Deceiving the Enemy of Productivity

Here’s another method for getting productive results for your efforts – productivity by deception. This is one method we procrastinators should use if we ever want to get going with whatever we need to do.

Productivity is always an ‘in’ thing regardless of what business you may be in. Whether you’re working for Donald Trump, or for a startup distributor, or you’re sorting mail in the mailroom, one’s performance is based on how you maximize the use of your time for maximum productivity.

Even when you work for yourself, where you own your time, you’re still bound to discover that efficient time management can boost your productivity and give you more time to do the things you love to do.

Before I go further, a word of warning. I’m not talking as an expert here. I’m talking from the standpoint of someone who has the same need for constant reminders about the advantages of sticking to a productive routine in order to meet expections – mine or others – or perhaps even to do better.

I found that the usual way I do things is not necessarily a bad routine. Normally, I don’t really lay out a complete plan before embarking on some things. I also still have not mastered myself inspite of my desire to improve my focus. But I saw that some folks who are or can be considered successful in their present life practice the same things I do and have the same weaknesses I have.

Jeff Goins’ Productivity by Deception

Well at least that’s what Jeff Goins of jeffgoins.com is doing. He’s a published writer and is deeply involved with the ‘Adventures in Missions’ non-profit group. After reading his chapter in an ebook from Problogger.com called Blog Wise, I found that I’m not alone after all in my hither-thither approach to things.

Besides having to force himself to follow established productivity methods like time chunking (e.g. Working in 30-minute increments), Goins proposed a method of productivity he calls Productivity by Deception which makes sense as far as I’m concerned. There’s still hope for people like me after all.

In his own words:


“Another thing I do is I create an enjoyable context,” he reveals. “Like last night I downloaded the Mumford and Sons album, and I made myself a carafe of really good coffee, and I was like ‘I have to do something I don’t want to do, so I’m going to create the most enjoyable context possible. I’m going to listen to music. I’m gonna drink coffee. And I’m gonna sit down and I’m gonna do it. And I’m gonna set aside this much time to do it.’

“And for me, the CD, which is like 45 minutes, was my egg timer, and when that was up I was done – whether or not I was actually done with it. I was done.”

The way I understand it is that the trick is to trick yourself into thinking that a particular job is enjoyable. If not, then at least make the environment comfortable and less work-like. I am definitely adding this to my list of techniques for overcoming self-sabotage.

That, in my case, should work pretty nicely.

The enemy that blocks me from doing cool stuff and being productive is me myself. Tricking the enemy into cooperating by bribing it with what it loves is the best measure it seems.

I’ve got to make sure to personally thank Jeff Goins the next time I meet him for sharing this simple trick. Ooops, I forgot I live on the other side of the globe. But, who knows? I just might get to bump into Jeff one of these days.

Now, I’m off to read the other chapters of the Blog Wise e-book. Goins’ chapter is not the first chapter but I somehow found myself going there directly and discovered that he’s one cool guy. Now, off to the other cool folks’ chapters.

How to Display Content of CHM Help File That Does Not Display Content Pane

Have you encountered this issue where your .chm file, or more popularly known as a help file, does not display its content like it’s corrupted or something? Here’s something I found somewhere which will let you access its content properly.

Here’s another experience I had just recently, this time, about a Help file in .chm format that won’t display its contents. If you’ve followed my blog even for a little while, you’ll know that I save my experiences with any problems, trivial or not, that get solved into this blog for future reference.

This post is going to be a quick and short one because the solution happens to be equally quick and short. In fact, if you’re in a hurry, you may jump to the solution by scrolling below, or clicking here.

CHM File Won’t Display Correctly

I downloaded a jQuery Help chm file and when I try to access its contents, it only shows something like the image below.

chm file wont display correctly

I thought I must have downloaded an incomplete file, but when I tried asking around in the forums, I realized that several other folks have experienced this too. Turns out this has nothing to do with corrupted files or incomplete downloads.

So, withour further ado, here’s the solution that I got from some helpful guys who did not hesitate to share their knowledge to us poor folks who would never have found a clue how to get over this problem.

Solution

  1. Right click on chm file, then click Properties.
  2. Then, Click on the ‘Unblock’ button. That’s the button just above the bottom ‘Apply’ button, and just below the ‘Advanced’ button, all within the ‘General’ tab .
  3. unblocking chm file

  4. Click ‘Ok’. This time, when you right-click the chm file and click ‘Properties’, you’ll no longer see the ‘Unblock’ button.
  5. chm file now unblocked

Now, you can access your downloaded CHM file and it will display its contents on the content pane.

chm file displaying properly

WordPress 3.5 Removes Video Embeds and HTML Tags On Scheduled Posts

Have you tried scheduling your posts in your wordpress site? Well, I’ve done it many times before but this time, there seems to be a glitch that causing some video embed codes and some html tags to be stripped off.

em {color: green}


It happened with a couple of posts I published after updating to WordPress 3.5. When posts are scheduled, wordpress strips the Youtube embeds and html tags.

