Inefficiencies can kill your productivity long-term. If you don’t stamp them out you can have death by a thousand cuts to long term goals.
However, if you do stamp them out you can find ways to get more done faster, and more reliably. I know this is a lowly DIY podcast, but going through this exercise I would say is even more important because you have less time to waste.
In this episode I walk through 5 things I try to do to help become more efficient in my tasks, or add barriers so I stay on task and efficient.
If you prefer to watch.
Hello, and welcome to the 23rd episode of the BudDIY Podcast. Today, we’re going to talk about eliminating inefficiencies in what you do so that you can maximize the time that you have whenever you have things to do, so that you can be more productive in all of your endeavors. I’m your host, Buddy Lindsey, and this is the BudDIY Podcast. If you haven’t visited the website at all, please feel free to do so at B-U-D-D-I-Y.net, and subscribe to the email newsletter so that you know when new stuff is released not just on podcast form but also on the website, as I plan to release content on the website beyond just podcasts.
On that note, let’s jump into the first segment of the day. That’s what’s going on around here. I’m just going to do a couple of quick updates, because I want to roll most of this into the main topic of eliminating inefficiencies in the things that you do, and how to be more productive in the time that you have to be productive. Anyway, around here, I have finished the Sonoma table, and it is pretty awesome. I went ahead and went with some American Walnut gel stain from Rust-Oleum, and it looks great.
I actually did a little test on a piece of oak on some of the offcuts that I had, and I tried dark Walnut from Minwax. I tried red mahogany from Minwax as well, and then the Rust-Oleum American gel stain, and really just comparing it. I just loved the look of the American Walnut on the gel stain. It was amazing. I mean, I liked the black Walnut and a little bit on the red mahogany. It wasn’t bad, but just that American Walnut was wow. Unfortunately, I have a little can of it, and they don’t, I think, make this particular stain and this particular color anymore that I could find.
I think it’s a slight variation in some of the stuff that I found. I can’t use that on my next project, so I’ll just probably use it for smaller projects from now on where I just need a little bit of stain. My next project, which is the bookshelf from the Weekend Woodworker Course, I am going to use the dark Walnut on that because I do like that. It just didn’t, I don’t think, fit right with the Sonoma table in this case. That’s what’s going on around here.
I’m actually really looking forward to getting the bookshelf done because I need a bookshelf in my office, but I want to mention one thing on the Sonoma table. One thing I didn’t necessarily like from the video of the course is the ends. They’re kind of in a sense butt joints across tendons on the legs. I didn’t like how much of, I think, his Dutch oil in the coloring and the finishing of his. It’s like the end just absorbed a ton of the oil, and so it looked a little odd. I don’t know.
It’s super, super dark and thick compared to the rest. I was really nervous about that, but it turned out really well on my project, on my table. It isn’t that really, really, really dark next to the full length, I think. It’s not a big deal at all on his. It’s just something that stuck out to me, and I wasn’t really a fan of, and so I was actually nervous when I built it. I actually thought about maybe going ahead and doing mitered cuts, but I went back to my original guns is I’m going to do as much as I can exactly the way he has it in his project so that I actually learn what he’s doing and how he’s doing it so that I can take away from that.
It didn’t end up being a problem to me. It didn’t absorb and get super duper dark like I was afraid it might. It looks great and fantastic. I just have a couple coats of poly left, but it’s basically done at this point. I could put it all together and take it into the house even now. Since it’s going to be for our girls, I want to get a couple extra coats of polyurethane on it just for some extra protection from little human beings messing with it as their table.
Anyway, with that, we’re going to jump into the main segment, and that is eliminating inefficiencies in what you do. I want to set the stage of where this actually came from. This last couple of weeks have been intense for me time wise. My wife, we found out that she’s pregnant and we’re going to have our third child. When she’s in her first trimester, it is tough. She has the morning sickness, and it usually lasts for the entirety of the first trimester. With one child, as soon as the first trimester was done, magically one day, she was no longer sick.
