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Ikar's Diary


Ikar

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18 hours ago, Ikar said:

Toying around with enhancing/re-calibrating the blocks, I managed to lock myself out of my phone for 24 hours. Luckily, I can still call 😆

Which blocker do you use for your phone? I have Freedom, but I feel it's a bit redundant now with screentime. Additionally, there's nothing to stop you from deleting the app, which is why my wife holds the screentime passcode. With Cold Turkey on my computer, once a block is initiated, you cannot remove the program. That's an awesome feature. It also has a setting where you can lock yourself out of your computer completely (that feature is called Frozen Turkey). I haven't used that feature yet as I'm a little scared of it 😅

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20 hours ago, FDRx7 said:

Which blocker do you use for your phone? I have Freedom, but I feel it's a bit redundant now with screentime. Additionally, there's nothing to stop you from deleting the app, which is why my wife holds the screentime passcode. With Cold Turkey on my computer, once a block is initiated, you cannot remove the program. That's an awesome feature. It also has a setting where you can lock yourself out of your computer completely (that feature is called Frozen Turkey). I haven't used that feature yet as I'm a little scared of it 😅

I have some hard-to-remove software called LeechBlock on my computer and it works well. I always have to deactivate/reactivate it every 30 minutes on YT and I perma-blocked the various news websites. That YT block there is more of a reminder that I shouldn't spend too much time on it, but it's quite rare I watch a video longer than 20 minutes. I get too bored with longer videos.

I found out that I found the small screen of the phone too annoying to read too much news, so I don't abuse the fact I don't have any blocks for it there. News has always been a distraction for me for just five or ten minutes maximum. Porn turned out to be much harder to deal with. The idea here is that I'd have to block out half the internet at a specific time for some period of time. If there was some app that would hard-immobilize the access to it, together with Chrome and YT for 3-6 hours at the push of a button (I watch porn basically only before sleeping), that'd be amazing, but I don't know if there's one. I'll look into Freedom and Screentime both though, thanks for the suggestion 🙂

It turns out locking myself out of my phone wasn't a big deal. Luckily, it was Saturday and I'm more reliant on my desktop than my phone historically. But it makes sense with all my gaming history and student calls though 🙂

 

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5 hours ago, Ikar said:

If there was some app that would hard-immobilize the access to it, together with Chrome and YT for 3-6 hours at the push of a button (I watch porn basically only before sleeping), that'd be amazing, but I don't know if there's one. I'll look into Freedom and Screentime both though, thanks for the suggestion 🙂

So, I did some digging yesterday and at least on iPhone (not sure on Android), if you have someone else set the passcode for screen time, they can also control whether you can delete apps. That way, you can initiate a block on Freedom and be unable to delete the app while it's running. There is a setting on there where you can block the entire internet. I don't know if you have someone in your life you can trust to hold that passcode, but it has really been great for me (my wife holds the passcode for both Cold Turkey and iPhone screen time). I'm going to try that though on my iPhone, as currently I have it set for me to be able to delete apps.

My Cold Turkey blocker also has an entire internet blocker. I don't use that setting as often but I think I might start. 

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29th September - 7th October:

I can say I was productive this week, as well as somewhat out of my comfort zone.

I specified the topic of my diploma thesis and worked on the questionnaire. It's the first thing I want to get done before working on anything else, as it's gonna take some time to get the respondents and it will also help me refine the topic/aim of the thesis even further.

I also went to a business conference on Thursday. I had a short five minute presentation and it was a good experience.

This week was also tougher in regards to my mood. I studied a lot for my professional development as an English lecturer and I became more bashful regarding my abilities and partly my knowledge. I also decided to step up my publicity locally by throwing small flyers into mailboxes; it could help my business, doesn't cost much and I can use the exercise.

As for today, I'm feeling off. I've had headaches, I feel cold and I even took a nap during the afternoon. I hope it'll be better tomorrow.

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8th October - 11th October:

I watched a video on how to run English lessons. I have to say I feel better and more satisfied, if my preparation for lessons is more wholesome. My feeling of inadequacy has subsided.

I visited my family on Sunday and had the new phone ready for my grandma, so I am happy it worked out well and that she's no longer stressed about it.

I'm also in contact with my tutor regarding the thesis, so there's some progress there as well.

