Compulsive Admin

Know Thyself with these Illustrations

These illustrations aren’t a test that will say what number you are on a personality scale. Instead, it is a fun list of questions to see what things you prefer over others and why.

These illustrations and questions come from the 2 Kinds of People Tumblr Page. If you go there, they have even more illustrations of two kinds of people.

As you look over the choices, think carefully about what and why you choose one over the other. If you do find any deeper meaning or have a fun thought related to this post, I would love to hear it in the comments at the bottom of the page.

1 – Do you read webcomics (or blogs) with an RSS reader or do you go to the page?

http://2kindsofpeople.tumblr.com/post/133459525946

2 – How do you view multiple tabs in your web browser?

http://2kindsofpeople.tumblr.com/post/120547569091

3 – How organized is your computer’s desktop?

http://2kindsofpeople.tumblr.com/post/126580614746

4 – How do you wrap gifts?

http://2kindsofpeople.tumblr.com/post/135385745641/merry-christmas

5 – Which do you prefer to drink from?

http://2kindsofpeople.tumblr.com/post/137350819551

6 – How do you check what time it is?

http://2kindsofpeople.tumblr.com/post/138080772471

7 – How do you watch shows?

http://2kindsofpeople.tumblr.com/post/119838424736

8 – Which do you prefer to read on?

http://2kindsofpeople.tumblr.com/post/128625709546

9 – How do you hold your place in a book?

http://2kindsofpeople.tumblr.com/post/118858259411

10 – How do your plants look?

http://2kindsofpeople.tumblr.com/post/130261996681

11 – Which is your toilet paper roll placement?

http://2kindsofpeople.tumblr.com/post/122411395786

12 – How do you cut your sandwich?

http://2kindsofpeople.tumblr.com/post/119430703451

13 – Fries condiments go where?

http://2kindsofpeople.tumblr.com/post/123467239291

14 – Do you use hashtags in your posts?

http://2kindsofpeople.tumblr.com/post/126432822576

15 – Which orientation do you take photos with your phone?

http://2kindsofpeople.tumblr.com/post/124907984001

16 – Which Pokemon game did you own or prefer?

http://2kindsofpeople.tumblr.com/post/125927209351

17 – Did you like Star Wars the Force Awakens or not?

http://2kindsofpeople.tumblr.com/post/132092820526

18 – Who would you fight for?

http://2kindsofpeople.tumblr.com/post/134981510771

19 – How do you park?

http://2kindsofpeople.tumblr.com/post/130615088496

20 – What do your circles look like?

http://2kindsofpeople.tumblr.com/post/139113595076

 

How to Wake Up Happy Every Morning

I claim to be a morning person, but it still takes me forever to get out of bed.

However, I’ve been enjoying a new trick I recently learned about improving my energy first thing in the morning.

Empowering Wake Up Trick:

Stretch your body as wide as possible.

According to Amy Cuddy, our body posture can change the way we think.

Professor Amy Cuddy is a Social Psychologist that teaches Business Administration at Harvard Business School. Her research has found that these power poses affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain. These chemicals influence our confidence levels and overall mood.

To learn more about “Power Poses,” you can watch this video of Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk below.

Power Posing Your Morning

I’ve been experimenting with Amy Cuddy’s technique of stretching out my body when I wake up in the morning and when I get up from my nap in the afternoon. It feels splendid to stretch after waking up.

Normally, I would roll over, maybe look at my phone, and get into a more scrunched up pose (fetal position). Now when I wake up, I tell myself I can lay back down, but first I need to stand with for 30 seconds with my arms outstretched and legs shoulder width apart.

Outstretched Morning

 

In her recent talk at 92nd Street Y, Cuddy talks about how daily routines around posture affects who we are and how we feel.

In the video below, we’ve tagged it to start at her discussion specifically about waking up. If you have 75 minutes to watch the entire video, it is worth it. For those interested in improving your health both mentally and physically with proper posture, you will want to watch the full video.

As mentioned in the video, your posture after waking is “bi-directional.” Waking up in a fetal position and staying that way is less energizing, but as Amy says in the above video, “the people who wake up like this [in powerpose] are super happy, like annoyingly happy.”

What Works for You?

Give the power post a  try and let me know if it works for you.

Do you have any morning routines that help you get up in the morning?
I would love to hear them! Feel free to post them in the comments below.

 

 

One Second A Day [with Videos]

We do not remember days, we remember moments.
-Cesare Pavese

How much do you remember from last year?

If you asked me what I did in 2015, I only remember creating the Learn to Animate Course, celebrating my daughter’s first birthday, and being part of a Fizzle.co Mastermind Group… Other than that, the whole year is a blur.