The other, it tapered off, but in the meantime, she’s so bad and so out most of the time, earliest in critical times that I basically have to pick up all of her tasks. Not only do I have the full-time job with full-time workload, I also have the task of cooking for everyone in the house and doing some basic cleaning up in the house as I can, and then managing putting the girls to bed at night. Fortunately, they get up on their own, so that’s nice. They do cereal in the morning, so that’s super quick.
They can reasonably eat themselves, so the mornings aren’t bad, but just try and get everything, getting all the meals cooked and getting them down to bed at night while trying to do a full-time job and my part-time job plus other commitments that exist, because my grandmother died this last week. So I don’t know what the schedule is going to hold for the next week on that. Out on top of that, we’re going to go on vacation for a week next week. My time for the last three weeks have been slim to none.
So every little minute that I can eke out to get stuff done is just… It’s critical because if I don’t get my seven hours of sleep a night, seven to seven and a half hours of sleep at night, I can do that for two days. If I can get six hours of sleep, I can do that for two days. That third day, I am useless, so I have to make sure that I get seven hours to seven and a half hours of sleep every night so that I can continue on the schedule that I am usually always very slightly tired for part of the day, but I know how to cope with that.
I know how to manage with that, and I can do that schedule long term. In order to make sure I get enough sleep, I have to make sure my time that I do stuff is efficient because I’ve got a lot going on right now. Things are slacken up. I mean, as soon as we’re not on vacation anymore, as soon as we’re out of the first trimester, as soon as we go through the funeral and dealing with the estate of my grandmother, and to some degree, I’m still dealing with the estate for my aunt who died in January.
There’s those commitments as well that I have to fulfill. Once some of that slack can soft, I’ll have more time to do, and I don’t have to be as concerned about efficiency. The great thing about crunch times like this, not only personally but even economic, globally or from a business perspective, when you have crunch times like this, you become more efficient. You become better at doing what you’re doing if you’re concentrating on it, and that’s the key. You have to concentrate on it.
Then that way, when you’re through that segment, when you’re through that issue, you come out the other side and you can be more effective on the other side as long as you take the opportunity to really knuckle down and make your process better and more efficient, because whenever things are going fine or just good enough, you don’t concentrate on trying to get better at what you do. You could be losing hours in productivity just because you’re doing good enough as it is.
On that note, I have a couple of different things that I have to do. I have to deal with work. I have to deal with my DIY stuff, which I’d like to turn into a business. I have church responsibilities because I’m co-youth pastor with my wife. I have family commitments to not only our girls and my wife. I still want to be a good father and a good husband, but also family commitments of dealing with extended family, plus dealing with the estates from people dying and things of that nature.
That’s all work that has to get done. There’s only so many hours in the day, and so I have to make sure that I have enough time to accomplish all of those at least 90% well, 80 to 90% well. I was reading a book a long time ago, and they were saying, “For parenting, you don’t have to be perfect 100% of the time, but if you can be good to great 70% of the time, the other 30%, while it matters, it doesn’t matter as much because we’re only human and we can make mistakes.”
I forget the long, complicated way they went to validate that, but that really stuck out. If I can do good to great 70 to 80% of the time, and if I can have my goal to do great 80% of the time, I’ll cover the 70%, and I can do good maybe up to the 90% of the time. That’s the goal. I try to hit that. I don’t always. We’re all human. We all fail. Accordingly, I do a segment every week on this podcast of where I failed. It sucks, but that’s part of it.
You learn from it and you move on, but I try to get better at everything that I do. For a while, I don’t know, for the last couple of months, until about three weeks ago, I was been coasting a little bit on everything. Everything was just working out. I was getting just enough done in just the right amount of time. I really wasn’t concentrating on making myself more efficient so that I could get more done. I was a little frustrated that I wasn’t advancing in a few things as fast as I wanted to, but I was doing good enough.
Them these last few weeks have hit, and it has been chaos and just rough trying to get a lot of things done. So I’ve been concentrating on trying to eliminate the inefficiencies that I’ve had. The first thing I want to start with is dealing with chickens. Chickens are something I have to deal with every day. I have to go out, and I have to let them out of their coop. I have to feed them, and I have to make sure their water has water in it.