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12th October - 17th October:

Went to a networking event to meet some new people. Finished reading "World Order" by Kissinger and started a new book about freelancing. Attended a table football tournament and finished second. Worked out a shared table/system in Google Sheets to help my students and myself with orientation in their learning. Went for a trip with my girlfriend and her sister. Attended other fun events as well.

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On 10/17/2023 at 7:00 AM, Ikar said:

12th October - 17th October:

Went to a networking event to meet some new people. Finished reading "World Order" by Kissinger and started a new book about freelancing. Attended a table football tournament and finished second. Worked out a shared table/system in Google Sheets to help my students and myself with orientation in their learning. Went for a trip with my girlfriend and her sister. Attended other fun events as well.

Nice job at the tournament. Make any new friends there or know anyone?

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On 10/17/2023 at 7:00 AM, Ikar said:

12th October - 17th October:

Went to a networking event to meet some new people. Finished reading "World Order" by Kissinger and started a new book about freelancing. Attended a table football tournament and finished second. Worked out a shared table/system in Google Sheets to help my students and myself with orientation in their learning. Went for a trip with my girlfriend and her sister. Attended other fun events as well.

So much happening! I'm so glad there's all these wonderful social and impactful experiences for you to recap from last week 🙂

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On 10/19/2023 at 5:16 PM, Pochatok said:

So much happening! I'm so glad there's all these wonderful social and impactful experiences for you to recap from last week 🙂

Thank you! I wrote it in a rather curt format, so I'm not sure if I did it much justice, but I'm quite happy with the current events in my life. I'm definitely not bored 😄

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18th October - 20th October:

I visited my tutor on Tuesday and sent him (another) draft of contents of my thesis on Wednesday. Gonna work on it at the weekend as well.

I also had a lunch with my father and sushi with my brother. I introduced him to my girlfriend and I think they got along well 🙂

Right after the evening sushi, we had a couple of students come here for a few day city exchange. The event is organized mostly by other members of my geography group, but I am trying to do at least something to help out by accommodating two of them, while I am temporarily sleeping at my girlfriend's place. Next year, we're gonna visit their town in return!

I've been reading the book about freelancing daily and I'm hooked.

---

The current events are somewhat complicated by the fact that my feet are caught in the cycle of blisters, mold and swelling. I have a cream to deal with the mold, but it's been going on ever since I've bought new shoes for my holiday in Georgia, so for almost two months. I've had this problem once in the past and I visited the doctor, so I think I have the knowledge to deal with this on my own, but if it gets out of hand, I'll visit the doctor/hospital. I hope it's gone in the next few days, meanwhile I'll be sock-less and shoe-less as much as possible.

The plans for tonight and the weekend are somewhat unclear time-wise. I'm planning on spending time with my family, the exchange guys, my girlfriend and my thesis, but the order of that is not fully in my control.

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21st October - 24th October:

I've been busy. Not over the top, but busy enough. I've been meaning to start working on my monthly report, but that'll have to wait a bit. I've been hooked on the freelance book and have been reading almost every day though.

I had a lunch with my girlfriend and her sister on Saturday. She seems like a decent person and a good sport. I also visited my family on Sunday.

We also successfully completed the student exchange, though I can imagine it was taxing, especially for my colleagues/fellow students, as I didn't take part in the whole program. I hope I can be more involved for the second exchange in a few days, though not at the expense of shirking work, my girlfriend or anything else.

I'm a bit sick today, perhaps because I haven't been wearing socks much even outside to allow my foot to recover. I even slept during the afternoon. I hope it'll be better tomorrow.

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I'm using the template I used the last time. 22/09/23 - 25/10/23

"L" will stand for the (last) plan/notes for this term. "T" will stand for done this term.

I added "Future goals/direction" to better reflect on the things I am trying to do and to add specificity. I will copy it and stick it somewhere where I can see it to remind myself whenever I feel aimless. I will also use different colors: blue for newly added goals/habits, green for completed/successful, orange for ongoing/some progress and red for ones I haven't worked on in that period.

 

--- set smart/stretch goals - read book again

 

Books/Reading articles:

L: I read "Be Obsessed Or Be Average" by Cardone and I got rather mixed feelings about the book. I also started reading "World Order" by Kissinger. Not caught up with my newsletters.

T: Finished "World Order" and started reading the book about freelancing I mentioned. It's not in English, so that's why it's nameless 😄

Possible direction/goals:

Continue getting through the newsletters.

(Borrow) and read one book until the next monthly report.

