I look at the 5-day workweek like this, where five days out of the week, I’m working on maintaining my lifestyle as it is, whereas the other two days are where I can work on building larger projects out more. I try to apply this mentality to many aspects of my life, but sometimes, I forget to apply those lofty infrastructure changes to the maintenance portion of my life. When I do, however, it’s interesting.
My WordPress templates are, for example, humbly outdated.
I realized this as I was working through my Gdocs backlog, looking through my WordPress drafts folder, and looking at the buttons I use less often now but still frequently. I stopped using my Rowing button, for example, because my template has changed so much over the years, that I just clone it and other essays of generic types. This has been a nice short-term option that I’ve used for probably over a year now, but as I was publishing one essay, I began to wonder: Why don’t I get all these things updated?
Short answer: I’d have to get back into the coding mindset.
Infrastructure changes like websites, or changes to the apartment-mansion, take concentrated efforts with planning, sometimes forethought, and energy. On my days off, I used to struggle to catch up on my avocational work – writing, editing, or publishing essays – but now that our current events have enabled me to cut out most all of the dead time I spent commuting to work, socializing with others, and pretending to be busy, I’ve ramped up the efficiencies so much that I’m a solid month ahead of schedule and moving ever quicker to my schedule goals so I can write fiction again.
What this means, though, is I need to readdress my perspective on maintenance and infrastructure.
I’ve focused most of my efforts on writing, although only recently have I focused on ways to unwind like watching anime, reading, or playing videogames, which has been helpful in keeping me even-keeled. I’ve been procrastinating on a project I’d like to do, where I’d like to clear out some of these CDs I have out ready to re-catalog, but I only recently figured out how I’d go about it. Mainly, if I can’t sell them now, put them in boxes to sell, store them away, and once the markets reopen, bring them in for sale. If that never happens, then when it gets closer to moving out or they become inconvenient distractions, I’ll donate them to whoever will take them.
Those are broad infrastructure changes, but applied minimally, daily, shouldn’t be bad for maintenance.
When we approach a big problem, we tend to get overwhelmed because of its myriad complexities. We think about how overwhelming it is, rather than just chisel away at it. It may take years, but if we try, we can get there. Since my intention is to spend less time fiddling around with cataloging CDs, as my priorities have shifted, and my interests toward music as a whole has decreased from what it was – where I wanted a vast library of CDs – to where it is now – where I just want my nice collection of favorites. When we figure out where those impediments are in our lives, we can say ‘I want to prioritize my time doing this rather than that!’
As long as I don’t abuse it too heavily, I have an incredible work-from-home opportunity.
If I were fired or laid off, or whatever, then I would dedicate a small amount of time daily to sending out resumes. I would rebuild the infrastructure lost to me by my hypothetically-lost employment schedule. For example: Wake up at 8am. Bathe and prepare for the day by 9am. I work best when I am not directly confined to certain schedules. If I felt like sending out resumes, I would, or if I needed some time to write about something, I would rather do that. The intent would be to block out hours of time where I could spend minutes doing tasks throughout. Like, say, by 5pm, I will have done at least one hour of resume sending and one hour of career development stuff.
The rest of that time would be spent working toward my writing or lifestyle goals.
I would figure out ways to sell my excess stuff safely, so I wouldn’t have to worry about contracting COVID-19 just by interacting with someone, and organizing everything into essential and non-essential items. I’d sell or donate off the non-essential so I could plan to move somewhere cheaper sooner, and I’d generally wing it until I caught some breeze to carry me back along.
I should apply that same thought pattern to that WordPress code.
Some of the changes would be quality of life changes, but others would help me work faster, since I wouldn’t need to rely as much on remembering certain details. As an example of infrastructure changes improving my maintenance, on my Betcal – essay writing calendar – I have this silly note before the calendar entries:
 —[[Quote, Sources, Inspirations, Related, Picture, Written — Wanna…?, Slug, Wacky Tags]]
That’s my reminder to cite anything directly after I write it, while I’m still in the writing mindset I was in when I wrote the essay. Then whether it’s days or weeks later, I can go back over to this or other Gdocs, copy everything, paste it into a Notepad document, and then paste it into WordPress without thinking about it too much, so I could listen to a podcast and only minimally think about the publishing process. Ideally, I’d write these directly in WordPress, but the benefit is that I can write in Gdocs anywhere I have a network connection, so I can focus on writing anywhere and publishing on my avocational laptops. Ideally, I’d get these processes further ironed out, as we might strive for in life, but it’s all one step at a time.
For now, I’m just happy for these lifestyle upgrades I’ve made recently.
|Sources: My personal and professional experiences.|
|Inspirations: I came up with the title and the thought as such: There was an Adam Savage video some time ago where he talked about infrastructure changes to his shop. Same here with programming. Then I just forgot about that first example and jammed on the title and idea for a while.|
|Related: Other Applied Self-Confidence essays.|
|Picture: I’ll use this essay as an excuse to make an Applied Self-Confidence template picture. Done.|
|Written On: 2020 April 13 [From Midnight to “When we figure out where those impediments are in our lives, we can say” at 12:18am. From 12:26am to 12:38am. Gdocs.]|
|Last Edited: 2020 April 16 [Adapted from Gdoc, so, second draft; final draft for the Internet.]|