An Episode Out of Time 2: Out of Timer


00:00:00   So listener Ian has found the perfect new game for you.

00:00:02   Oh yes, what is it?

00:00:04   So you know in the past you've spoken about the fact that you like games that feel like work.

00:00:09   You know, like Truck Simulator and Factorio, they're like work games?

00:00:13   Yeah, they're work simulator games in my mind.

00:00:15   Well, we found the ultimate CGP Grey work simulator. It's called YouTuber's Life.

00:00:20   YouTuber's Life is the ultimate life simulation tycoon video game in which you become the world's

00:00:26   greatest video blogger in history. Edit videos, expand the amount of fans, and turn yourself

00:00:30   into a wealthy fella.

00:00:32   Uhh, that sounds horrible to play.

00:00:36   Work imitates life imitates work imitates life.

00:00:39   That's a little too close to home.

00:00:41   The screenshots are amazing because they show a bedroom with an unmade bed and somebody

00:00:47   working on a computer.

00:00:48   remarkably by total coincidence I watched PewDiePie do a playthrough of YouTube Simulator just yesterday.

00:00:57   Oh really?

00:00:59   It showed up in that "Here's what YouTube thinks you should watch" section.

00:01:03   They were really right though, right?

00:01:05   Sometimes that YouTube thing freaks me out because they're like "Oh yeah, no, I would like to see that video. Thank you so much, YouTube."

00:01:11   All right. Well this this one struck me as particularly funny because it's it's I am NOT subscribed to PewDiePie

00:01:18   I have probably watched fewer than

00:01:20   five maybe ten of his videos ever and

00:01:24   But but YouTube just knows right there little algorithms their data algorithms simply know hey

00:01:30   We're going to suggest you a PewDiePie video that you cannot possibly

00:01:34   Resist on clicking and they were correct and I clicked it and I watched it and they were right. It was very entertaining video

00:01:39   What do you think of YouTuber's life?

00:01:43   I will never play a game like that. It looks

00:01:47   terrible, it looks like the kind of work simulator that I hate, which is

00:01:51   not really a work simulator, it's just the game randomly

00:01:55   rewarding you at times with stuff. I don't know.

00:01:59   I have no interest in never playing that game, but I can recommend PewDiePie's video

00:02:03   where he plays that game. He's very good, he's very funny,

00:02:07   and he turns it into a bizarre meta commentary

00:02:11   on his own life as a YouTuber.

00:02:14   So of course he ends up making a little character

00:02:17   that looks just like him,

00:02:18   and he just makes all of these comments

00:02:21   about feeding the machine and gotta keep it going.

00:02:23   There's a reason that guy's the number one YouTuber.

00:02:25   I wouldn't watch all his videos, they're not all for me,

00:02:27   but anybody who thinks he's just an idiot

00:02:31   playing video games in his room,

00:02:32   like you don't understand what this man is doing.

00:02:34   You don't understand what he's doing.

00:02:35   When we talk about that talent thing,

00:02:38   and when we were talking about, a long time ago,

00:02:40   about having that spark, and we used MKBHD

00:02:43   as an example of that from his first video.

00:02:46   - Right, right, little tiny 12-year-old MKBHD.

00:02:49   - Yeah, PewDiePie doesn't really have a spark,

00:02:51   he has a fire.

00:02:52   - Yeah. - Like that man,

00:02:53   there is no doubt, absolutely no doubt.

00:02:56   Whether you don't like his videos or not,

00:02:58   you cannot deny that they are well-made.

00:03:00   - Yeah, that they are well-made,

00:03:01   and that he is just engaging.

00:03:04   He's engaging in this way that is difficult to describe.

00:03:07   - Yep.

00:03:08   (laughing)

00:03:09   - But yeah, so really, YouTube algorithms,

00:03:11   you know what I wanted even when I didn't know

00:03:14   what I wanted, and what I wanted was watching

00:03:16   the number one YouTuber play a YouTube simulation game.

00:03:20   - This is an episode out of time.