 

Family:

L: The kitchen plan ran into (another) problem. The working desk is a few centimeters shorter than needed, due to the fact there are unmovable drain pipes near the wall. The best solution, according to my father (and I share it), is to get a wider working desk, rather than to cut the cupboards to let the pipes through them.

I met my mom for lunch about a month ago. Other than that, there's nothing special happening, except the fact that I'm going to visit my family/grandma every week until my grandma's kitchen is reconstructed.

T: I got a new phone for my grandma, as her old one broke down. I also went for sushi with my brother (and my girlfriend), as well as for lunch with my father. I also visited my family four weekends in a row.

And I can say I still don't give a flying fuck about the reconstruction of the kitchen. I'm 100% ready to give somebody the money to make this problem go away. I've tried it twice or thrice. Nothing came out of it. I'm just gonna consult my father on what to do next, as I just can't do this.

Spoiler

Since October, the project of my grandma's kitchen has been my responsibility. Some progress has been made, however I know that half a year is just too big of a time-frame to justify. I'm gonna lay out the plan:

Weekend of 11th/12th March: Ask my grandma to give me a "free hand" in the reconstruction of the kitchen. She was hesitant regarding the scope of the reconstruction, which made me hesitant in turn, because I didn't know what to do. I want to convince her that she has nothing to worry about and that the whole operation will be fast.

Weeks 11 and 12:

Consult my father and brother as to the design of the kitchen and use the IKEA kitchen planner to help me out. Show my grandma the plan for the kitchen at the end of week 12 and get a green light.

Weeks 13 and 14:

Go to IKEA to get the furniture and other shops for linoleum and other smaller stuff. There's no need for new electronic appliances, so there's no need to get involved with electrical thingies. Transport the furniture to my grandma's flat.

Weeks 14 and 15:

Plan a weekend with my father/brother to help out with the reconstruction. Removing old furniture, a bit of demolition, painting, putting in the new furniture. Get it done well and ASAP.

NOT: I don't want to get alienated from my family.

Possible direction/goals:

Work on getting the new kitchen for my grandma.

Continue work on maintaining the relationships with my family.

 

University:

L: Currently on nine thousand words, although I wrote the last of them at the end of August and then I left for my holiday. This week, I resolved the email communication issues and had a consultation with my tutor. He advised me to be more specific with my topic and to send him a short summary at the weekend, so that he can insert the thesis assignment into the system.

T: I think I'm past the negotiation/assignment stage. It feels like I have done nothing, though I put some 20 hours into it in aggregate over the past month. It's not exactly "nothing". The main slowdown was due to the fact my tutor sometimes takes days to reply. That pits me into a stage when I can excuse doing nothing until his next reply, out of fear that I'm gonna work on something that won't be relevant after his reply.

Since now the thesis really is in the system, the layout is reworked (again), I'm gonna try to work on it every day from now on and I have already started today.

As an interesting university side note, we hosted the first student exchange the last week and we're hosting another this week as well. It'll be the guys from Finland whom we visited in March 🙂

NOT: I don't want to drop out of the university.

Possible direction/goals:

Do the main part of my diploma in summer/autumn 2023 and do the defense and finals in January/February 2024.

Work on the assignments in a timely manner.

 

Business/English:

L: I attended a networking event and I'm happy that I did! I also met my online students face to face while visiting their city, which was also nice 🙂

On a more practical note, I got a small pay raise from both the language schools, as well as from my students by creating a new price list. I also got an invitation to a weekly outdoor English project, however it's in a bad time slot, as I already have classes there.

T: Events have really picked up pace. I had a business presentation for young students and attended a networking event. I started attending an online language lecturer academy and I can say I'm stoked. I got a Google sheets system for students running and I believe it'll improve the quality of my lessons greatly.

I'm also booked for three other events in November already. I'm really funneling a lot of time into my professional development ever since I've returned from Georgia and I can say I'm enjoying it.

I've been actually working (in the pure sense of lessons taught) a few hours less, but I don't mind. I have the flexibility, which is currently more important for me than pure income.

-

An example for 17 hours this week: Category A 64% (63); B 4% (12); C 0% (8); D 6% (4); E 26% (13). Brackets are % values from previous month.

