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Productivity: Soul

By | Productivity | No Comments

In the final part of this mini-series on productivity, I’m going to explore my final daily anchor, Soul. Now, this is more of a reminder to make sure you do something, every day if you can, that truly makes you happy outside of ‘work’. Sure, work can make you happy but it’s important to have outlets and ways to destress that don’t involve work. I feel this is very important otherwise you may burn out. Yes, burnout can happen even if it’s something you absolutely love doing.

So the reason this is called ‘soul’ is, you should aim for this to be something that makes your soul, yourself,  truly happy. Regardless of what you believe in, you could call it your core if it fits better with you. Something that truly makes you happy, down to the core. Mine is playing music. I’ve been playing music for a long time now. I just find I can totally lose myself when I’m playing, sometimes an hour will go by in a flash and I just feel less stressed after noodling around on my guitar. It’s just fun, there’s no judgment. I just play what I feel and it makes me happy. I’ve always had music as apart of my life, my parents love music so much and their passion for it definitely caught me at a young age. I love the film Baby Driver so much for this reason…I’m not going to spoil it but there’s a certain scene in that film that almost made me cry because I love music that much. Music is food for the soul.

Another Thing…

I also think it’s incredibly important to make time for friends, family and hopefully your dog. Because dogs rule. I want a dog. I need a dog. Wait…where was I?

I am SO guilty of getting wrapped up in trying to break into game audio that I forget to go out and have fun. So it’s something I’m a little more aware of now. At one point I was working 3 days in a sound design studio, 3 days in a pub and spent the other day at home. It’s not good. Work hard but don’t forget to look after yourself, your soul and your happiness, because those are important too.

 

Productivity: Body

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Come with me if you want to lift…

The second of my three anchors is Body. Before we get into it, these anchors are what I find work for me. You may find doing one of these, or none of these works for you better. You could have different daily anchors. This is something I found that really works for me on a number of levels and I wanted to share my thoughts, maybe even inspire someone to look at how they can improve themselves. Self-improvement is something very important to me. Also, in case you were wondering, yes, the idea of daily anchors is an Idea I got from Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Now if you can smeeeell what The Rock is cooking…

A long time ago, In a Gym…maybe near you?

I’ve been into fitness for a while now. When I started I was very naive. I thought I could get huge by doing a rowing machine for hours. That was partially due to the fact I found my gym very intimidating at first. There’s such a sense of being overwhelmed. You look around, everyone seems to know what they are doing (not true) and you are clueless. When I did start venturing out from the rowing machine, I stuck to mostly weight machines, before summoning the courage to try out free weights. I’ve pretty much been hooked since then with the idea of being in a gym and chasing a physique. Now, this is something I’ve still yet to achieve, mostly down to one important element, diet.

Nutrition

Nutrition must be one of the most complicated things to research for yourself. There are so many diets and conflicting information. It’s so important to have a goal and it’s equally important to choose the correct diet for that goal. It’s also important to choose the correct sources of information, there’s a lot of dumb info on fitness and nutrition out there. One important thing with diet; Don’t over complicate it. I remember the first time I read about ‘bulking and cutting. Funny thing, in my mind’s eye the webpage looks like something you’d imagine a webpage on the dark web looks like. I think I found it mostly ridiculous because it spoke about ‘dirty bulking’. This is basically eating absolute rubbish alongside weight training. I don’t really recommend this at all.

Luckily now I’ve found some great sources on nutrition and training in the form of several Youtube channels, which I will list below. Special should out to the Buff Dudes though, they are my favorite fitness people out there.

Stick With It…

Honestly, food is where I’ve always failed…which is partially why I am still chasing that physique. I was very overwhelmed and couldn’t even comprehend how to eat properly, consistently to support my training. I’d always fail to plan, I’d run out of food, which meant when I did have a handle on nutrition I’d then go weeks without sorting it out. At the moment I feel like I have a pretty good handle on what I’m doing with nutrition, partially because it saves money and also I feel so much better when I eat clean food and not rubbish.

