Category Archives: Personal Development

Escort Missions IRL: How to look after yourself while looking after someone else

Have you ever played a game where you’ve gotta take care of yourself and an NPC? Have you ever had to step up and be the rock, the support, the voice of calm and reason? Did you ever feel like you weren’t equipped for that? Have you ever helped others so much you’ve run yourself into the ground? We’re talking today about how to be there for others while keeping an eye on your own mental, emotional and physical health. Continue reading Escort Missions IRL: How to look after yourself while looking after someone else

Reformat Your Life: Deleting clutter for productivity

Do you ever just want to chuck everything out and start fresh? It’s daunting, but tempting. Do you love the feel of a freshly formatted computer or an empty desktop? Today we look at getting that same feeling by deleting the unnecessary in your every day life.

How much stuff do you have in your life that you don’t need? Is it hindering your productivity? Making it harder to find things? Harder to get things done?

Some people, like myself, almost need a bit of clutter around to work. Toys on the desk, several pens at the ready. It seems a clear space never stays fully clear for long.

But even then, too much physical (or digital) clutter can lead to mental clutter.

And the more mental mountains you have to climb to just get started on something, the less productive you’ll be.

If you have to click down seven folders to get to “New Folder (6)” and then sort through documents called “Doc 1″ and “Important” for 15 minutes before you can find what you’re looking for – before you can even begin working on that file – you need to declutter.

Instead, if you have a fresh, clean physical or digital space, your mind will be fresh and clean as well and ready to fill the blanks with creativity and productivity.

I’ve just gotten a new computer and installed only the essentials. It reminded me how unnecessary many of the things on my old PC were (with over 4TB nearly full).

I’m also moving house next year, so we’re looking through our belongings and throwing a lot of them away.

This topic’s been on my mind and I’ve been using these questions to help myself. When you want to declutter your life, think on these four questions.

Ask yourself:

  1. Have I used this in the past 12 months?
  2. Does this serve the purpose of this space?
  3. What does my ideal space look like?
  4. Is this irreplaceable?

Continue reading Reformat Your Life: Deleting clutter for productivity

The Light Side: It’s Okay to Be Excited About Star Wars

“OMG The Force Awakens trailer was OMG SO GOOD!” “Nah, it was lame!” “Lame? What about that lightsaber claymore thing? So awesome!” “That was the worst bit!”

Sound familiar?

Have you ever loved a franchise and wanted to love the next instalment but decided not to get your hopes up so you didn’t get let down? Is the glass half full or half empty? Is 7.5/10 a game you’d play or not worth it because it’s not a 9.5?

Today we discuss the idea of being happy and excited about something you want to love, even if it’s not exactly as you expected. Continue reading The Light Side: It’s Okay to Be Excited About Star Wars

Surviving Steam Sales: Benefits of waiting to buy

I usually post on Wednesdays. Today’s Thursday. I hope you all managed to last through the agony of an extra day without my insights. I’m here today to talk a bit about patience.

I’m tackling the first world problem of having waited forever for Dragon Age: Inquisition to come out, then finding my PC isn’t powerful enough to run it. DA:I is my most anticipated game in as long as I can remember.

I actually realised my dilemma a few months ago and I started looking into getting a new PC. It’s about time for one anyway. Turns out my brother’s not using his old one (and it’s newer than mine) so he’s very generously giving it to me as a belated birthday present. I’ll be seeing family in a few weeks, so I may get it then, or maybe after Christmas.

So, yeah, as I said: first world problem. It’s made me more mindful of patience. For your benefit and mine, here are some tips and thoughts on the topic.

Now, you’ll see several of these points are around money, and the general focus is games, movies and so on – which is timely, really, with lots of holiday sales coming up – but as you become more patient in these realms, you may find your patience for other things increasing as well. Continue reading Surviving Steam Sales: Benefits of waiting to buy

How to Cope with the Post-PAX Blues

It’s been 10 days since PAX Aus 2014 ended. Does it feel longer or shorter?

Both, maybe?