The steps that are required to do that are I have to walk out of my house. I have to go to our shed that we have that used to be a coal shed. The food is in there in a container. I pull the container off. I scoop up two scoops of feed. Put the lid back on. Walk out to the netted area, open up the door, walk in, close the door after I turn off the electricity. I give them the food. I go double check about eggs to see if there’s any eggs that have been laid this morning before at the time I was able to get out there.
Sometimes there is just one or two. Most of the time, there’s none, but I could check anyway just to be sure. If there’s any eggs, I go ahead and grab it, and I’ll put it in the bucket that I have, food. I will then leave. I’ll open the door, step out, close the door, turn on the electricity, and I’ll look and make sure that… Before that, I’ll look in the water and make sure there’s water in there. I then go back to the coal shed, put the little buckets down, pull the egg, egg, egg or two out, turn off the light, close the door, go back in the house, put the eggs back on the counter in the basket that we have for eggs, and then I’ll wash my hands.
Those are the regimented steps that I have. That’s actually a pretty efficient system. At least in my opinion, it was, and I got it down pretty good. On days that I had to move, I just got it out. I’m not a morning person, and it takes me a little bit to get going in the morning. Moving chickens in the morning, it’s just one of the most frustrating things, because I feel like everything takes longer. I get frustrated, and I’m just annoyed.
It takes 30 minutes to move chickens. The entire time I’m doing it, I’m wondering, “Why is it taking 30 minutes to move chickens? This just doesn’t make any sense.” That was just something that I do every two to three weeks. This last week, I’ve had to step back and take a look at what I’m doing. The first thing that I’ve done is as I’m doing stuff… This is the first key, in my opinion, to eliminating your inefficiencies. As you’re working, what are you doing that is making you slow down?
Is there something that you’re doing repeatedly? Is there something like… In the case of the chickens, one thing I realized, I don’t need to walk back to our shed because I’m not going to the shed again until tomorrow. There’s no reason for me to take the food bucket things back to the shed after I give it to the chickens, because the chicken coop is closer to the house now. Before, it wasn’t. It was further away, and it would be an extra 30 seconds to go drop the little bucket things off at the coal shed. I don’t need to do that anymore.
What I started doing now is I’ll go get the food. I’ll close everything up in the shed, go give them the food, go through the rest of the process, and then just go back to the house with the eggs. I’ll put the little bucket things right next to the door, and now I’m ready to go. The next time in the mornings when I walk out, I just grab the little scoops and I’m good to go. I have saved myself probably a good two minutes, three minutes maybe in that.
That just doesn’t necessarily sound like a lot of time, but now I have a little bit more slack time in that specifically. Another thing that I was doing, and my wife pointed it out, is the only thing I’ve ever seen people do on getting inside of the chicken coops or inside of the knitting is they’ll just step over them. They’re not that tall. They’re flexible. You turn off the electric. You can just step over. I was doing that, but I was spending time later adjusting everything, making sure everything was still tight.
My wife was like, “Why don’t you just set it up so one of the ends opens up and you can just walk through?” I’m like, “Because I’m dumb, that’s why I don’t do it. That’s just a brilliant idea. Just make a little door.” That’s exactly what I did. Now, I don’t have to hardly adjust the net the entire time it’s in that spot. I just pull it up, walkthrough, put it back down in the ground. Boom, we’re good to go. Now, the only thing I have to do is make sure that the electricity isn’t on so that when I grab it, I’m not shocked.
That was another efficiency gain that I had. That probably saved a couple of minutes where I’m adjusting steaks every so often. Now in a sense, I’ve gained, over the course of a week, another 15 to say 20 minutes of time that I can get other stuff done. In everything that you’re doing, if you can save a few extra minutes here and there, you can gain 30 minutes to an hour, a day of extra time if you do this across all of the things that you’re doing.
Let’s go on to another example. That’s me doing woodworking projects. One of the things that I end up doing… I didn’t really think about this until later. This is the second point is holistically look at what you’re doing, and is there an inefficiency that you realize later that you’re doing? I look at how I do projects. One of the things is I watch the video inside, and I make up the plans inside in my shed, in my office. I write everything down on my computer, and then I save it to a notes app that syncs to my phone.