I imagine that your year was the same.

We remember finished projects, big events, and newspaper headlines.

Our lives move so fast. We focus on the future, enjoy the present, and quickly forget the past.

If you want to remember what has happened in your life, it only takes a story, a photo/video, or some reminder to bring the past to the front of your mind. These little things bring back memories of how we became who we are and what we have accomplished in our lives.

However, we don’t always have easy access to these reminders when we want to reminisce.

Until now.

In App view of One Second Everyday App

In App View

The 1 Second A Day App

I heard about this wonderful little app while listening to the Ted Radio Hour last summer. I remember I was on a 3 hour (one way) drive to a magic show I was performing. Listening to the episode “Shifting Time” made me realize how much we forget about our day-to-day lives. In that episode, they talk about this cool app.

The One Second A Day app does what it sounds like. It helps you record one second each day.

The app sends you a reminder daily to use photos or images from your phone’s library, or you can create a new video in the app.

Review Your Year in 365 Seconds (6 minutes)

Other than the novelty of having a second of video each day, this is an excellent tool to remember and review your year.

Cesar Kuriyama is the creator of the 1 Second Everyday App, and he did a Ted Talk on the subject of using 1-second clips to remember one’s past.

Below is his TedTalk

 

Benefits of the App

Remembering Events in Your Life

As mentioned in the TedTalk above, we often have a hard time remembering random events without someone mentioning the story. It is also possible to have memories surface from photos and/or videos. That is what this app does. It gives you easy access to memories through short (1 second) clips.

Watching One Second a Day helps stir our memories of the year.

Some are important, and others are not. These include trips, fun happenings, celebration, sad experiences, news events, and overlooked daily activities. We are so busy with our future and sometimes the present, that is hard to get a grasp on what we have accomplished and how we spend our time. This app helps you relive your past in a quick and enjoyable video.

Make Something Happen

An unforeseen consequence of recording a second every day is that you start looking for things to do to fill that second. It doesn’t happen every day, but when I am out and about I might get an idea to try something new. Even if I have 100 excuses not to try it, knowing it will make a great second for my video increases my chances of doing it.

For example:
I was in Minnesota doing a series of shows throughout the southeastern part of the state. I was tired and by myself, which made me tempted to just sit around my Air B&B cabin. However, I knew this would be boring for the day’s second.I ended up going hiking for waterfalls which are plentiful in the area. The excuse to explore made the trip a lot more and had cool stories to tell people back home.

I get up in the morning looking for an adventure.
-George Foreman

Realize How Daily Activities Affect our Current Time.

This is the same reason why in 2016 I plan to do more reflections and forward views. These reflections are what some call monthly “Check-ins”.

Right now I am scheduling to do this every month. During the scheduled time, I reflect on what was accomplished and plan the month ahead. In the reflection part, having a video of every day will help me see the month on a day-to-day basis.

It is hard to envision how our daily activities add up to become our life’s body of work. This app helps visually show how that is possible.

Personal protest against recording everything.

In the Cesar Kuriyama’s Ted Talk (above), he makes a significant point about our recording culture.

When we are at an event that we are excited to be at, many of us have a compulsion to capture every moment with our smartphones or digital cameras. The result is that we are no longer in the moment, but instead seeing the event through a screen.

With limiting the recording to a second, we can capture the event without having to miss the experience. You know longer have to be the person with their phone out for an entire evening.

Note to self:
Record a second and go enjoy yourself.

See Our Bad Days

Since starting to use this app during the summer of 2015, it has become a sort of journal. Recording every day gives a more truthful look at one’s life. When I watch last year’s video, it reminds me of how great my life is. It also has days that were not so good.

My life is a series of awesome experiences with a smattering of bad events. Watching my seconds for 2015 is a reminder that I live a wonderful life with my perfect family doing cool stuff most days.

A Memorial for Your Life

I am writing this post a month exactly after my grandmother died. We were very close and seeing the photos during the funeral brought back a lot of memories. My grandma passed away at the age of 95. Which means, I only knew her when she was between the ages of 65 – 95… Seeing all those old photos reminded me how much I didn’t know about her.

Can you imagine if she had taken a second a day for half her life? Sure, it would be almost 5 hours long. But I would have loved to have seen it, paused it at times to relive memories, and shared the exciting parts with everyone.

If I start filming a second of video every day, I look forward to a time where I edit it down to the greatest hits for people to watch at my funeral… A little morbid, but it would be a great memorial for who I am and the things I’ve done in my life.