After PAX (or other awesome gatherings of like-minded nerds) there’s a point where you come down from the high and the excitement. A lot of people feel hollow or bereft after PAX. It is known.

So what can you do about it?

Well, first off, let’s reframe. You’ve only got the blues because you just spent hours or days among your extended family of nerdkind revelling in each other’s company and sharing great experiences and memories. You had an awesome time. Don’t forget that :) Yet, remembering it and how normal life is so unlike that mystical time can get you down.

So we need to do something. Here’s a few ideas:

  • Connect with fellow nerds online
  • Share memories, photos and stories
  • Join or create a regular nerd gathering
  • Work on cosplay or plan for next year
  • Make the most of every encounter

Continue reading How to Cope with the Post-PAX Blues

How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love NaNoWriMo

Okay, so that title’s not entirely accurate, but in NaNoWriMo, you can’t edit while writing (save that for December; writing’s in November). So, in that spirit, I’m not going to edit this post as I go. I’ll leave that heading, orphans and weird sentence structure just as they are, for good or ill, this post will be done in record time – just like NaNoWriMo intends.

I’ve “won” National Novel Writing Month every year since 2007. So have thousands of others. That’s because NaNoWriMo isn’t a contest against each other, but a challenge for yourself. It’s simple and daunting: write 50,000 words in the 30 days of November.

That’s 1,667 words per day. Round up to 2,000 to give yourself a bit of a buffer.

You need the same skills for NaNoWriMo that you need to get most things done in life. And guess what? Skill in writing isn’t one of them. No, it’s mostly about sticking to it, wanting it, rolling with the unexpected and seeking support when you need it.

Continue reading How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love NaNoWriMo

Forward Thinking: Making Use Of The Quiet Times

Here I am, on a grey and quiet day with not a whole lot of work to do. And I’m working from home, so it’s the perfect chance for snuggling up in bed with a good 3DS game.

Yet, I’m not doing that. I’m making sure that I won’t be too busy later on.

I’ve written blog posts for the rest of the month. Scheduled Facebook posts, too.

I’ve emailed some contacts to arrange meet ups for a few weeks time, rather than scrabbling at the last minute to fit them in.

I’ve tidied and cleaned my workspace and surrounding areas.

I’m about to go make a salad I’ll eat today and tomorrow.

I’m not the best at this, by far, yet doing it is so beneficial and freeing.

Here’s why:

  1. End the cycle of free now, busy later
  2. Harness time and use it on your terms
  3. Be productive instead of bored

Continue reading Forward Thinking: Making Use Of The Quiet Times

Add Friend: How I found real friendship online

I haven’t had conversations this deep with some “real life” friends in years.

Life. Feminism. Politics. Health. Charity. Religion. Penny Arcade. Pins.

We’ve chatted about all these things and more for the last several months. His username’s a string of insensible characters giving no real impression of the guy behind the handle.

This article is a small tribute to how real and lasting random connections online can become. Towards the end, I’ll give you a few tips for developing these friendships.

True Friendship
True Friendship

Continue reading Add Friend: How I found real friendship online

Fail Forward: Failure is a door, not a brick wall

Fail forward is a term I first heard in tabletop roleplaying. It means that when you fail, something interesting should happen that moves the story forward. In life, we should look at our ‘failures’ as opportunities, not the end of the road. Failure is a door, not a brick wall. It gives options and clarity, even it’s not what we would have hoped for.

In this article, I’ll share some examples and lessons around failing forward, including an embarrassing story of my own that turned out great! Continue reading Fail Forward: Failure is a door, not a brick wall

Wizard Needs Food Badly: Cooking for Health & Wellbeing

Do you cook? I’ve started getting more into it recently and found it a great way to take a break from work or games.

Cooking has lots of benefits. Here are just a few:

  • Joy of making
  • Gift that keeps on giving
  • Be creative
  • Clear your head

If you cook and eat healthy meals, that’ll help your overall health. And the improvement to mental wellbeing that cooking can bring is a great thing too. Let’s look at how cooking can help balance and improve your life. Continue reading Wizard Needs Food Badly: Cooking for Health & Wellbeing