In my “Chords and Lyrics: Look How High We Can Fly” post for instance, the preview worked fine and so I scheduled it for release the next day. Lo, and behold, the youtube video I embedded was not there. And my style tags were gone too, such that the text between those tags were reflected on the blog post itself. I sometimes insert some additional style tags on specific posts because, in this case, I had to make all the guitar chords italic and red.

When this happens, I had to get back and edit the posts. Everything’s fine as long as you publish a post immediately, or you just edit an existing published post.

I did a quick test on my localhost server to make sure and indeed, the videos are gone. Div tags don’t seem to be affected, as well as other basic tags like ‘strong’ and ’em’. Style tags however, as I’ve said earlier, are stripped off leaving the text between them visible, e.g. p {color: red;}.

I’m pretty sure it’s not a theme issue as I’ve also heard a few other webmasters complaining about the same thing.

And one more thing, under the revisions section, there is one in there which does not reflect an author, as in

7 January, 2013 @ 23:30 by admin
6 January, 2013 @ 0:24 by
6 January, 2013 @ 0:08 by admin

What gives?

Have the geniuses at the wordpress camp known about this issue? Will this issue be resolved in the next update? I sure hope so.

Note: If you see this at the start of the post:

em {color: green}

and if you don’t see the video above this note, then, as this post was scheduled, the issue is still unresolved.

Fatal error: Call to undefined function is_admin()

Have you meet a wordpress problem like this? Fatal error: Call to undefined function is_admin ()

I don’t know what I did prior to this but when I opened my test wordpress site in my laptop using MoWeS Portable by writing on the URL box on the browser:

fatal error call to undefined function is admin

the browser immediately whirred into energetic action and tried to wow me into ecstasy by displaying a snow white page with only one line on top saying:

Fatal error: Call to undefined function is_admin() in … …/wp-includes/vars.php on line 16

Fatal error: Call to undefined function is_admin() in

After recovering from the initial shock, and pulling myself up from the denial stage that followed, I immediately looked under the hood and inspected the concerned file on line 16 and found nothing out of the ordinary there. It was akin to me (who knows little about engines) looking under the hood of a car and seeing nothing wrong because there was nothing loose or swinging out of its proper place in there. Of course, broken spark plugs don’t give you a hint if you base your diagnosis on just looking at the engine and its periphery. What I mean is that having little knowledge of PHP, I can’t actually see anything wrong with the codes I saw back there, because I have no idea what those codes do.

Anyway, a little googling gave me the idea to replace the culprit file (vars.php) with a fresh unadulterated copy. That didn’t seem to do any thing, so I copied the whole wp-includes folder and did a copy and replace on my testsite’s wp-includes folder. It worked! I mean the “is_admin()” error was gone. It was replaced however by “is_multisite”.

Fatal error: Call to undefined function is_multisite()

Fatal error: Call to undefined function is_multisite() in blahblah…

So, expanding on the idea I got from my google research, I again did a ‘copy and replace’ using the latest version of wp, this time, on the whole wordpress folder, except for the existing subfolders (wp-admin, wp-content, wp-includes), and the wp-config.php file which I left untouched.

Everything went back to perfect working condition thereafter.

Of course, I had no qualms doing a ‘copy and replace’ because I was just working on a test site within my laptop using MoWeS Portable. I had nothing to loose should things go south from there. When it comes to the real thing, the best solution would be to simply update wordpress from the dashboard, or re-install it. Based on some discussions in wordpress.org forums, updating wordpress will work in your actual wordrpess site.

Speaking of updating in the dashboard, I still have another problem which updating didn’t seem to solve. It’s got to do with the ‘publish’ and ‘update’ button in the dashboard – the one you push when you’re done with your new post and want to publish it online. It does publish the post, alright, but the dashboard interface goes awry and I had to click the ‘Back’ button to bring it back to the real world. I’ll do a post about it once I find a solution.

Related Video: Call to undefined function

WordPress 3.0.5 Bug Problems

Have you upgraded to Wordpress 3.0.5? If not, then good. Please read this post before doing it.

There’s another update to wordpress, the WordPress 3.0.5 version. But it’s bug-ful and problematic at this point.

