Willa's Shortform

Shortform #22 Packing, Organizing, and Preparing.

Today was a good day.

I spent most of it going through things, throwing away, organizing, sorting, and packing said things depending on what they were, and got a lot done in preparation for moving because of that. I'm looking forward to finishing up my resume tomorrow and getting feedback on it then finishing up my profile on the job sites I made an account on.

I've enjoyed watching the most recent season (part 3 IIRC) of Disenchantment as well, and apparently The Magicians has a new season too, exciting!

Happy Friday Y'all :)

Willa's Shortform

Shortform #21 Functional strength training and job hunting, oh my.

I had a most excellent day :)

  1. I created accounts on job posting sites and started hunting.
  2. Joined a discord video call with two friends and we did 30 minutes of functional strength training together, I am now really sore, but am happy I worked out!
  3. I did virtual co-working for ~3 hours.

My resume is out of date and pretty bad, I'll fix it up tomorrow using RMarkdown and other nice R things so that my newly created resume will be up to date AND pretty / well styled. I'm meeting (virtually) with a friend on Saturday who runs career building and resume workshops and they have graciously agreed to review and give me feedback on the newly created resume. Thank you to them!

Once I have a new and up to date resume, I can add that to all the job sites I signed up at and finish making + polishing my profile on all of them.

I currently run my website on an AWS Lightsail instance with Wordpress as the CMS. I don't think that's working for me, and the website isn't paying rent design-wise, content-wise, nor financially (though it is really really really cheap to operate, so I'm not losing much). So, in addition to LW2019Review writing, I'm going to make time (that doesn't subtract from job hunting time) to redo my website and axe Wordpress as my CMS since I don't like it. Using a static-site generator and adding a little bit of custom stuff (I really like the functionality and design of Gwern's website so I will steal inspiration from there) will probably result in a much nicer looking, easier to manage, and more functional (for what I care about) site, so I'll do those things.

A weird side effect of job hunting today has been a really strong desire to code. Guess I'll be doing much more of that going forward.

Be well!

Willa's Shortform

Shortform #20 It's time to hunt down a job!

Today was marvelous :)

  1. I walked 2.18 miles indoors while on phone calls; I did 20 pushups and 100 situps at noon.
  2. I virtually co-worked for about 2 hours and made good progress towards writing my review of Gears-Level Models are Capital Investments.
  3. I began organizing and packing up in preparation for moving.

It was pointed out to me that I keep working on a bunch of different things but haven't yet started searching for jobs, despite that finding a good job will enable me to move to Seattle and do more fun things in life. Point noted and taken to heart!

Job hunting is now my highest priority, and I will be focusing on that exclusively while virtually co-working plus will do that while doing productive stuff by myself too. I will continue writing my three reviews (for the LW2019Review) during non-workday hours / in my spare time, but my workday hours will be focused on job hunting.

Good luck y'all :)

Willa's Shortform

Shortform #19 Meetups are great!

Today was an excellent day :)

  1. I spent about 4 hours on direct messaging and caught up on almost all my inboxes! The time per day required for giving timely responses to each person will now decrease thanks to being caught up. I enjoyed talking with everyone I talked with, and look forward to those continuing conversations :)
  2. I walked indoors for 2.3 miles, that was nice.
  3. I had a great time at today's Houston Rationalists Virtual Meetup, it lasted about four hours and was quite fun! I have some good ideas for what to do at future meetups thanks to good discussions with attendees, we are resuming reading 1-3 articles from around the Rationalsphere and discussing them at each meetup. However, this time we will be writing a group-wide summary of each article and the main ideas contained in each one, this will be fun + help with discussion + help with understanding what we read.

I've had great success scheduling virtual co-working sessions, thank you to everyone who's been interested in that! I have multiple sessions scheduled through Saturday and beyond, and will start opening up group virtual co-working at dedicated times too in addition to the one on one sessions that I've been doing.

Tomorrow I will focus on writing. I will write my 2021 plans, goals, dreams, etc. and put them into coherent form so that I can publish a post on that, plus will finish writing my review of Gears-Level Models are Capital Investments.

Be well!

Willa's Shortform

Shortform #18 The downsides of procrastination, otherwise a great day.

Today was a mostly great day!