Now when I’m out in the shop, I pull out my phone every time I need to reference it. That’s not a bad idea. It’s digital. I could change it on there. It’s easily reflected in the house if something happens or in my office if something happens. Great. The problem is I realized over the last couple of days when I was thinking about it is sometimes, I will come in and out of my office two or three times in 10 minutes. Well, crap, that’s a waste of almost five minutes in that little chunk of time.
Sometimes, I’m wasting an hour going in and out and referencing the materials that I have even on my phone, because the amount of times that I pull out my phone and look at it to check something out, I’ll open up the phone. Since I have all my PPE, my glasses, my ISO tunes, my hat, my face covering for dust doesn’t get in, I can’t do the face ID. So now I have to do the thing, “Oh, now it’s on Audible or it’s on Amazon music or whatever it’s on,” so now I have to switch apps, so swipe up, change apps. Oh, crap, the note taking app went back to the index instead of staying on the note, because somehow it closed out or crushed.
Now, I’ve got to go in there. The number of times that I have to go through that while it may be 15 seconds, I probably do that 15 seconds 30, 40 times in the course of an evening doing my project. Now, you take that, plus you take coming into the office and re-figuring things out. Boom, I have just wasted 20, 30 minutes while doing a project that I have lost productivity of doing the project. No wonder I can’t get some of the stuff done as fast as I think I should be able to get it done, because I’m not spending my time doing the project.
I’m spending my time referencing information that I need to do the project. That’s another thing that I realized, “Hey, I need to figure this out. How can I make this more efficient?” On that note, on that inefficiency, I had to figure out… I had to think about, “Okay, what am I doing? Why am I doing it?” The reason comes down to, “I’m a technology person. I’m a programmer. I love technology. I love the idea of not using paper.” I hate using paper because I feel like it’s an inefficiency. It gets in the way.
Well, I came to the idea the other night that, “You know what, I might have to get a printer and print this stuff off so that I can mark on it and reference it in the shop.” I was like… Immediately, that idea was abhorrent because I’m like, “I don’t think we need a printer. I’ve gotten away for years not having a printer,” frustrates my wife because we don’t have a printer and we have to print stuff every now and then. To me, it’s like, “We have to print something three times a year at most. Why are we going to spend $200 on a printer when it’s easy to go use someone’s somewhere else?”
Anyway, I’m not going to go into that anymore, but I just did not want a printer, so I immediately went to, “What are some other ideas?” Well, one idea is get a TV out there, and get maybe a raspberry pie or something. I have an OS out there. Sink everything out there. It’s on all the time out there. Boom, problem solved. Except, it’s not really a good idea right now because of all the dust and dirt that get into the shop that I have because it’s not closed.
I have a vent in the top of my shed. It leaks. There’s no insulation. It would, in my opinion, destroy the computer and the TV that I’m going to spend hard-earned money on than I’m going to spend more on than a printer. I was like… I came back to the printer and just went away. I ignored it because I was like, “You know what? I don’t want a printer. I don’t want to do this.” While my wife was listening to what I was going to talk about today, and she’s like, “We need to buy a printer. Just buy a printer.”
I was like, “Okay, I’ll get a printer.” That’s going to eliminate a very large inefficiency in the work that I have to do. It was because I stepped back looking at everything and tried to take an understanding of what I am doing to lose time and doing projects. Now, I’m going to order a printer this week. I don’t know what printer I’m going to get. I get to research that, and so I get a printer. Now, I’ll be able to print up projects that I need to do, take it out into my shop, and make notes.
I can do math on them. That was another thing is I have to find crop to ride on the new math out in the shop, because I might need to change an equation here. I might need to cut something down anyway. Now, I’ll have some something to ride on even out there and have my projects. It is what it is, but that’s an inefficiency that now that I’m under crunch time, I was able to resolve and it’s going to be much better out on the other side of all of this crazy time.
