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Presents to my future self

This Fiore Translation Project is a monster. Transcribing and translating is fun and quite easy (because this manuscript has been in my head for over 20 years now). The commentary is easy too- it just pours out in a kind of free-association torrent.

But editing the videos? Uploading them to youtube? Cropping the images? Creating the title cards for the videos? Getting it all on the blog properly linked and formatted? Crap, that’s a pain in the arse, and a metric fuckton of work that actually feels like work.

Somehow though, in a completely unprecedented way, I keep finding that chunks of the work have already been done. It’s like my computer is home to a bunch of elves that get bits of this project done for me while I’m busy doing something else.

Only it’s not elves, it’s me.

I’ve been super-organised about the whole thing. So when I’m editing the first video in a section (such as the Sword in One Hand), and I need the title card, I open up Keynote (the mac version of Powerpoint, and great for making video title cards) and I make the cards for the whole section. They won’t be perfect, because I’ll sometimes miss a video, and certainly also create cards I won’t need. But it means that a week later when I’m editing another video, its cards are probably already done. 

When I edit one video for the post to go out the next week, I keep editing more videos until I’m all edited out, then get back to writing. So in a couple of weeks time, I go to edit the next video… and it’s already done, or at least if not completely finished, I’ve found the relevant clips and the title cards and dumped them in an imovie project file ready to be cut together.

Get this, people: I even have a spreadsheet for the videos, noting their title, and their youtube url, ready for the time when I need to have pretty links for them, to create workbook versions of the project (pretty links enable me to create links that can point anywhere, so when I update a video, or youtube goes bust, or something like that, I can redirect the link to the new video location, without having to change the links in the book).

I think this is the only spreadsheet I have ever created. 

The overriding feeling is that I am creating presents for my future self, and hiding them to surprise me with later.

I feel the same way when I stop drinking after two glasses of wine. Tomorrow morning me will be happier if I do. Or when I don’t eat that very tempting doughnut. Future me will be happier not being fat and diabetic with a side-order of cancer, heart disease, and stroke. 

Of course, I very often tell future me to go suck eggs, and have the wine, and/or the doughnut (not usually together, but it has been known). But I find that this idea of creating presents for my future self tends to lead to better decisions, and a happier me. 

Because let’s face it, when you think you’ve got an hour of totally tedious technical travail ahead of you, and it turns out it’s already been done, happiness is a natural result.

I suppose this is a productivity post, of a sort. If that’s your thing, you might also like this:

Guy on Time


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