  1. I spent about 4 hours today engaged in virtually social activities, split relatively evenly between hanging out with friends versus structured social time (trans support group, game night, etc.)
  2. I spent about 2 hours skimming 2019 posts and selecting what to write reviews on, about 20 minutes of that time was actual review writing.
  3. I made cookies :)

Unfortunately, because I started the review process (skimming nominated 2019 posts, writing actual reviews) way too late in the LW 2019 Review project, I wasn't able to publish three reviews like I had originally hoped to do at the beginning of the 2019 Review project. I haven't even finished one review, and don't have time to finish that one before midnight.

Noticed: If you procrastinate on something important to you, you will miss out on that or submit whatever you wanted to produce, late...

This [procrastination] is something I've struggled with for years, and it frustrates me to no end. I'm publicly discussing my most recent failure due to procrastination (not writing and publishing three reviews for the LW 2019 Review project), because I want to keep better track of how often I do that, plus, it hurts to talk about it and fail publicly, which feels like a good thing. I.e., that feels like it'll reduce how much I procrastinate on the next project I publicly commit to.

The three posts I was going to review are:

  1. Gears-Level Models are Capital Investments
  2. The Power to Teach Concepts Better
  3. Literature Review: Distributed Teams

I know writing reviews for those posts past the deadline won't include them in the voting phase of the LW 2019 Review project, but I'd like to finish what I set out to do, so I'll be writing those reviews and publishing them this week. Additionally, those three posts are great, and I want to review them so that maybe others can gain more benefit from those posts.

I walked indoors for about 30 minutes today. I did not listen to music while writing this shortform.

Be well!

Willa's Shortform

Shortform #17 An accomplished yet peaceful and nice Sunday.

Today was a great day!

  1. I walked 3 miles indoors (the weather here today was...the definition of bleargh).
  2. I had great phone call conversations with several friends :)
    • One call resulted in scheduling a virtual co-working session and another resulted in scheduling a virtual working-out session!
  3. I wrote my weekly review and published it by my deadline, FEELS GREAT (warning: loud and explicit).

What a great start to a brand new week :)

Also: if you enjoy ramen, try putting jalapeño guacamole sauce in it, it's so good. One might even say...sugoi You can also put that sauce on nachos or a lot of other things, is similarly great!

Noticed: Typing when it's really cold and your hands are cold is similar in discomfort to playing piano when it's cold and your hands are cold, except, playing piano will warm up your fingers much quicker and more thoroughly than typing will.

I continued listening to a really long Two Steps From Hell / Thomas Bergersen & Nick Phoenix mix while writing this.

Have a great week!

Willa's Shortform

2021 Week 1 Review 1 Jan - 9 Jan

This week saw rapid mood changes, a descent into depression, and many actions taken to combat the aforementioned things. I'm happy to report that the actions I took ultimately led to a significant improvement in and stabilization of my mood, the removal of depression and ascent to a slightly higher happiness set point than the week before, and I've learned some good things.

Most significant thing noticed or learned this week: Living alone is really bad for me. Runner up: The power of co-working!

Once I realized (noticed) that living alone is really bad for me, I talked with family and they accepted my request to relocate from where I'm living now to go live with them. Now that I have a plan that's actively being worked towards for combating the "living alone is really bad for me" thing, I've been much more capable of dismissing isolation or loneliness feelings and my mood has improved significantly.

I noticed that co-working (only virtual so far) can "rescue" a day that's going poorly or make an already good day a great day, because I enjoy the social interaction + getting shit done. This upcoming week I have to pack and organize a lot, but I will schedule as much virtual co-working as I can so that I still get other things done that I care about accomplishing.

My focus this week: virtual co-working, every damn day or every other day at the very least Secondary focus: commit to 1 hour of physical activity per day, preferably outside

Things I failed at last week or didn't do very well at:

  1. I did not complete "Important but Ugh" task nor did I donate $50 to a political party I don't like as a "punishment".
    • I learned that making myself pay money if I don't do something is a surefire way to ensure that I don't do that thing, will also destroy my mood, kill my productivity, and generally make me have a very bad time. This technique works for others, and I'm happy I tried it, because now I know more about myself, but wow did it backfire horribly for me so I won't be trying it again.
  2. I didn't do much nonfiction reading, though I did have fun with reading fiction.
  3. I didn't job hunt at all.
    • I'm not upset about this, moving several states away and helping family sell this house precludes getting any sort of stable job, so I'll do some freelancing instead.