The other thing that I do, and this changes how detailed I get, is I like to schedule things generally in 30-minute increments, 30-minute chunks of time throughout the entire day so that I make sure that I maximize the time that I have available to do things. As an example, I put my bedtime down or my leave my office time at 6:00… sorry, at 11:00 every night. I fudge on that because I really have 11:00 to 11:30 as my wrap up time. Between 11:00 and 11:30, that is my time to…
If I see 11:00, it’s time to start stopping, so if I need to finish something up, I’m done. If I can just stop, I just go in the house and start getting ready for bed, and wind things down in the house. That way, I’m in bed by 12. The goal is by 11:45, 12:00, I am in bed so that I can start falling asleep. I then generally every morning wake up between 7:00 and 7:30. My sleep schedule has just adjusted to that. I don’t even need an alarm at this point most of the time.
I get up between 7:00 and 7:30, and I immediately go out and do the chickens. I know that takes less than 15 minutes, so I have a little bit of slack time in there. What I’ll do is I’ll make sure to get breakfast in that time, which is usually banana right now for the morning, for my breakfast. Then I go out to my office. Depending on things that are going on with the girls and the family, I make sure to be in my office by 8:00. That is a set time that I try to do.
Then from 8:00 to now, about 11:30, I work. At about 11:30, I go into the house, and I start getting ready for lunch. I generally spend 30 minutes to an hour doing lunch if I’m cooking or whatever. Then by 12:30 to 1:00 depending on what schedule I’m on that day, I start back to work, and then at 5:00, I am done. Sometimes I have to go to 6:00 depending on projects, depending on how things are going at work.
Every once in a while, I might have to go later. One night, I went to 1:00 AM just because I needed to get something done, but generally by 5:00, I try to make sure that I’m wrapped up and done so that I can move on, because I’ve got to get stuff done. At 5:00, I’m in the house, and I’m cooking dinner. I make sure that we’re done, cleaned up by 6:00 or 6:30 with everything going. I used to be better at getting done by 6:00 now because of everything going on.
Sometimes, it’s 6:30. Then from 6:30 to 8:00 is family time for four days of the week. For four week days, it’s family time. Around 8:00, we start going to bed. The goal is to get the girls down by 8:30, usually doesn’t happen, but by 9:00, I am scheduled to be back out of the house and working on stuff. That gives me two hours every night to get stuff done outside. Now, I have that two hours, and now I have to schedule inside of those two hours the things that I’m going to get done.
So I have my schedule very, very regimented in what I’m going to do during the day. However, sometimes I have to go down to the 15-minute increments and be like, “Okay, during lunch, I’m going to spend 45 minutes, and I have to deal with the state stuff for 15 minutes at the end of that.” Sometimes, it will be like, “Okay, between 3:00 and 3:30, I have to do personal stuff.” That means between 5:00 and 5:30, I have to make up time for work, things like that.
Then I make sure to to schedule family time, because if it isn’t scheduled, then it doesn’t happen. I have one day a week where I just immediately get done with dinner and go out and work, and that’s on Thursdays. That’s an opportunity for me to get a four to five-hour window where I can concentrate for a longer period of time and potentially get more stuff done. On that, I have to be super careful in what I do. To me, if you can schedule time increments as small as possible, then you are more likely to stay on track in what you’re doing, and get things done more efficiently and be able to schedule a lot more things.
Notice also in there, I don’t have any time for watching TV. I pretty much eliminated TV for my life except for a couple hours on the weekend. That is to watch a movie with the family, or sometimes, I’m just super tired on Sunday nights and I can’t go on, and so I’ll go in and watch TV for an hour or two with my wife, but I try to stay busy the entire time. I almost don’t watch TV anymore. I have eliminated that as a distraction fortunately.
The downside is some times, I’ll get hooked on a YouTube binge. Usually, fortunately, I only watch 10, 15-minute videos. If I get stuck off of three, four videos, I’ve only wasted 30 minutes, fortunately, but generally, I only watch educational stuff, woodworking stuff, things of that nature. If I lose that time, have I really lost the time? That’s how I justify it in my head. Anyway, so I really recommend scheduling very, very specifically what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it so that you eliminate lost time, but at the end of the day, don’t beat yourself up if you lose the time.