-

I've done a bit of an analysis of my courses and categorized them based on what they provide me. I earmarked five types of courses:

a) my own - well paid + generally more motivated students (as they pay the courses themselves) + more challenging

b) premium - language school courses paid at a premium compared to my standard LS courses for various reasons (roughly matching the a) group)

c) flexible - courses from LS that don't have a fixed schedule, meaning it's on me if I make time for them or not (though I mostly do, as can they plug the gaps or can start my day)

d) challenging/fun/prospective - standard LS courses with an added quality

e) neither - standard LS courses without any added quality

-

NOT: I don't want to have a job that I don't enjoy. I don't want to have a job that is not well paid.

Possible direction/goals:

With my job position and student demand secure, I'm more able and willing to reschedule or even cancel classes in case I want to do something, mainly in the evening and for holidays. I enjoy having this option thoroughly.

Keep classes at a stable 25-30 hours a week.

Keep asking for reviews or recommendations from students.

Look into strategies to become truly self-employed by skipping the agencies in between.

Write down specific areas and what I want to do in them:

Networking and business events.

Get a system to mark down the progress of my students, together with their learning plan.

Check out business vouchers for equipment.

Past projects:

Questionnaire.

Fixed logos on my website for better visuals.

Updated the pricing section of my website. Variable/tiered pricing (do in July/August).

Got minor pay raises from language schools.

Did evaluations/testing of my students, if required.

Attended one networking event and one marketing seminar.

Introduced "phone call" classes. Update website/business profiles with "phone calls".

Lecturer academy.

Sample business contract on my website.

Google sheets system for students.

 

Exercise/Movement:

L: We walked and hiked quite a lot with my girlfriend in Georgia. I make an effort to go out every day, to at least read a book outside or go for a short walk. Cycling/walking to my students in the area as well.

T: Somewhat hampered, because of the issues with my foot the last week, though I can say the amount of activity I get is about the same. I also think I've been ill fairly often these months, which is definitely something I don't like.

NOT: I don't want to become fat.

Possible direction/goals:

I enjoy the fact I do not have to be "actively" dealing with this area of my life, as it's technically a part of my job. I just have to be on lookout if that was to change.

Keep in shape.

 

Blogging:

L: I haven't had time to even think about blogging with everything that was going on, although I do have a half-way written article in the works that I could publish soon.

T: -

Possible direction/goals:

Find a suitable UI/web template.

Set up emailing for subs.

Post two articles a month.

Polish links in articles. Interlink new articles with old ones.

Finish articles in concepts.

 

---

 

What to do if I am bored?

Replacement activities for 1 hour: reading books, cleaning, washing the dishes, reading newsletters

Replacement activities for 2 hours: going for a walk, work on my business, blogging, diploma thesis

 

---

 

Additional thoughts/activities:

My hobbies are: personal finance, graphs/projections/statistics, gunnery, GIS/statistics, reading/videos about (modern) history, English, working on my business, blogging/writing, geography.

This month, I did these cool activities: spending time on the GQ forum, table football tournament, going for sushi with my brother and girlfriend, going for lunch with my father, going for a trip with my girlfriend and her sister, attending a travel lecture.

Past few weeks have been OK with porn. Not great, not terrible, with some progress.

 

---

 

Goals/resolutions/aspirations for 2023:

Pass all the exams at the uni, finish the thesis and finish all university duties successfully in January/February 2024. - WIP, progress = yes

Improve my business, so that I don't need to teach for language schools anymore, by getting more private contacts, opportunities and students. - WIP, progress = yes

Go to Georgia to visit my friend. - Unfortunately, the plan didn't work out. I plan to go there later this year, either in late summer or autumn. We did it! 🙂

Stop watching porn (again), stop reading too much news (again). - Got some blocks going on. The past week was clean!

Start getting up when my alarm rings. - I got better, not 100%, but better.

Continue: planning, walking/exercising, writing/journaling, reading, studying for uni, dating, work on good life/work balance.

It's a short list, but if I manage all of it, I will be happy.

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26th Oct - 1st Nov:

I finished the (new) outline for the thesis and worked on some formalities of officially submitting it. Spent a few hours on it this week, but I know I'll have to spend more to finish it. I have two months to get it done.

I attended my girlfriend's graduation ceremony and met her family there. She was moved, as one of her friends showed up, despite the fact that they have a complicated relationship. I'm happy to have such a smart and pretty girlfriend 😄

The second exchange with the Finnish students finished as well. We went for a hike on Saturday. It was a nice visit overall, but I told my girlfriend that I'm too old and settled to co-organize these events and perhaps to even attend them (as if on holiday).