Things I did well last week or am happy about:

  1. Other than a short break for New Years, I've continued to write publicly each day, and that's fantastic!
  2. I noticed something that was making my life bad (living alone) and started immediately working to correct that thing (I'm moving a few states away to live with family).
  3. I managed to stay somewhat virtually social even while depressed and that helped! This was a triumph because in the past I would typically isolate when depressed, and that wasn't helpful, so being at least somewhat social was great!

Here's to a great next week! Amazingly, I have published this by my own deadline, what a great feeling :)

Be well!

Note: I listened to this progressive trance mix while writing, that mix has always served me well for helping me get things done.

Willa's Shortform

Shortform #16 The power of co-working!

Today was an excellent day :) I woke up late, but immediately started virtually co-working with a friend and during that time we both completed a nice amount of tasks. Jumping from "I'm finally awake now" to virtual co-working helped me stay on track this day, it was very effective and helpful.

I scheduled the January and February Houston Rationalists' meetups, replied to some messages, tidied up, walked for 30 minutes, and later hungout with a friend around a campfire outside, twas nice!

Tomorrow I will post my 2021 Week 1 Review by 13:00. I will also setup co-working sessions for next week, quite looking forward to those! Seems like I'll be getting a lot more extra physical activity starting tomorrow because I must start prepping to move cross country and that takes a fair bit of organization, packing, etc. physical effort.

I did not listen to music while writing this shortform.

Be well!

Willa's Shortform

Shortform #14 and Shortform #15

#15 I have learned an important lesson!

If I stay up all night trying to be more productive because I wanted to get more things done and "make up for" a day where I didn't get quite what I wanted done...then whatever I stayed up for had better be damn important otherwise I've just wasted a lot of time and lowered my quality of life.

Staying up all night to be more productive for the sake of showing off (to myself and/or to others) that I had accomplished more things in one day is not a good enough reason to stay up all night, so I won't be doing that again for such a lame reason.

I woke up today at noon, having fallen asleep the previous day (the 7th) at 6pm (18:00) or so due to being way too tired. Today was pretty good all things considered! I had a good phone conversation with a friend, walked for about an hour, did some messaging, tidied up multiple things as part of my "Dedicate 1 hour of my time tomorrow to doing tasks that take <=5-10 minutes each." efforts, and had fun watching (The Great Pretender)[] on Netflix.

Given that I won't be staying up all night tonight nor recovering from a prior day where I had stayed up for way too long, I expect slightly better things from myself tomorrow :)

#14 I was frustrated about having such a lazy day on the 6th and wasn't feeling very tired after writing that day's shortform (#13) so I decided to stay up...and did. I drank a bunch of coffee around 2-3am to "seal the deal" and managed to stay awake until around 6pm in the evening of the 7th.

I will not state what I accomplished nor how much or how little I accomplished because I'm unhappy I decided to stay up all night just for the sake of productivity signalling in response to being frustrated by how my day on the 6th went. I won't be doing that again, it wasn't worth it, and it rarely is. Out of all the times I've stayed up all night in my life, only a few times felt like they were actually necessary and worth it, or were rewarding for some other reason. Most of the time staying up all night is a sign of bad execution or inaction with regards to accomplishing some specific goals or meeting certain deadlines, it shows that either a person is just not doing well or they are slacking too much. That has been the case for me, at least. So, no more unless absolutely necessary for survival! Sleep is too necessary to sacrifice for anything less than that.

Reflection: I want to achieve my goals, but I must do so with kindness towards myself and others. Staying up all night is usually unkind to myself, so I will only do so in extreme circumstances where doing so is necessary for survival. Additionally, if I notice myself being frustrated by a lack of progress towards goals, I need to take that seriously and reevaluate how my actions, habits, reactions to current events, and other "inputs" contributed to the buildup of that frustration plus led me to whatever situation I might be in during that moment. Then, take some deep breaths to release the frustration and follow through with better actions. Sometimes that means changing goals, oftentimes that means changing actions and building better habits. Plus, don't ever forget about selfcare!

Happy Friday Y'all :)

Note: I did not listen to music while writing this. Also, adding a sentence or few sentences to serve as a summary, abstract, or catchy title right after saying "Shortform #X" seems neat, I'll try that intentionally going forward, did it by accident this time.

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