Sometimes, I’ll come into a day. The entire day is flushed away because of some unforeseen event, or I just need to spend time with family for some reason. Sometimes, the girls, they miss me and they just want to hang out and play, and so, “You know what? I’m done for that while, and we’re going to play.” Then when we’re done playing, or they’ve gotten their love cup filled back up, and they’re ready to go again, and they start leaving me to go play by themselves or whatever, then it’s like, “Okay, we’re done. I can go back out and get busy, and just pick up where I left off.”
You have to realize, sometimes you just drop what you’re doing, and you take care of the most important things in life. The last two things are they’re self-explanatory. They’re pretty easy to figure out on your own. The first one is eliminate opportunity for distraction. If you have things that give you the opportunity and make it easy to get distracted, then that’s going to happen, and so you just need to make sure it’s not there.
I have a work computer and I have a personal computer. I make sure to have no personal things on the work computer, even though that’s totally viable. I could do that. It doesn’t really matter because when I leave, I’ll hand them a wiped computer, and because we have everything pushed off in the cloud and they also don’t care if I have personal stuff on the computer, but I make sure nothing personal is on it, so I can’t accidentally get distracted on some of that during the day while I’m working, and then now I have to make it up later at night.
Then vice versa. I make sure that on my personal computer, I don’t have anything work. One for the validity of not having work stuff on your personal computer, but then I can’t get distracted doing work stuff on my personal computer as well when I should be doing personal time stuff. Same thing. I don’t have games on almost anything that I have because even though it seems like I liked the idea of playing games, but I just don’t have time anymore, and so I just don’t play games even though I do enjoy it.
On both my personal and work computer, I also have a time tracking application that I use personally, that will monitor what apps are open. It’ll give me a graph of where I’m spending my time based on the application name and the browser based on the title of the website and the URL of the website. That way, I keep track of what I’m doing, and I mark things as productive. I mark things is distracting. On the different computers, there are different things. Sometimes, I might have finewoodworking.com open on my work computer because an article came across in my email.
That’s lined up as distracting on my work computer, but on my home computer or personal computer, it’s more of a neutral, potentially productive time. That’s another thing I recommend is have some sort of time tracking app that lets you see in a graph form how much time you’re spending being productive and how much time you’re spending being distracted. Make it sure it’s there for you to see when you’re switching applications. That way, it’s a little harder to get distracted and switch on over to something that could be distracting for you at that time.
Another is just to make sure that distracting things aren’t within reach or aren’t easily within reach, or if they’re easily within reach, they’re a little harder to get going. As an example, I have a TV in my office. It’s not necessarily the easiest thing to just pull up Netflix because I don’t have it connected to the internet. I went ahead and disconnected it from the internet. If I were to try to get Netflix on it, it would take me five minutes. I’ve gone down that route a couple of times, “Oh, let’s go ahead and get Netflix so that I can watch a movie while I work.”
About a minute into trying to get everything on, set up back on the wireless, it’s like, “Do I really need to do this?” I’ve added a barrier to entry of getting distracted, so I don’t get distracted watching movies on Netflix on accident, even though depending on the movie, I can work perfectly fine with it running in the background and not get distracted at all. Just eliminate the opportunity to get distracted. The final thing is, “Is there a tool or a thing that will help you save time, and is the cost worth it?”
As an example, doing the chicken coop, if I could figure out how to do an automatic water, automatic feeding and automatically open and close the chicken coop, then I could just go out and collect eggs one time a day. Boom, five minutes, done for the entire day, and we’re good to go. One time a week, I would go fill up the feeder, and it would automatically fee. Same thing with the water, just every now and then when I got out and get the eggs, I check to make sure the water thing is still going. We’re good.
I’m saving 30, 40 minutes a week potentially, and doing everything that I need to do. The problem is to get all of that set up, I’m looking at $500, $600. To be honest, I don’t know that saving that much is worth $500 or $600 to get everything set up doing a solar powered door open and closer for the coop doing the custom setup that I need to do the right amount of feed every day at the same time, getting all the hookups for the water. It’s all possible. It’s just it’s going to cost $500 or $600 after I priced it all out.