My girlfriend and I also watched the final matches of the 2023 Rugby Championship. The final was quite intense, but the team I rooted for won in the end 😄

I've been reading the entrepreneurial book and absorbed many ideas and opened many tabs in my browser, so today I decided to just go through some of them instead of reading. I need to make time to put the ideas into practice!

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18 hours ago, Ikar said:

26th Oct - 1st Nov:

I finished the (new) outline for the thesis and worked on some formalities of officially submitting it. Spent a few hours on it this week, but I know I'll have to spend more to finish it. I have two months to get it done.

I attended my girlfriend's graduation ceremony and met her family there. She was moved, as one of her friends showed up, despite the fact that they have a complicated relationship. I'm happy to have such a smart and pretty girlfriend 😄

The second exchange with the Finnish students finished as well. We went for a hike on Saturday. It was a nice visit overall, but I told my girlfriend that I'm too old and settled to co-organize these events and perhaps to even attend them (as if on holiday).

My girlfriend and I also watched the final matches of the 2023 Rugby Championship. The final was quite intense, but the team I rooted for won in the end 😄

I've been reading the entrepreneurial book and absorbed many ideas and opened many tabs in my browser, so today I decided to just go through some of them instead of reading. I need to make time to put the ideas into practice!

Great job on the outline and it seems like your relationship is going really well. Great to see. 

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23 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

Great job on the outline and it seems like your relationship is going really well. Great to see. 

Thanks! I believe so too. We need to address the issue of common time now, as now she has a normal day job (6/8-14/16) and I normally work in the evenings, but we'll figure it out.

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I've been feeling a bit puzzled over the last couple of days, mainly due to the fact that I noticed I have gone from 9 private students in January, through 13 students in June, to 8 students today. I do have an initial consultation later today, so it can be 9 again 🙂

To do myself justice and to put things into perspective: it's also true that I had no job at all teaching in 2020, about 1 private student in January 2021 and 4 private students in January 2022. What's also true that I still have 6 of the 9 students that I had in January 2023. Nevertheless, I'm still surprised by the downturn/slowdown.

The main question is of course to what degree I am responsible for that and to what extent it is just the expression of free will of my students to quit having lessons with me. I can't control the latter. I stepped up the effort on the former since I returned from Georgia, although there are also two sides to that: to improve the awareness of my services and to improve the quality of my service. Both are important, though the second one likely more.

I can say I've been doing both for some time now. Some of my students even complimented me (beyond the standard level). I'm still aware that even though I can take positive action, the benefits of it come with a delay; much as when I got fired from the post office after I stopped gaming (although there would be a good chance of that anyway).

My work can be a luxury to some, while being a necessity to others. It can actually change over the course of lessons too. I think I prefer the "necessity crowd" a bit more, as I think their motivation is better, as they have some "end goal" in mind, such as finishing the university or getting a promotion.

I am going to create a learning plan for myself, as I do for my students, to make my efforts more cohesive. I think the re-evaluation of the way I view my job has already happened, so I'm going to be less surprised in the future, should this happen again.

Meanwhile, I have time to pursue my own interests. I'm not in a stressful situation of not making enough money to break even, much less than to go into debt.

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2nd Nov - 8th Nov:

For the first time, I visited a local Toastmasters group to practice public speaking. I even had a short improvisation, for about a minute or so. They were very nice and I'm looking forward to visiting the event again.

I've been working on my thesis and I've done good progress over the last week. The word count is at 14k words from 9k the last week. I still need to rewrite it, as they are just excerpts of documents that I've read. I still have to adjust the outline a little.

I took my grandma and my mom to visit my grandma's sister and her family. My grandma was happy I took her there 🙂

I changed the wheels on my car yesterday, as the winter season is starting. I didn't want to delay it to find out one day that the snow has already fallen and I'm still on my summer tires 😄

I had a few business events the last week - meetings, networking and perhaps something I could call my first consultancy for a beginning lecturer 🙂

I have a meeting with my geography university group in the evening and after that I'm meeting my girlfriend.

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9th November - 12th November:

I'm not very happy with the way I've been handling my networking meetings recently. I do my homework to prepare for them, but once I am there, I just turn apathetic and/or I just don't want to meet anyone new. I still do meet some new people, but I'm not 100% comfortable. I'm might be saturated and should cut some meetings or I perhaps need to recharge my enthusiasm. We'll see.