This is what it’s all about, feeling great. When I feel great I’m a better person, I function on such a higher level. For me, it’s night and day in my mentality, how I feel, how I function and how driven I am. I heard a great thought the other day while listening to the Joe Rogan podcast from his guest, David Goggins (Look this guy up) allow me to paraphrase;

“Motivation is temporary, be driven”

When you think about that, it’s true. I’m not motivated to go to the gym every day, sometimes I want to stay in bed. What stops me is my drive to not let myself down. So I get up to get it done and feel so much better afterward.

Here Comes A New Challenger!! (Spoiler Alert: It’s you!)

The physical aspect of the gym I absolutely love. I’m a firm believer in getting into the gym, challenging yourself physically and mentally. It’s such a great feeling when you hit a personal record (PR). It’s progress and who doesn’t want progress? For me, one of the best feelings in the world is being able to go to the gym and lift more weight or do more reps than the previous week. It’s you vs you.

Working towards a goal is always going to be challenging, every time you take a step towards that goal, no matter how small that step may be, it’s a huge accomplishment. Imagine getting into work at 10 am and you’ve already accomplished something in the day, how awesome is that feeling? That accomplishment may just be showing up, even that is progress. There’s also the added benefit of looking great too, that may not be your goal and that’s totally ok. For myself, when I feel like I look good, I feel great. Going into the gym I’m chasing a specific look, your look and goal could be way different to mine and that’s ok, be your own person, don’t let anyone tell you how to be you.

Failure…

Going to the gym and trying to eat right I aim to do every day because it makes me feel great, I’m way less stressed and I can deal with anything. I work through my problems in the gym and the endorphin rush I have during and after the workout really goes towards me being at the top of my game during the day. The challenge of beating your own records goes such a long way. It’s also very humbling when you fail. As the great Master Yoda said;

“Heeded my words not, did you? Pass on what you have learned. Strength, mastery. But weakness, folly, failure also. Yes, failure most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is.”

Failure is one of my favorite subjects, the importance of failure cannot be overstated…but I’ll save that for another time.

What keeps me going? 

Why do I do this? Getting up, eating right, getting to the gym I personally feel is a perfect way to start your day. You immediately accomplish something once your footsteps through that gym door, no matter what happens inside. When I’ve finished in the gym I’m like ‘right, what else can I do?’. I’m driven to do more and I’m so much more focused on my work and life in general. This is why it’s one of my anchors and why I feel it’s so important to me. Constantly chasing my goal and having the mentality of ‘training like I’ve booked a Marvel movie’ keeps me driven. Sure that might sound dumb, just have a goal and chase it. So many principles of the gym can be applied to life, dedication, small progression, logical thinking, challenging yourself and so much more.

So let’s get it!

 

Useful Links For Fitness and Nutrition Information:

Buff Dudes

These guys are not only hilarious but full of useful info/tips/workouts/recipes.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKf0UqBiCQI4Ol0To9V0pKQ

Jim Stoppani 

Below is what I use as the basis for my workouts. The videos on this workout give you the fundamentals in nutrition and muscle building.

https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/shortcut-to-size.html

Other sources: 

Also, check out on youtube for some good info/workouts:

  • Steve Cook
  • Lex Fitness
  • Nikki Blacketter

 

Productivity: Mind

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Shhh…

Following on from my post about productivity, I want to break down my three anchors and discuss why they work for me. Firstly, I’m not saying this is a universal thing that everybody should do to be the best. I simply want to discuss and share what I find works for me. Perhaps then you can try it for yourself or find your own anchors. The first of my three anchors is Mind, for which I practice meditation. 

Why?

A mind is a noisy place, a deceptive place, filled with self-doubt, continuous thoughts and worries. At least that’s how I feel sometimes anyway. When you’re feeling anxious about something it can sometimes completely take over your thoughts and distract you from what you need to do. There’s a great video from actor Chris Evans, discussing this very thing (Video Linked Below). He ends up giving a fantastic piece of advice that really resonated with me. Simply “Shhh…”. When you’re worried or whatever is it, just “Shhh…”. Tell your mind to be quiet.

Although I only came across this advice recently. Telling your mind to be quiet,  I feel is a very profound thing when you’re overthinking something, which we all do. It resonated so much because I have had an interest in meditation for a while now and at a base level, meditation is telling your mind, “Shhh…”. I feel this is an important thing to keep in mind when going about your day to day.

