Compulsive Admin

2017 Focus

If you haven’t read How to end 2016 & Bring on 2017, go read that article before this one.

It is 2017!

So, we have 364 days before 2018.

That is 364 days to complete projects, have new experiences, and enjoy life.

Unfortunately, this is a lot harder for me (and maybe you) to do than it sounds. I am one of those people who ignore all the amazing things I have accomplished and think about how much debt I am in and all the projects I have yet to finish.

This year I am trying to be kinder to myself.

Instead of making a long list of projects and to-do’s that I expect to accomplish, I am picking one thing… You heard (read) correctly.

I am picking one thing based on that list of accomplishments I created in the How to end 2016 & Bring on 2017 article.

2016 Accomplishments for 2017 Focus

Go ahead and finish your list or go back and make one for yourself.

The One Thing You’re Most Proud Of?

This part of your planning has only one step and it is super simple.

Ask yourself, “what on my list of accomplishments am I the proudest of.”

For me, it was all the achievements around making YouTube videos.
So, my focus is going to be on that.

That easy!

As I plan out my days, my weeks, and months, I keep my 2017 focus in mind.
When I think about the comic books I want to make and the books to write, I can still work on those projects but need to understand or create a way that they can fit within creating YouTube videos.

Not that easy 🙁

We all need to pay bills, live healthy lives, and fulfill the standard living and surviving requirements.

These things can and should take precedence over your 2017 focus when needed.

Paying bills is a big one. While I have made a few dollars on YouTube, I am far from a full-time YouTuber. So, I have to plan accordingly and figure out the best way to fulfill these obligations while working towards achievements I will be most proud of.

For me that means:

  • Record more of the fun stuff I do with my family at Jason Loves Life YouTube channel.
  • Putting on more Animation Workshops, which I post on the Learn to Animate Channel.
  • Experiment with new types of videos and see what gets the most views.
  • Find new ways to make money with my videos.

It takes a little work, but it will change the way you plan your year.

If you do this process, I would love to hear what your 2017 focus is going to be. Feel free to post it in the comments below.

How to Get Better Creatively – The Gap by Ira Glass

This audio clip of Ira Glass (This American Life) has been floating around for awhile.

I hear it quoted a lot from creatives trying to inspire other creatives to keep working. It is a good motivator to hear someone as accomplished as Ira Glass admit that it took time to gain the skills that he has.

Out of all the video versions, I have seen, this one is my favorite.

It is created by Daniel Sax, and you can see some of his other videos on Vimeo.

I hope this video inspires you (as it does me) to keep creating and working on my craft.


How to end 2016 & Bring on 2017

The end of the year is always depressing for me. It has become the time where I push my long lists of projects I wanted to get done into the bottom of my closet (metaphorically).

All the half completed to-do lists and random “I should do that” ‘s get piled up.

I then force this list into all my January timeslots.

This year I am doing things differently.

I am using the last few days of December to reflect on the things I did in 2016 and the things I wanted to do. I am pushing all my energy into understanding this year in order to take those lessons into 2017.

For this reflection process, I am giving myself five things to do before the new year.
Feel free to try this yourself.

1 – Go Through 2016 Planner

For me, my planner is Google Calendar.

I have my to-do list, meetings, deadlines, etc. all in Google Calendar. I am not perfect at keeping this up-to-date but reviewing it will give me an easy reminder of what happened throughout the year.

For you, it can be your planner you bought from the office supply store, a notebook, digital calendar, or whatever you use to keep track of your scheduled appointments and/or daily to-do list.

This is a time to remember all the things you did, the unexpected things that popped up, and the tasks (or projects) you abandoned.

2 – Clear Last Year’s Notes

A sort of clean-up time for the brain.

This is the most time-intensive part of the process. Going through all my notebooks, checking my Google Drive, Dropbox, my hard drives, note taking apps, etc., etc. All the notes get either thrown away or condensed and organized by their related project and tasks.

Since this is my first year going through this process, I have years of notes built up. I imagine you are in a similar situation. Unfortunately, there is no short cut.

My plan is to go through everything individually and hope I can get through it all before January 1st.

3 – List Tests & Results

I do tests throughout the year, but they often get lost, and I forget the results.

For example, this year I experimented with:

These are experiments that have reliable results, but if I do not organize the data properly and review them occasionally, I will never learn from them.

Anything new you tried, try to record what you did and the results. If you aren’t doing these micro tests, it is something you should think about doing for 2017.

4 – List Accomplishments

By now we have reviewed our accomplishments through steps 1 – 3. Now write them down and store them somewhere to be accessible when needed.

I am using my “Adobe Sketch” app on my iPad and limiting it to one sheet. This is something you will want to reference from time to time, so keep it somewhere safe.

I also plan to separate the projects that I did not plan to do and list tasks or events that side tracked me from getting more work done (such as my car breaking down).

5 – ReLive Those Successes

Spend some time celebrating and reliving your successes from 2016. Not only will this help to give you some positive energy when you are feeling down, but it allows you to reflect on what you are excited about. This will assist in planning 2017.

Think about why you consider your list of accomplishments your success. When we get to planning 2017, your goal is to make more of these successes or have “bigger” successes (quality vs. quantity of achievements).

Planning 2017

My next step has been to find my focus for 2017.

You can read about it here.


2016 Most Poplar Music Mashed-Up into Something New

Looking back on 2016, it is interesting to see what songs and videos were popular the past 12 months.

It gives us perspective into 2017. Also, it can guide us as creatives to be inspired to make new things and change old ideas.

For DJ Earworm it has become an annual event to release a mashup of all the year’s biggest songs and videos. This year’s video includes samples from 25 different tracks. These include ZAYN, Justin Bieber, Twenty One Pilots, The Chainsmokers.

To be honest, I love music but do not follow it in any way. All the music mashed up in this video; I have probably never heard. However, as an artist myself (especially as a filmmaker) it is fascinating to see the imagery and sound that is/has been popular.

Even though I am not excited to hear how the music is mixed, I do enjoy see these songs and videos for their cultural and artistic impact on those that do watch and listen to it.


Extremely Artsy Biking Video

First, I’ve been to Sparta, WI and have no idea where that place is. I will need to do a little research and pay a visit in the Spring.

Second, I love seeing the use of animation over live-action video. And they nailed it in on this one. I am not sure why they decided to do the animation and drawings over the footage. The strange and amazing statue made the video surreal already; the animation put it over the top on the awesome scale.

I hope this is a continued trend by large brands.


The family at Cardboard Box Office has done it again with their newest Cardboard scene from a movie. This scene is from the newly released Hunt for the Wilder People (a New Zealand adventure comedy-drama film).

You may recognize the Cardboard Box Office family from our previous article on them from our “Creativity from Cardboard” post. They do amazing art with cardboard.

You can check out their website at

How Francis Ford Coppola Reflects on his Life

As a filmmaker, I am embarrassed to say I know very little about Francis Ford Coppola. It is common to hear great directors and creators talk about him as a master of the cinema and creativity.

Every time I hear a Francis Ford Coppola interview, I realize he is all that people claim he is. In this short animated video, I walk away with the same view. His technique of life reflection on the elevator is a great way to get a perspective of one’s life…. I will have to try it next time I’m in an elevator.