Thesis has been going well, worked on it every day except one this week.

Met my friend and my girlfriend a few times this week and went to the cinema for a new film.

Later today I'm going out with my girlfriend.

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1 hour ago, Ikar said:

I'm not very happy with the way I've been handling my networking meetings recently. I do my homework to prepare for them, but once I am there, I just turn apathetic and/or I just don't want to meet anyone new. I still do meet some new people, but I'm not 100% comfortable. I'm might be saturated and should cut some meetings or I perhaps need to recharge my enthusiasm. We'll see.

Hmm... you might be right, it could be saturation. However, do you think maybe you have grown to view these networking sessions as a chore, something where it isn't successful if you don't get anything out of it? If so, it might be helpful to re-frame these as just time to meet new people and have good conversation. I've been to my fair share of networking sessions and the best were ones where I placed no pressure on achieving some kind of outcome other than striving to have a good time speaking with people. That's when the real networking begins anyways. Maybe this could alleviate some of the weight you feel and rejuvenate your experience?

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1 hour ago, FDRx7 said:

Hmm... you might be right, it could be saturation. However, do you think maybe you have grown to view these networking sessions as a chore, something where it isn't successful if you don't get anything out of it? If so, it might be helpful to re-frame these as just time to meet new people and have good conversation. I've been to my fair share of networking sessions and the best were ones where I placed no pressure on achieving some kind of outcome other than striving to have a good time speaking with people. That's when the real networking begins anyways. Maybe this could alleviate some of the weight you feel and rejuvenate your experience?

It's true that I started going to these sort of events regularly just a few months ago, so the initial thrill probably wore off already. Another issue I see is that there might be some events that are not as interesting for me, but I can't tell before I'm actually there, because I started so recently. Starts are always confusing 😄

I'm normally not a shy person, but I agree completely with you that I might be just putting unneeded pressure on myself to produce "results". These things can take years to materialize into "results". All the while being a freelancer is not only about making the "results", but also having a good feeling in the process - about the job, the people involved, speaking topics and other stuff. But hey, at least I know I'm not OK with focusing only on "results" and treating people only as a means to my ends 😄

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  • 2 weeks later...

13th November - 21st November:

I didn't have much time to work on my thesis the last week, but I anticipated that. The challenge now is to get back into the rhythm of writing, which I've hopefully done today with a few necessary emails regarding the thesis. I have a bit over six weeks to submit it.

The main event the last week was organizing a four day trip to a town nearby for about 30 people with a few other people from my geography group. It was quite tiring physically and socially, but I do feel recharged mentally.

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I'm using the template I used the last time. 25/10/23 - 22/11/23

"L" will stand for the (last) plan/notes for this term. "T" will stand for done this term.

I added "Future goals/direction" to better reflect on the things I am trying to do and to add specificity. I will copy it and stick it somewhere where I can see it to remind myself whenever I feel aimless. I will also use different colors: blue for newly added goals/habits, green for completed/successful, orange for ongoing/some progress and red for ones I haven't worked on in that period.

 

--- set smart/stretch goals - read book again

 

Books/Reading articles:

L: Finished "World Order" and started reading the book about freelancing I mentioned. It's not in English, so that's why it's nameless 🙂

T: Still on the business book, although I've been prioritizing other projects, so I didn't spend much time on it.

Possible direction/goals:

Continue getting through the newsletters.

(Borrow) and read one book until the next monthly report.

 

Family:

L: The kitchen plan ran into (another) problem. The working desk is a few centimeters shorter than needed, due to the fact there are unmovable drain pipes near the wall. The best solution, according to my father (and I share it), is to get a wider working desk, rather than to cut the cupboards to let the pipes through them.

I met my mom for lunch about a month ago. Other than that, there's nothing special happening, except the fact that I'm going to visit my family/grandma every week until my grandma's kitchen is reconstructed.

I got a new phone for my grandma, as her old one broke down. I also went for sushi with my brother (and my girlfriend), as well as for lunch with my father. I also visited my family four weekends in a row.

And I can say I still don't give a flying fuck about the reconstruction of the kitchen. I'm 100% ready to give somebody the money to make this problem go away. I've tried it twice or thrice. Nothing came out of it. I'm just gonna consult my father on what to do next, as I just can't do this.