This year I have been trying to practice meditation every day. Meditation was something I was always interested in. In 2016 I actively tried to start to practice it and its effect on me was…odd. I don’t know if this is just how I remember it, romanticize it, or whatever, but, I felt awake. It felt like a cloud had been lifted off my mind and I could see clearer. I know that sounds odd. Since then I dipped in and out of it, but whenever I practice regularly I feel calmer and feel the ability to problem solve is higher. When those day to day moments of mind chaos arise, I had the power to tell my brain to calm down. At some point, I may write about the science of it because it is really interesting.

When?

Ideally, I fit this into my day as the first thing I do. Often I can wake up a little anxious about the day. Spending that time in the morning, just having that moment to myself. After I feel I can sort through the chaos can really help, set my mind frame for the day. You don’t have to do it for very long either, you can start with 1 min and work your way up. Currently, my aim is to get up to 20 mins. But I’m taking it slow to get there.

So give it a go…

Until next time friends.

Chris Evans Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKK0CIndH-Q

Shhh...

Productivity

By | Food for thought, Gaming | No Comments

I wanna be the very best, like no one ever was

 

With this blog, as well as writing about games, sound design and game audio,  I want to also write about being a better you, productivity and whatever else that may come up. Before we go further, my path to functioning at my optimum, might not be your path and I’m absolutely not saying this is THE only way to be the best, most productive person ever or even the best version of you. I am only speaking from personal experience on what I’ve found works for me and it might also work for you. First off, I feel the key to achieving goals is keep your productivity up and focused, without it, you don’t do the work to gain the skills you need to achieve whatever it is that you want to achieve. You know, In most cases anyway, unless your goal is to bungee jump. You don’t really need many skills to bungee jump…a push maybe, but that’s somewhat straightforward in the grand scheme of things.

 

This trail of thought essentially all came out from reading an article by Sound Designer, Akash Thakkar, who talks about productivity and one of the exercises he recommended was writing down your idea of a perfect day, your ideal day. It gives you a goal to work towards, achieving a life where you’re perfect day exists, or at least that’s what I took from it. I’ve also taken the ideals of ‘anchoring your day’ that The Rock talks about and essentially combined it with the ideas from Akash’s post. My perfect day includes 3 anchors. Why three? I honestly stumbled across them and came to realise that they were not only very achievable on a daily basis if I made an effort, they made me a better person and I functioned better. These three tasks serve as my daily anchors, Mind and Body set up the day, Soul winds it down. Achieving these 3 things, means I have bettered myself, grown as a person and achieved something in the day, even if it’s just a little bit. If I do nothing else, I’ve still progressed with these three things.

 

I’ve always had an interest in these activities separately, I found when I made them apart of my normal day. When I do complete my daily anchors, I feel a real change in my mood, the way I work, pretty much everything you can think of feels better. I will go into depth and explore these in a later blog. Let’s take a look at what each of my anchors is.

Mind: Meditation  

Body: Hit the gym

Soul: Play Music

 

These are the things that I’ve found work for me and in some way, I believe that others may find it beneficial to explore what their Mind, Body and Soul anchors could be. In forthcoming posts I’ll break down each of my anchors and why I find them beneficial.

 

Until Then…

Guess who’s back, Back again…

By | Food for thought, Uncategorized | No Comments

Nope, It’s not Ben Affleck as Batman In the Matt Reeves movie, I’ll Believe that when I see the trailer (please let it happen though).

So, it’s been a couple of weeks…

I have been taking it a little easy, as well as, fixing a major internet problem at my new house. BUT! ladies, gentleman, animals of all ages, now that’s fixed I’m starting up this super hot rod and going 85 on route 66! (Nope, I don’t know what that means either).

What I do know is now that I’ve got working (Quicksilver fast) internet again, I can start on my new sound design projects I’ve got in mind as well as get my CV out to as many places as possible and finally…find a job I love. which is what is important.

I’ve got a few other things in the works…but more on that later!

until then!

Follow Me On Twitter @Fenderbee

Aenean laoreet tortor

By | Food for thought | No Comments

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