Earlier, wordpress.org had suggested everyone to upgrade saying:


“WordPress 3.0.5 is now available and is a security hardening update for all previous WordPress versions. This security release is required if you have any untrusted user accounts, but it also comes with important security enhancements and hardening.”

Inspite of those “important security enhancements and hardening” warning, I preferred as usual to do a little research before jumping on the bandwagon when it comes to updating to the latest wordpress version. This has saved me a lot of trouble in the past.

Here are some of the complaints that I found from a lot of those who updated to wordpress 3.0.5:


… it seems like some of the plugins I had before were not compatible anymore, and I am left with this message :


Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /home/…/wp-content/plugins/portable-phpmyadmin/wp-phpmyadmin.php:166) in /home/…/wp-includes/pluggable.php on line 890

… I can’t log in to remove the old plugins anymore, and hiding line 890 in the code does nothing.


Ever since I upgraded I am having an issue where the RSS feed and homepage appear to be caching. When I view the page/feed in a browser I don’t always see the most recent posts until I do a hard refresh on the page. At first I thought it was my browser but now others people are reporting the same problem on my sites.


Just upgraded to WP 3.0.5…. and now I cannot insert img tags in comments. They were just eaten up by the source code and the published comment is empty.

Also I tried to insert images using filter add_filter(“comment_text”,…)… – same result.

Under admin or logged out – same result.

Also, I cannot see img tags in comments when I browse them through admin (“Comments” menu) and in front-end pages/posts.

And one more – pre tags in comments also are being eaten up by WP 3.0.5 – nothing gets through sanitization/security enhancement???

I have strong feeling this is related to new feature of WP 3.0.5:
“Enhancement: Force HTML filtering on comment text in the admin”

I think I’ll just wait it out until the dust settles down before getting the update.

UPDATE:

I did a test on a local server and found out that the pre tags work fine. However, when I tried inserting images on the comments section (while I’m logged in), the images do not appear. Like the complaint reflected above, looks like it was “just eaten up” by the code.

Check out the test image I put on the comment section below. In my local test server (where I used version 3.0.5) that image did not appear.

At The Crossroad: The Choice Is Made

Which road did I take at the end of the waiting period?

I once asked myself about 4 weeks ago in “Crossroad Ahead: Which way now?” whether to go fulltime blogging or find another job and remain blogging part time. I have elaborated previously about the income I earned presently as a part time blogger. I have also made some projections as to the possible income I’d earn as a full time blogger.

crossroad

A few friendly fellow bloggers pitched in with their comments about my situation. Glen of happyandblue2.ca put emphasis on the need to try things out. That there’s no shame should I fail as it is how we all learn. Ark of hakuna matata offered a few words of wisdom but cautioned about taking the plunge without making sure of how my skills would fare in the real cyberworld. Even Pattaya dropped a couple of lines about which area of blogging is a pain. James R. Lee of jrlee.me pitched in with a very wise advise of building a big cushion first before taking the plunge. r4 sdhc piped in with a reference to dedication to work. Last but not least I got some input from 2 of my favorite bloggers in the world: The Extreme John and The Sire. John implied on the need for perseverance and got me to thinking that I may not be ready yet indeed. Sire echoed the wise counsel of James Lee in his own way.

Blog Full Time or Part Time?

So which choice did I make? Well, as it turns out, I found that it is not only I who have the right to make that decision. When I opened this up with my wife, she kind of woke me up to the fact that I am no longer one person but half of one entity, husband in the husband-wife entity. It is not only I whose patience and perseverance gets tested if it takes 3 or 4 months before I get to see real income pouring in. There’s the wife and the kids. Besides, a week after a mild argument about the matter, I found myself in an interview for a vacant position she found at City Hall. If I can somehow harness my wife’s quick wit and ability to arrange such lightning fast transactions and apply it in the blogging business, I just might succeed in it really quickly too.

Needless to say, I went for the road more travelled. The road that looks safest. Sometimes I felt some sort of guilt for what feels like cowardice on my part. But what the heck, I’m not letting go of my blogging dream anyway. I’ll take James Lee’s advise of building a comfortable cushion first before taking the plunge. Perhaps it’ll take me months, even years to do so. Then when the time comes, I’ll take a dramatic sigh as I let go and take the plunge (to the sound of majestic drum roll). Then again, when that time comes, I think it won’t be a plunge but rather just a small leap because by then I’d be very sure where I’m going.

Full Time Dreamer

The Paradox of Choice

Crossroad Ahead: Which Way Now?

Go full time blogging or not?

