Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Random Self-Improvement Update

1.) It's been a while since I mentioned this, but I've been doing a lot better dealing with words that are unusual to me, such as foreign names or scientific terms. To remind, I noticed I had the problem of my eyes and mind skipping over such words since I didn't want to break the fluidity of the reading and would therefore ignore anything that gave me resistance, which, of course, made it more difficult for me to retain concepts and remember names. My remedy is to draw a square around each difficult word in my reading and then write it over and over again until I can spell and pronounce it easily. It works: I've been bettering and bettering my reading competence. Continued practice should do wonders for my intellect and speaking.

I wonder if this could help with my music difficulty as well. As noted previously, right now I don't value music very strongly even though I'm capable of enjoying it, so I often don't remember the names of the pieces or artists that I like. I think I could solve this problem with the same methodology: Writing the artist or piece name over and over again, forcing my mind to concentrate on it. It should especially help with the classical music I enjoy, where the composers can have particularly difficult names and title their pieces using technical musical terminology.

2.) The stopwatch has really been making me more efficient at work. Knowing my times has really been doing well to establish standards and obligate myself to perform consistently. For example, I shaved about two minutes off doing the final clean up of dish line, ten minutes off cleaning front and back line grease traps, ten minutes off separating crab legs, and more. With my past performance documented before me, there's simply no excuse for me to expect anything less of myself. Even if I do establish a record that I find impossible to break, then at least I have a standard which I should strive to maintain absolutely consistently. No excuses.

The timing has also made me much more aware of my life. Think of it: I shaved ten minutes off separating and bagging crab legs. What was I doing before? Those moments that disappear without our knowledge is where most of life is wasted. Take making your bed for instance. Let's say it takes about five minutes to make it. That's 35 minutes a week, over two hours every month. In a year you've spent an entire 28 hours making your bed, a whole day of your life wasted right there. You're not going to get that time back. Oh, and of course making your bed isn't the only time sink. How about how fast you wash dishes or dress? Those moments must be minimized. With my stopwatch, I find I can eliminate such waste; I need to be more meticulous in using it.

3.) The moral perfection categories have been working wonders in my life. They're hardly ever on my mind, but the mere fact that I have them written down always makes me aware of whenever I've committed a violation. Just like my honesty and conversation categories I started out with, slash marks rapidly declined just within a few days of utilizing them. And again the exertion category has been the most help definitely: I constantly urge myself to push all the time now, even though I'm not thinking of it as directly related to what's in my notepad. I intend to keep this as a life-long practice. How did I live without it before?

I wholeheartedly recommend this methodology, though I must remind that my categories won't necessarily be everyone's idea of perfection, or be something in particular they need to track. My voice category, for instance, is only included in my perfection pursuits since I spoke with a fake accent for so many years, so now I need something to keep me constantly aware of my speaking habits, lest I throw some inflections in.

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That's it for now. Lately I've been saying to myself in the morning: Today is the day to get better.

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