Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Final Times

Well finals is always a tough time to keep on your goals. Everything seems to get dwarfed by the need to work for school. Feel like spending a couple bucks to buy a burger for lunch? Sure. Why not? You need to get back to studying as fast as possible. No time to waste.

But it's not good. And I was very not good today. Lunch was a burger and a beer. Really not frugal, really unhealthy.

I can justify it because the exam I had this morning went badly. That makes it okay, right?

Spent most of the test feeling like a dog.
That dog, specifically.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Taking the Leap

Watched this really cool Tedx Talk last night when I should have been sleeping. You know, applying my time properly (not really).

There are a good number of videos like this one that say something really important about motivation and taking chances and all that. Trouble is I always have a hard time applying those ideas to the things that I'm interested in/motivated to do. I guess I need to get enough skills in the thing I'm passionate about before I can "take the leap" and try to jump into that career.

I should probably just get back to work. That takes motivation too. I think.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Motivation Monday

What have you done so far today? Have you started off your week properly?

I know I have. Was awake until around 1am helping the lady friend proofread an essay for school. Woke up around 8 and immediately got all of my procrastinating out of the way (essential evil). Started studying for a final I have on Friday. I've already put in a good 4 hours and I'm not stopping until I go to sleep.

If your too tired at the beginning of the day or at the beginning of the week then you're automatically losing 1/3 of your day, or 1/7 of your week. If you too tired in the morning AND on monday than you're losing 9/21 of your potentially productive awake time.

That's too much.

Get the lead out.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

What to do...

Are Your Actions Meeting Your Goals?

Really this is what it all comes down to. Everything you do should support your goals in one way or another. That isn't to say that you should be going as hard as you can all the time, just that when you are capable, you are working on something that is important to you.

Sometimes it is necessary to take a break. Like sleeping. It is crazy to say that you should never take a break, but only take a break when it is necessary to recharge yourself so that you'll make more out of the time you spend on working. This is a personal thing that most people haven't spent anytime discovering. It takes time, trial and error and a lot of frustration.

For example, personally, I try to follow the Pomodoro technique (linky. For the most part I am successful, except that I have a lot of trouble taking the 5 minute breaks that it recommends. The result is that after working hard for 4 hour or so I get burned out. Part of this comes from how my "break time" has it's own to do list. Note to self: post my to-do list. I don't know if taking the 5 minute breaks would improve my ability to go longer, and I'm frankly scared to try because I don't like breaking my flow every half an hour.

I guess this post got a little off track.

Look at what you're doing right now. Is it meeting your goals for the day/week/year? Do you actually need a break right now? Get back at 'er and reward yourself after you've accomplished something.

YouTube Videos

So, recently I got an e-mail from Google asking if I wanted to start monetizing my YouTube videos. I used to put some videos up a while back. A vlog thing that was utter emo crap. (This was after high school and before I got my shit together).

Now, my account consists of one video that I put up for a school project.

Should I start making videos and putting them up? Nothing fancy, just videos of frugal recipes and things like that.

Would I even have time to do that? Am I just kidding myself? Hmm.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Making Better Decision

So school has this habit of making me really bad at being Frugal. The main place I see it is buying meals. If I'm stressed and on campus, I usually buy lunch because dammit I'm hungry and that class sucked. But class is over and my last really hard semester is nearly done. Nothing but finals left.

It's time to re-expand my goals. For the past 2 months it has been 1) School 2) Girlfriend 3) Sanity. Now I need to add 4) Health 5) Frugality 6) Skill Expansion 7) Income Expansion

6) is very important to me. As a soon to be graduating engineer I feel that some of my skills are woefully lacking. I need to fix this because I like being honest in interviews. If I can't claim to be good enough to be paid, I will be terrible at the interview.

Today, however, is old me. Priorities 1), 2) and 3) are being addressed. 3) might be cut though.

Friday, December 2, 2011


Man did I ever forget an important one.

21. Role playing
22. Putting yourself in the other person's shoes

Seriously, I'm trying to use these things everyday. I'm not successful everyday, but it's helping.

I'm also spending a lot of time being more social with my classmates. Apparently talking to the same three people everyday isn't the best strategy. Who knew?

In frugal cooking news, I am getting great mileage out of a roast chicken I was given. First day was chicken for chicken/alfredo pasta. Second day was white meat for a sandwich. Third day was sandwich using a wing and thigh. And today. Today was glorious. I'v made a massive batch of chicken soup. The rest of the chicken carcass, carrots, onions, celery and water.

There's a lot of it.

I hope it tastes good.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Little Victories

Well I probably could have got this without reading the book, but I got free caller ID for the next 6 months.


Total Negotiation savings to date: $48.

Getting More

There was a Google talk I ran across a while back (link here) which I found intriguing, in fact I bought the book. And my God is it ever good. tl;dr Do you want to be better at negotiation? From day to day dealings, to utilities, to business deals, to dealing with people in your life? Read this book.

I highly recommend it. It has made my life better already (damn, it sounds like I'm being paid to plug this book). I can't say I've saved money yet, but it's coming. Part of the recommendation is preparation and I'm doing that right now to re-negotiate my phone bill.

So. The author recommends making a list (oh yeah website here). And that's what I'm going to do. As time goes on I'm going to modify the list and breakdown every point with examples of when I've used it/can foresee using it.

The List
  1. Know your goals
  2. Know the other party's goals
  3. Make emotional payments
  4. Expand the negotiation
  5. Trade items of unequal value
  6. Don't exercise power unnecessarily
  7. Be incremental
  8. Acknowledge their power
  9. Point out bad behaviour
  10. Be honest and genuine (unfakable)
  11. Find a common enemy
  12. Talk to the decision maker
  13. Find a common friend
  14. Form a relationship - cite an existing relationship
  15. Appeal to third parties
  16. Always prepare
  17. Keep notes
  18. Figure out what the picture in their head is
  19. Use Framing
  20. Use standards

This is not a complete list. This is just off the top of my head. I'm going to go through this later while skimming the book to round it out.