that first grabbed my attention.

The book seems to be striking a chord with me so far as I know in periods of my life when I am happy and optimistic life seems to flow that much better. Add to this I’ve started my meditation exercises again and will get my goals down in next week or so I’m really feeling positive to the year ahead.

Lastly, this quote found me somewhere on the internet and has become my 2015 focus.

It’s ok to be Quiet.

Quiet bookQuiet…. its something I have been accused of being on many occasions, if I have something worth saying I will say it, else… I’m happy being quiet.

Having recently read Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking it has really helped me evaluate things and has actually made me a happier person. That’s not to say I was unhappy for the previous 40 years of my life, rather it’s given me a better perspective on how my own mind works.

‘Given the choice, you’ll devote your social energy to the people you care about most, preferring a glass of wine with a close friend to a party full of strangers. You think before you speak, and relish solitude. You feel energised when focusing deeply on a subject or activity that really interests you. You have an active inner life, and are at your best when you tap into its riches.’

It’s a fascinating book and well worth a read. No time for read the book? The the TED video below from the author gives you a great overview.

Working a nightshift, 20 things I wish I knew before I started!

Not being accustomed to working nights before this week, here are some thing’s I’ve learnt during the first 4 x 12 hour nights I’ve just had to do!

  • It’s  a lot harder than I thought!
  • Don’t expect to be more productive even though it’s ‘quieter’
  • React to email requests from the day team as soon as your on shift, you won’t feel like it later!
  • Try to attack a task at the start of the shift, it makes the 1st few hours fly by if your attention is consumed by something.
  • Walk… I do a number of loops around the building just to get the blood moving a few times during the night. Not been stopped by security yet!
  • I tried a 30min snooze around lunchtime (2am) but Im not sure how beneficial it was?
  • 5am is really crap – Your exhausted, have a headache, have 3 hours left and BBC breakfast news hasn’t stated yet. (BBC breakfast TV makes me feel that it’s almost time to head home!)
  • Bring a jumper, it gets cool around 3am.
  • Buy elasticated trousers…. I’ve ended up eating lots and it’s not all been good foods.
  • Optrex – buy some to freshen your eyes in the early hours. It’s lush.
  • Bring a book, newspaper or magazine. Get your eyes off your Laptop/Desktop screens every so often.
  • Eat before you get home, on your journey home if possible.
  • Set an alarm on the train journey home, it WILL happen!
  • Go straight to bed when you get home. You will accumulate lots of sleep debt hours over the 4 shifts, don’t plan any tasks for home. It really is a Bed-Journey-Office-Journey-Bed cycle with 12 hours on – 12 off. An extra hour asleep can make the night a lot easier.
  • Invest in thick bedroom curtains.
  • Don’t order things online to be delivered whilst your off shift. You’ll want to punch the postman when he rings the bell, which is a shame as he’s a decent chap. (Every sodding day this week!)
  • Turn off your phone email when at home, if your phone needs to be on for emergencies fine. But emails are not urgent, silence them.
  • If you do wake in the afternoon try to get back to sleep! Honest I tried the ‘Well Im awake I’ll go do something for a few hours’ and promptly crashed the next night, but I did watch a good program about Rallying in the 80’s.
  • Enjoy the spaced out feeling once the shift is over as you walk to the bus or station, I feel like I’m floating… who needs drugs! There’s also something nice about walking against the flow of people streaming into London. Hope I don’t’ look that miserable each morning!
  • Think… Don’t volunteer yourself quite so quickly for dumb shifts again! ;o)