I’ve heard about bloggers who do full time blogging – reporting to no one, researching and publishing posts and churning out sites all day, while the regular working class folks do the 9 to 5 grind trying to make their bosses richer. I’ve heard that not all bloggers succeed into superblogger status (sorry, that may not be the right word but I meant the kind of blogger whose efforts pay off in terms of income far beyond any regular working guy’s salary). In a similar manner, not all office bound working guys get promoted to managerial positions and thus remain below the enviable class of office workers.

I started out blogging firstly as a personal outlet of some perceived desire to express myself to the world sans the stagefright. Then I noticed, after a lot of exposure to other bloggers’ output, that a blogger could earn, in several ways, with his blog or site. And after a little experimentation, I found this to be true. I put up my blog (and thereafter, a few more sites) several months ago while maintaining my day time job. I was able to publish a whooping average of 8 posts per month. Yes, you read it right. Per MONTH (check out the archives bar [The M Files] on the right). Compare this to full time bloggers who churn out 8 to 10 or even more posts per day. If I take the plunge and go full time, I’m sure I can publish at least a post or two a day, and do other blog-productive activities.

crossroad
A crossroad is coming up ahead for me. I am about to go jobless by the end of this month. When I received the memo, I didn’t quite know what to feel. Maybe it just coincided with my ‘high spirit‘ days (in my regular cycle of highs and lows), but I surprised even myself by feeling somewhat exultant. Then I realized it was the blogger in me who is ecstatic at seeing the possibility of going full time in the field I have grown to be passionate about. Crossroads? Yes, because by month’s end, I see two options.

  1. To go seek another job and thus continue being a part-time blogger (and make 8 posts a month);
  2. To take the plunge and go full time blogging.

A regular day time job assures me of a regular income, and having been doing this for several years, helps keep me in my comfort zone. To go full time blogging, on the other hand, is like sailing on uncharted waters, and thus totally out of my comfort zone. The few sites I put up have generated, around 4 months after their publications, an aggregate monthly earning equivalent to two-thirds of my present day time job monthly salary. Additional efforts in this direction will certainly increase this amount further, but I am not very confident about its stability inasmuch as it is too dependent on google. A little change in the big G’s algorithms could send it all crashing into a pathetic heap. As far as I know, there are a lot of other methods that allow bloggers to break free of google’s hold and control, e.g. list building, luring repeat visitors traffic, cpa/affiliate, etc. If given a chance, I may be able to try them out. And this I could only do if I go full time. Maybe, it’s not really totally ‘uncharted’, but being a born pessimist, my confidence level in pushing through with this option is low.

Which direction should I take?

Meet The Bandit

This white beauty was born to a black mother. Born just 2 months ago, she was handed to me, a very fragile creature, so trusting, so beautiful. I can’t help but fall in love with her the moment I saw her.

kiera-bandit

She was born April 12, 2009 to a black mother. We met her on the evening of June 12, 2009 right next to a small stage where some local bands were playing to a crowd of people enjoying the night cafe. The moment she was handed to me, I immediately fell in love with her. She was still very small then, I could hold her in the cup of my hands. So fragile, so trusting, white as snow. Her mother was also there, black as midnight, only the whites in her eyes could tell you she’s solid and not void.

A couple of hours earlier, I was at the office and I stumbled upon some online pictures of Kiera Knightley, who I think is simply lovely. So, then I was thinking of what name to give this cute thing. Kiera? Well the ‘k’ and the trill of the ‘r’ says ‘rough and beautiful’. But I decided to give her a name that is more wicked than that. Kiera starred in the movie called “Pirates of the Carribean”. Being in the company of pirates, she’s considered a pirate herself. A female bandit. Thus, this cute creature in my hands became known as ‘Bandit’. Pretty rough and callous name, don’t you think? But everytime I get home, I love to yell out “Where’s the bandit!?!”. And she would come running and jumping up into my arms.

I am not really very much savvy about her kind, but the friend who gave her to us said she’s a Chihuahua and Terrier mix. But I don’t really care what kind of pup she is or what her bloodline is. I only know that everyone in the family loves her and she’s become one member of the family we look for first as soon as we get home. Three days ago, I heard her first real bark as she tried to look fierce and menacing while playing with my kids. Actually, it sounds more like a yelp than a bark. But she was so serious in delivering that bark she surprised even herself that she could do that.

The first few days were terrible because we have to deal with her poop habit. She has not been trained yet in this matter and none of us know the first thing about training pups. My wife asked for tips from our neighbors who have dogs. Last night, I saw her went out the door and did her thing outside. Looks like whatever training she’s having is paying off. We also bought her some toys because we can’t focus on watching tv while she was playing and nibbling with our toes. Now she is focusing her energy on that tennis-ball-like thingy.