I just don’t know that it’s worth it because here in a few years, the girls are going to go out. That’s going to be their business, and they’re going to go out and they’re going to take care of the chickens every day. It’s also an opportunity for me to exercise walking around the property. I don’t think it’s worth the money to do it at this time. However, something that is worth it is upgrading tools and upgrading clamps and upgrading things like that in my workshop, because every time I get a little bit of a better tool, it saves me time.
Right now, there’s a couple of projects that I want to do, but because I don’t have a router, it would take me a lot longer to cut with a jigsaw and then sand down. Whereas if I get the full-sized router that I want to get set up, and get a router table, boom, I could have that thing done in five minutes instead of the 45 minutes that it takes to do it without the tool. Not only that, but the tool is worth the time savings and the effort because I can do it a lot more with that router in the future and make more complicated and more interesting projects.
You do that cost-benefit analysis of your tool as well or thing that you want to do. That’s another way to eliminate inefficiency. Is there a way to upgrade what you’re doing with a tool or something else? On that note, those are the five things that I do to try to eliminate some of the inefficiencies that I do in the things that I do. Hopefully this gives you a little bit of inspiration or a way to look at how to structure things that you do so that you can get a lot more stuff done in the time you have available.
I don’t recommend getting really, really, really busy because it sucks. It’s not a lot of fun because sometimes you’re trying to go through the motions and get everything done, and you don’t necessarily get a lot of enjoyment out of it. However, I do recommend it if you take the opportunity in the moment to figure out how to make things better and make your life more efficient and make life better on the back end of it. Some of the things that I figured out in the last few weeks are, like I said, literally going to save me a couple hours a week, which means it’s going to save me several days across the year, so totally, totally recommend getting busy in that case, not the way I’ve gotten busy, unless you want to have a kid.
That one, I recommend because I love my kids. Anyway, with that, let’s go on to the last segment, and that is my failure of the week. We’re going to riff off of some of this. That’s getting distracted. Oh, I wasted probably an hour and a half this week because I have a media center in my house that I set up, and we love having it because it’s stuff that I have locally on our network. I’ll download YouTube videos, and I have HD.
I have really slow internet where I live, and so I download a bunch of stuff from YouTube regularly, overnight, convert it to the formats that I need it to be, and it plays on the server that I have in my house, which is an old computer. It streams to our TV in there, and so the kids can watch high-definition videos that we would normally watch on YouTube, and stream all the time. Well, that’s great. Except, I don’t have one out here, and it’s frustrating.
I also have music on there as well. I have a hundred-dollar soundbar that has a subwoofer, 5.1. It’s not amazing, but it’s better than listening to my iPad to get music out over my phone. I’ve been frustrated because I’d like to hook my phone up to it and play, but I can’t. I was like, “Man, what can I do to get a media server?” It hit me the other day. I can get a Raspberry PI 4, and now I have a media server, because things are like 60 bucks.
I get an external hard drive, get a case that has a heatsink on it to cover for the conversion… Great. Awesome, and I’m good to go. I went ahead and did that. Got it in, got it set up in probably 30 minutes. That’s not where the time-wasting came in. The time-wasting came in and was like, “Hmm, getting this computer, there’s a lot of people that set up this thing called RetroPie so they can play really old games on it,” I think arcade games, Atari, at this point now, PlayStation one games.
Man, I’m old and getting old, but anyway, from there, they can play them on there with their, say, PlayStation controller. I was like, “You know, I haven’t played Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 in a while, and I could play that with this. Why don’t I see about getting that?” I spent an hour and a half over the course of a couple of days getting Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 running on this RetroPie, and figuring it out. The cool thing is now I know how RetroPie works, and I figure a bunch of stuff.
Eventually, I’m going to build a cabinet and make an arcade game out of it. The downside is I just spent an hour and a half when I don’t have an hour and a half to spend getting everything set up. In all reality, I will probably play that game for an hour over the course of the next several months, because I just don’t play games all that often. I just liked the idea of having the opportunity to play it. That was my failure of the week.
On that note, I thank you for your time. I thank you for listening. What can you do to make things in your life a little more efficient and get rid of some of the crap that you do that you don’t necessarily need to do? Have a good day, and I’ll see you next time.