“Sharing tales of those we’ve lost is how we keep from really losing them.”
― Mitch Albom

My 3 Minutes of 2015

Quick Memories from this Video of 2015
  • My family got scary sick for three days in November.
  • Watching hot air balloons and Chinese lanterns.
  • Watching a spider that lives in my studio wrap up a fly in his web.
  • My daughter saying, “DaDa” for the first time.
  • Seeing Jurassic World and Ant-Man in the theatre
    (we rarely go to the theater).
  • I created a lot of animated videos in 2015

2015 was a great year!

 

Inbox Zero – Organize Your Inbox in 3 Steps

Does your email inbox stress you out?  Mine does, and it’s time for a change. Time for inbox zero.

Inbox zero is just what it sounds like. It is keeping your inbox empty by organizing, archiving or deleting emails.

For your convenience, we have a video and text version of this article.

Arrows to Video and Article

 

Getting to Inbox Zero

In this post, I’m going to show you how I went from over 1,500 emails to 0 in just 3 steps.

  1. Create folders
  2. Sort emails
  3. Maintain

It took me 7 hours over 2 days to clear out my inbox. Let’s quick do some math. With 1500 email divided by 7 hours we get 214.29.

This means I was able to organize 215 emails per hour. It is important to note sometimes I watched movies while organizing my inbox. I did this because going through all those emails gets annoying.

Now that I’ve accomplished inbox zero, things are a lot easier!

Step 1.  Create Folders

Having a lot of emails is overwhelming, but organizing them is easy and quick.

I already had a system in place for my magic and balloon twisting business. These include folders for emails where I quoted someone a price, one folder for booked shows that need invoices, and a folder for shows that have all their paperwork filled out.

How my “Booking” folder system works.

If a client asks for a price, I respond and put the conversation in the “price quoted” folder. If I need the information later, I can find it quickly.

Once the client agrees to the price, I move the conversation to the “need invoice” folder. I leave it there till I send the invoice and get a confirmation for the event. I check this folder weekly to keep anything from falling through the cracks.

Once all the paperwork is done and confirmed, the conversation is moved into the “scheduled show” folder.  And once I completed the show there’s a folder inside that folder labeled “done” so I can look up old show information.

This process can be used for your own business if it is freelance work or service based.

Main Folders

Create a folder called “001 NOW” for all things that need to be done ASAP and place it at the top of your folder list. I place it at the top of my Gmail by putting “001” in front of the folder’s name. Google organizes folders alphabetically, and 0 (zero) is first.

And then a folder called, “002 SOON” for things that don’t have to be done right away but are important.

The last main folder is called, “003 Someday.” This folder is for are for all things that are not important and can be done anytime.

These folders are based off of  David Allen‘s productivity system in his book Getting Things Done.

Other Folders

The rest of the folders you create will depend on the types of emails you get.

For example, I get a lot of education emails. This includes information related to online business, animation, balloon twisting, and the rest of my interests.

In the folder “Education,” I have subheadings. These subfolders often have folders in themselves

In the “Education” folder I have two subheadings:

  • Courses – This is for any email courses I’m taking.
    ex. I took a “7 days to creating comics” email course. These emails go in a folder called “comics” under “Courses.”.
  • Topics – These are from different people, but all the emails cover the same topics. Each subject has its folder within the “Topics” folder.

Do this quickly. If you forget anything, you can add it later.

Below is a quick snapshot of my folders. Your’s will look different depending on the types of emails you get most.

Inbox Zero Folder Example

 

Step 2.  Sort Emails

The goal is to keep moving.

When possible, archive several emails at a time.  If you recognize who they’re from or the subject, select them all and put them in a folder or delete them.  Just keep moving and add more folders as you need them.

At one point I was using my phone to organize emails, but it was slower.  With Google, you can cut down your time by using the search button and the ‘move to’ tab.

Make sure to celebrate when you make it to ZERO, it feels good!

Don’t take a vacation yet, we have one more step.

Step 3:  Maintain

One of the first things you need to do is clean out the “Now” folder and start going through the “Soon” folder.

Regularly go through your emails. Schedule time to delete, archive or organize.

It doesn’t have to be every day, but pick a schedule that works and stick to it.

Other Tricks

I am always looking for new tips and tricks to keep email under control. If you have a technique or tool that is working for you, please share it in the comment section for me and others to learn from.

Stick with it and have a creative day.

Jason Love

Embracing Narcissim

It has been 17 months since being laid off from my day job. For the past year and a half (minus one month), I’ve been surviving as an artist and educator.

It hasn’t been easy.

It is a struggle that is stressful, exhausting, and heartbreaking. I’ve had to strategically cash checks to avoid banking fees, call creditors asking to adjust my repayment amounts (school loans specifically), and use credit cards in creative ways to keep up on the mortgage.