T: Took my grandma and my mom to visit my grandma's sister family. The visit was OK. Went for a lunch with my father. Otherwise nothing new.

Spoiler

Since October, the project of my grandma's kitchen has been my responsibility. Some progress has been made, however I know that half a year is just too big of a time-frame to justify. I'm gonna lay out the plan:

Weekend of 11th/12th March: Ask my grandma to give me a "free hand" in the reconstruction of the kitchen. She was hesitant regarding the scope of the reconstruction, which made me hesitant in turn, because I didn't know what to do. I want to convince her that she has nothing to worry about and that the whole operation will be fast.

Weeks 11 and 12:

Consult my father and brother as to the design of the kitchen and use the IKEA kitchen planner to help me out. Show my grandma the plan for the kitchen at the end of week 12 and get a green light.

Weeks 13 and 14:

Go to IKEA to get the furniture and other shops for linoleum and other smaller stuff. There's no need for new electronic appliances, so there's no need to get involved with electrical thingies. Transport the furniture to my grandma's flat.

Weeks 14 and 15:

Plan a weekend with my father/brother to help out with the reconstruction. Removing old furniture, a bit of demolition, painting, putting in the new furniture. Get it done well and ASAP.

NOT: I don't want to get alienated from my family.

Possible direction/goals:

Work on getting the new kitchen for my grandma.

Continue work on maintaining the relationships with my family.

 

University:

L: Currently on 9 thousand words, although I wrote the last of them at the end of August and then I left for my holiday. This week, I resolved the email communication issues and had a consultation with my tutor. He advised me to be more specific with my topic and to send him a short summary at the weekend, so that he can insert the thesis assignment into the system.

I think I'm past the negotiation/assignment stage. It feels like I have done nothing, though I put some 20 hours into it in aggregate over the past month. It's not exactly "nothing". The main slowdown was due to the fact my tutor sometimes takes days to reply. That pits me into a stage when I can excuse doing nothing until his next reply, out of fear that I'm gonna work on something that won't be relevant after his reply.

Since now the thesis really is in the system, the layout is reworked (again), I'm gonna try to work on it every day from now on and I have already started today.

As an interesting university side note, we hosted the first student exchange the last week and we're hosting another this week as well. It'll be the guys from Finland whom we visited in March.

T: Got the outline pretty much done. I'm currently on roughly 18 thousand words, so I won't have troubles with the word count. I have until 9th January to submit it, meaning about 45 days. I'm confident that if I put 2-3 hours in every day, it'll be done, although it's hard to anticipate how much work it will take to finish the theoretical and empirical parts. I'm actually surprised by the fact that I have a lot of it done, even though I had week-long breaks in the past.

My plan is to work on it every day, do at least a little bit every day, no matter how small. I shouldn't have any days away from now on, so it's doable.

NOT: I don't want to drop out of the university.

Possible direction/goals:

Do the main part of my diploma in summer/autumn 2023 and do the defense and finals in January/February 2024.

Work on the assignments in a timely manner.

 

Business/English:

L: Events have really picked up pace. I had a business presentation for young students and attended a networking event. I started attending an online language lecturer academy and I can say I'm stoked. I got a Google sheets system for students running and I believe it'll improve the quality of my lessons greatly.

I'm also booked for three other events in November already. I'm really funneling a lot of time into my professional development ever since I've returned from Georgia and I can say I'm enjoying it.

I've been actually working (in the pure sense of lessons taught) a few hours less, but I don't mind. I have the flexibility, which is currently more important for me than pure income.

T: I had a consultation with a girl who wants to teach informally in her company; a shared acquaintance told her to visit me to ask how to best do it.

I haven't been feeling the best in the last few networking events. I'm not sure if there are any relevant ones for me before the year ends, but that's OK.

I also lost a few courses over the past months, though again, I'm not too worried about it. I'm still making enough money to save some and I can use the time for my university studies or spend it with my girlfriend. Besides, I got two new students in the last three weeks 🙂

-

An example for 19 hours this week: Category A 53% (64); B 4% (4); C 5% (0); D 5% (6); E 33% (26). Brackets are % values from previous month.