The BANDIT

the-bandit

The bandit is our first family pet. The kids had been clamoring for a pet since long time ago. I was against it because I am sensitive to dust and fine things that gets to float in the air. But I recall having no doubts at all in my mind when I saw her for the first time that fateful night. We got to have her. And we never regretted having her.
bandit-signature

Update: January 2010

Again, I’m not savvy about dog breeds, but the vet told us she’s a mix of Japanese Spitz and Chihuahua.
bandit-signature

The Same Sex Marriage / Gay Marriage Issue

The issue of same sex marriage seems so hot nowadays. People are taking to the streets to support their cause. Both sides are taking their stand. Which side are you taking?

Same sex marriage has become such a very controversial issue today that I can’t help but take a peek at what people are thinking about the matter. I usually shy away from news because I know 99% of it is bad news. Only bad news sells after all. But same sex marriage seems to be the ‘in‘ issue this time, so I guess I might as well teleport in and hover around to satisfy my curiosity about the matter.

Are you anti or pro gay marriage?

After a few hours of browsing through a lot of information, making sure to check out both sides as best as I can, I found that for each of the reasons that the anti same sex marriage advocates are shouting about, the pro same sex marriage or gay marriage side seem to be able to give very qualified rebuttals. Here are some of the interesting ones:

  • Gay marriage is a traditional taboo.
    • Here is a list of other ‘traditional taboos’:
      • Women are not allowed to vote. Women can not own properties.
      • Black people do not have rights. They are a race of slaves.
      • The bible tells us of slaves. We should still have slaves now. Less overhead for business.
      • Men should still be able to rape their unwilling wives now without punishment.
      • America should be ruled by the King of England.
  • Same sex marriage devalues the institution and ruins the sanctity of marriage. The definition of marriage is perfect as it is now. Changing this definition will breakdown the family and culture. The nation will degenerate. Other stupid things will eventually be legalized, e.g. marrying your pet.
    • The sanctity of marriage is threatened more by divorce, and by people who marry for the looks or the money and then later go sleep with other sexual partners.
    • Sanctity? The sanctity of Britney Spears’ 16-hours-only just-for-fun-heterosexual-marriage will be ruined?
    • The heterosexuals do not look at marriage too highly. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have legalized divorce. Gays give value to marriage more. Otherwise they wouldn’t have wanted the legalization of gay marriage.
    • Countries where same sex marriage have been legalized, e.g. Belgium, Canada, Netherlands, Spain, did not degenerate. The effect on the rate of heterosexual marriage have not changed. Their soceity remained much like any other country. No strange stupid things have occured.
    • What is the definition of family? Venereal disease control? Well, we want that protection too.
  • The bible is against it.
    • So you are a zealous Christian who doesn’t want gays to go to hell? Well, FYI, there are open satanic churches today because the law allows such freedom. Why don’t you start by trying your best to bring these satanic worshippers back to the fold. Then when you succeed with that, try the atheists, then of course the other religions, especially the non-Christian ones because only your religion is right, hypocrite! Then we’ll talk about gay marriage.
    • Several verses in Leviticus condemn certain behaviors in the Mosaic Code. Using the Hebrew word “to’ebah”, they consider the following to be ritually impure: having a tattoo, wearing shirts made of cotton and polyester, partaking a meal with people from other religions, eating lobster/shrimps, planting several kinds of grass in your front lawn, etc. These taboos, including gay marriage, are good as ‘moot and academic’ today.
  • Unnatural. A real family should be one that can bear offspring.
    • Then a couple where one or both parties is/are infertile is unnatural. There are a lot of heterosexual marriages where both parties are unwilling to bear children even if they naturally can.
  • Children adopted by gay families will become gay. Children exposed to this society will be encouraged to become gay.
    • Children raised by straight families are all straight?
    • Environmental exposure may have a role in forming sexual preferences, encouraging experimentation, but a naturally straight kid will stay straight no matter what; just as a naturally gay kid will stay gay no matter what ‘military’ training you heap on him.
  • The general population is against it.
    • This is the same situation centuries ago for racial civil rights and interracial marriage. The status of marriage changes just as society changes.
    • Just as the issue on inter-racial marriage a long time ago is backed by nothing more than prejudice, fear and bigotry, so is the issue on same-sex marriage.

Logic-wise, the pro- same sex marriage faction seem better off than the anti- gay marriage group. It is only in the religion side of the coin do they seem to falter. But they are also right to argue that they are particularly only after the legal aspect of marriage at the moment, not a church approval. And the government should not mix religion with matters of law anyway. Otherwise, specific freedoms like freedom to join any religion, eg. satanism, would not exist today.