Having a steady income is nice, but working for myself gives me a joy that is hard to describe. Flexible hours and not having a boss is great, but not why I love this lifestyle. For me, being self-employed is all about increasing my narcissism.

By nature (or nurture), I have low self-esteem. Why? Not being hugged enough as a child, being abandoned by my biological parents as a toddler, or it could be growing up feeling like an outcast…. Take your pick.

The longer I play the game of solopreneur, the more confidence I gain in myself. It allows me to determine my value and worth based off of the connections I make and how much fun I am having.

My biggest source of narcissism is in knowing the thousand of people whose lives I’ve touched in a small way. Each person who takes my animation course, sees my art, watches my shows, or who comment on my blog posts is a win for me. Every email of gratitude I receive keeps me on an emotional high for weeks.

I have slowly realized people want to hear what I have to say, see things I create, and hear my story. For an introvert like myself, it has changed the way I view the world.

My goal for 2016 is to explore what entrepreneurship means for those like me. Those who just want to tell stories and create art (hopefully this is you).

To do this, I need to share more through my blog. I plan to explore new strategies to connect with creators, test ways to fund projects, and sharing myself fully while documenting it all on this blog. In other words, not fearing that I might seem narcissistic.

Being a self-employed artist makes me feel “special”.
I am the center of my business.
It sounds narcissistic.
And this is okay.

What You Need for a Successful Video Web Series

The dream of the amateur filmmaker is to nail the web series game.

Having witnessed the success of The Guild, the viral power of Dr. Horrible Sing Along Blogor the long lasting Homestar Runner, we can see how powerful a successful web series can be. Just from merchandising and fan support an artist can make a living. Or for some like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, they made a web series pilot that lead into a tv series.

Not every video series on YouTube is going to be a success, but these six tips will increase your chances.

1 – Always be Working on Your Script

The Story is the web series. You can shoot on an iPhone 3, have terrible lighting, and shoot it in your studio apartment, but if the story sucks people will not watch.

To give yourself the best possible shot, make sure to run the script and the premise past at least one person. I have five people that I run most my ideas past every time. They are all good friends of mine that will be 100% honest about how they feel about the idea. These five people keep me from doing a bad project or starting production before an idea is fully fleshed out.

After you get feedback and up till the filming, you will want to keep improving and working on the script. Use the time to punch up the jokes, enhance dialogue, rethink what can be cut, etc. Some creators will even change lines or have a few options during filming.

 2 – Your Team Makes the Show

With the story as the most important part of a web series, it won’t be much without your crew. So, choose wisely and take care of them. Every member of the team is important, and you need to let them know that.

At the same time, it is critical during shooting you put all your attention on the actors.

If you have a great crew working on the project, they will understand that during filming, the actors are everything. If the lighting isn’t perfect, the scene will be okay as long as the actors nail their performance.

3 – Keep it Short

There is no hard and fast rule on specific length, but it is important to make your video as short as possible. If you can tell a story in under a minute, do it.

This is a decision each web series creator must face. Just ask yourself, can I make this shorter and still tell the story?

4 – Marketing

Marketing is one of those things most creatives hate. We get so caught up in the work that we forget to tell others about it. This is an enormous mistake.

We like to believe that “if we build it, they will come.” Unfortunately, this is rarely (if ever) the case. To get people to watch you video series you need to let them know about it and remind them.

Marketing for a web series can be an entire book and beyond the scope of this blog post. Just remember that if you have a budget, keep some for marketing. And either way, schedule time or find someone to promote the project once people can start watching it.

5 – Allow Flexibility in Schedule

You want to be two to three episodes ahead of the currently published video.

I can’t tell you the number of promises and deadlines I’ve broken because of not allowing flexibility in the schedule of projects. It is hard to hold back when you finish that first episode, but you will be thankful once you hit the first snag, have an actor get sick, or realize something needs to be re-shot.

Flexibility in your production schedule can be a life savor!

6 – Go Do it!

Once you have a solid script and a production plan (with flexibility), you have no excuse not to be shooting.

Get away from reading websites and/or watching other videos, and go create your masterpiece.

What are you waiting for?

Gingerbread Sculpting!

These competitors take gingerbread sculpting to the next level in the “the Olympics of Gingerbread”.

The Annual National Gingerbread House Competition is the largest and most renown Gingerbread tournament in the world.

Each sculpture must be 100% edible with 75% being gingerbread.

This competition takes place at the Omni Grove Park Inn. You can see some of the winning sculptures at the Omni Hotel and Resorts’ website.