-

I've done a bit of an analysis of my courses and categorized them based on what they provide me. I earmarked five types of courses:

a) my own - well paid + generally more motivated students (as they pay the courses themselves) + more challenging

b) premium - language school courses paid at a premium compared to my standard LS courses for various reasons (roughly matching the a) group)

c) flexible - courses from LS that don't have a fixed schedule, meaning it's on me if I make time for them or not (though I mostly do, as can they plug the gaps or can start my day)

d) challenging/fun/prospective - standard LS courses with an added quality

e) neither - standard LS courses without any added quality

-

NOT: I don't want to have a job that I don't enjoy. I don't want to have a job that is not well paid.

Possible direction/goals:

With my job position and student demand secure, I'm more able and willing to reschedule or even cancel classes in case I want to do something, mainly in the evening and for holidays. I enjoy having this option thoroughly.

Keep classes at a stable 25-30 hours a week.

Keep asking for reviews or recommendations from students.

Look into strategies to become truly self-employed by skipping the agencies in between.

Create a learning plan for myself.

Go through "lecturer academy" materials.

Write down specific areas and what I want to do in them:

Networking and business events.

Get a system to mark down the progress of my students, together with their learning plan.

Check out business vouchers for equipment.

Past projects:

Questionnaire.

Fixed logos on my website for better visuals.

Updated the pricing section of my website. Variable/tiered pricing (do in July/August).

Got minor pay raises from language schools.

Did evaluations/testing of my students, if required.

Attended one networking event and one marketing seminar.

Introduced "phone call" classes. Update website/business profiles with "phone calls".

Lecturer academy.

Sample business contract on my website.

Google sheets system for students.

 

Exercise/Movement:

L: Somewhat hampered, because of the issues with my foot the last week, though I can say the amount of activity I get is about the same. I also think I've been ill fairly often these months, which is definitely something I don't like.

T: Cycling and walking still, though I prefer walks due to the weather. Had two hikes too.

NOT: I don't want to become fat.

Possible direction/goals:

I enjoy the fact I do not have to be "actively" dealing with this area of my life, as it's technically a part of my job. I just have to be on lookout if that was to change.

Keep in shape.

 

Blogging:

L: I haven't had time to even think about blogging with everything that was going on, although I do have a half-way written article in the works that I could publish soon.

-

T: -

Possible direction/goals:

Find a suitable UI/web template.

Set up emailing for subs.

Post two articles a month.

Polish links in articles. Interlink new articles with old ones.

Finish articles in concepts.

 

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What to do if I am bored?

Replacement activities for 1 hour: reading books, cleaning, washing the dishes, reading newsletters

Replacement activities for 2 hours: going for a walk, work on my business, blogging, diploma thesis

 

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Additional thoughts/activities:

My hobbies are: personal finance, graphs/projections/statistics, gunnery, GIS/statistics, reading/videos about (modern) history, English, working on my business, blogging/writing, geography.

This month, I did these cool activities: spending time on the GQ forum, table football tournament (another!), going for lunch with my father, hosting Finnish students, organizing a team-building event for 30 people with my geographer group, attended a Toastmasters meeting, changed wheels on my car for ones with winter tires, visited the cinema, attended my girlfriend's graduation ceremony, hiked twice.

My girlfriend has been stressed by the lack of activity at her new work. She's bored. She wants to do something more active. Judging from the list of activities, I'm nowhere near being bored, though I can/did share only a few of the activities above with her. My plan is to do something active at the weekend to cheer her up.

 

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Goals/resolutions/aspirations for 2023:

Pass all the exams at the uni, finish the thesis and finish all university duties successfully in January/February 2024. - WIP, progress = yes

Improve my business, so that I don't need to teach for language schools anymore, by getting more private contacts, opportunities and students. - WIP, progress = yes

Go to Georgia to visit my friend. - Unfortunately, the plan didn't work out. I plan to go there later this year, either in late summer or autumn. We did it! 🙂

Stop watching porn (again), stop reading too much news (again). - Got some blocks going on. The past week was clean!

Start getting up when my alarm rings. - I got better, not 100%, but better.

Continue: planning, walking/exercising, writing/journaling, reading, studying for uni, working on good life/work balance.

It's a short list, but if I manage all of it, I will be happy.

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22nd November - 27th November:

I've been working on the thesis every day since I wrote my last post, usually for two hours daily. I might step it up a little, but so far I haven't felt the need. I believe I'll have the theoretical part of it done in about a week, leaving my hands free for the practical part in December.

I went to watch a hockey match with my mum yesterday. I haven't been doing anything special otherwise. There are many things I don't have time for, but I have to prioritize. No other way around it.

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