Ahoy there, maties! I hope that you guys have had a pleasantly eventful and productive week. I certainly know that I’ve enjoyed the week and learnt a bit in the process.
I’ve officially been journaling for two weeks as of yesterday. It is interesting seeing how the habit of keeping a daily journal (mine is in the OneNote app) encourages you to dissect the different aspects of my day. I’d heard that it was a useful tool, but actually using one has even surpassed those expectations. I’ve also placed a section at the beginning of each daily journal for a checklist of tasks. I check those off as they are completed and make appropriate notes to indicate when I am not able to finish a task. Each person has their own way of journaling and I find that my current format is suiting my needs.
Habit Trekker is still a winner as far as non-OneNote gamification of repetitive tasks is concerned. Pretty cool, overall. I have, however, had to rethink my tasks to better fit with the habits that I want to develop. Then, I check them off for the applicable day. Whilst I keep some habits in my journal as well, there is something gratifying about seeing that counter go up. It might seem odd, but something as simple as a digital badge does provide a sense of accomplishment because it is a result of performing a habit a number of times.
On top of the software stuff, I still use a paper checklist whenever I am doing gardening tasks as it helps me keep focused as well as allow me to remember what tasks I do finish. An example of this is the gardening tasks for yesterday. One of my tasks was potting up some chives. However, I decided to leave them for another day as the seedlings are not big enough to move to a different pot yet and some seeds are still beginning to sprout. Yes, I am admitting that I can be forgetful sometimes, but having a piece of paper with a checklist at the ready helps me keep me focused on the tasks. When I get upstairs to my computer, I check off gardening tasks in my journal.
So, my OneNote journal, Habit Trekker app and the occasional pen and paper checklist are helping me keep both organised and motivated to develop healthy habits.
I’ve spent another week in BDO levelling up my cooking and fishing life skills for my Berserker Angry. Nothing fancy, but it has enabled me to gain a few contribution points in the process.
The Steam summer sale also started this past week, leading to me considering getting a few titles.
- Farming Simulator 2019 Platinum Edition: I have really enjoyed playing FS17 Platinum. FS19 offers a cleaner interface which smooths out some of the sharper textures and assets seen in previous instalments of the franchises. That appeals to me.
- Tropico 5 Complete Edition: Tropico 4 had lots of tongue-in-cheek humour and lots of neat features. The Complete Edition for Tropico 5 is also good bang for the buck.
I spent a bit of time transplanting and potting up seedlings. I even got to try out some micro white mustard and tatsoi whilst transferring some to bigger pots. It was an odd experience and I found myself surprised at how much White Mustard tasted like most vegetables described as “peppery”, such as Cress. It was a little milder than Cress and the texture was slightly different, but it reinforced that it was a good choice as a salad green. The seeds are just an extra bonus.
I had to replant some green sprouting broccoli and red cabbage today, after no luck with germination over the past three weeks. These seeds usually sprout really quick, but no such luck. I am unsure if the weather (especially temperature) has played into this or there is some other factor but I figure that it is worth replanting to gather more information should it turn out that the seeds don’t germinate. I’ll keep you posted on what I observe.
I have begun using the Degreed platform again after several years of hiatus. I was using back when I was regularly using several learning platforms. However, the wind left my sails when Coursera courses starting feeling more like they were pushing specific ideological agendas. The teaching of knowledge seemed to be cast by the wayside. It was disconcerting. However, due to the fact that I am beginning to focus more on learning materials not attached to biased learning institutions, such as Youtube education channels, I use the gamification element of Degreed to track my growing understanding of certain subjects and topics. I just wish that some of the official learning pathways could update some of their links as some do not go anywhere. (Perhaps I should give the staff a heads-up.)
Anyway, I have been focusing on nutrition, productivity, linguistics, art, agriculture, horticulture and permaculture subjects. This simple act of tracking what I have been engaging with has also led to me being pickier about the quality as well. I know that this should be a given. However, it can be easy to fall into the trap of reading, listening to or watching lower-quality content due to the massive amount available online.
This past week has been one where I have finally decided to start culling social networking contacts that post predominantly political material. I am fed up with how toxic most discussion of global politics is these days. I see people posting commentary directly contradicting the evidence given in many cases and deliberately cherry-picking only material that supports their own worldviews. It is frustrating because this mindset also means that some resort to name-calling if you point out the problem. It is maddening and I am working towards keeping my own sanity in the face of this new level of the cognitive dissonance now found on both the left and the right political spectrum.
I know. You’ve probably heard it time and time again. However, are you required to stay connected with crazy people? This is a serious question. This is not a call to demonise anyone but to seek out equal partnerships. If you are required to keep your mouth (or typing fingers) quiet in order to get along with others, it is not friendship but rather, self-imposed imprisonment. So, I encourage you to think about the online connections that you have and dissect which people you can be honest with. If they are unable to take legitimate criticism because they are so indoctrinated, then perhaps you aren’t friends. This also requires you to be honest with yourself first. You should judge a situation fairly, by removing your own blinders. If you cannot be objective, then you will disconnect with somebody unfairly. Ergo, if you have a bias, you might be a poor judge of who is biased and who is not. (Commonsense, I know, but it had to be said for the sake of clarity.)
Anyway, the time that you no longer spend engaged in pointless arguments online can be better spent learning or practising a skill. For example, root propagation or improving your drawing skills. Whilst we are social animals, we also need mental engagement. If we neglect this aspect of our lives because we are too caught up in the tidal wave of nonsensical political discussions with people that don’t even consider the idea that they might be wrong about something, then we are doing ourselves and the world around us a disservice because we are contributing to the problem. Use your time (and brainpower) for something productive.
So, my goal in the upcoming weeks is to go over my contacts to make better use of social networking. I also intend on cutting down social networking even more that I have been doing. However, posting videos on interesting stuff like psychology is still worth my time as I would rather post material about science and art than political stuff due to the abovementioned polarisation. This extra time will be in turn used to improve skills and knowledge, on top of dealing with my physical health. Yes, that means more time on top of what I was already spending on these elements of my life.
Starting tomorrow, the first of July, I will be engaging in an art challenge, wherein I will be working on a piece of art each day for the entire month. That is thirty-one days where I spend at least 10 minutes working on a piece of art. You can find the details of the specific challenge I will be doing here. If you are interested in joining in, feel free to let me know.
I hope that your upcoming week is productive and that you stay safe throughout. I leave you with the following film clip for an Imagine Dragons song that resonates with how I’ve been feeling the past week.