00:03:22   - Indeed it is, Myke, because from my perspective,

00:03:27   this is insanity, because I just spoke to you yesterday.

00:03:31   We just did an episode yesterday.

00:03:33   We did our Cortex-iversary episode yesterday for people who are interested in the cortex-anuity of the show.

00:03:45   I'm so proud of you right now. You're really getting into this.

00:03:49   [Laughter]

00:03:51   And this episode you are probably listening to sometime in July, maybe August?

00:03:58   I don't even know when this is gonna happen.

00:04:00   So people will be listening to this at some point in the late summer, months after we are recording it.

00:04:08   Yep.

00:04:08   So this is what will be past me talking to you after what is intended to be a very long, very busy, very unusual summer for me.

00:04:23   Which is part of the reason why we are recording this well ahead of time.

00:04:26   But it makes the verb usage here seem very strange.

00:04:31   Like, in the future, I will have had done things that we will certainly have had already talked about on shows we will record.

00:04:43   But from the perspective of people listening, we've already recorded and they have already listened to.

00:04:48   Because it's very confusing, because in theory, now, looking to the future, so people can judge our predictions,

00:04:56   we have participated in RelayCon together.

00:05:01   Right, we will have been to RelayCon.

00:05:03   You have been to VidCon.

00:05:05   I will have been to VidCon.

00:05:07   We will have recorded our first in-person episode of Cortex.

00:05:11   That's right as well.

00:05:13   And now we are approaching the second annual Cortexmas.

00:05:19   It's all very confusing.

00:05:21   It is all very confusing. And the very fact that I am going to RelayCon, and the very fact that I am going to VidCon

00:05:28   are things that I have stated publicly nowhere at this stage.

00:05:32   Which is what makes it all the more exciting to mention.

00:05:35   It's like a fun little secret at this moment.

00:05:39   I may not even mention anything about being at VidCon until after I have left.

00:05:44   I don't know. We'll have to see. You, listener, will already know if I did or didn't.

00:05:48   But that might be a surprise.

00:05:52   So yeah, it's just a strange thing, but we are trying to plan in advance for what is going to be a busy summer.

00:06:01   So the reason we are recording this is because there's going to be just a ton of stuff going on.

00:06:07   And I know that later in the summer, in addition to all of this crazy business stuff,

00:06:12   I also have a ton of family stuff that I'm doing later in the summer.

00:06:15   So this very morning, for this episode, I was actually tallying up

00:06:20   what is the theoretical number of flights that I am taking this summer.

00:06:24   And I haven't bought them yet, there's a few events and a few things that are still a bit uncertain.

00:06:28   But I will be taking no fewer than 8 and no more than 14 flights this summer.

00:06:33   Wow, that's a lot. Oh my word.

00:06:36   I know, it is quite a lot. But that is why a little while ago I said, "Myke, we need to talk about the summer Cortex schedule."

00:06:47   And that is why this episode is happening right now.

00:06:50   Also, because me and you have been through something like this already.

00:06:55   So last year, you were away for a lot of the summer, and we didn't prepare for it, and it was a nightmare.

00:07:04   Yeah, last summer was a bit of a disaster in very many ways for me.

00:07:09   Probably one of the biggest ways was that somehow, I don't really know how,

00:07:14   but you convinced me not only were we going to launch Cortex last summer,

00:07:20   but we were also going to be doing weekly episodes, which was insanity.

00:07:24   I don't know how you convinced me of this. I don't know why past me would have agreed to such a thing.

00:07:30   But that was way, way too many episodes to be doing at once.

00:07:36   But we tried, and then we had to try and squeeze it into a schedule, and you were on standby

00:07:42   flights, arriving at weird days.

00:07:44   It was a nightmare.

00:07:46   So we also, we have learned together, and are working together over the last year or

00:07:51   so, and we are now recording an episode out of time.

00:07:55   Yes.

00:07:56   And that is what this episode is.

00:07:57   But there is an interesting lesson in there.

00:07:59   I think about the whole idea of this thing existing is that we are collaborating better

00:08:07   now than we have before because we now understand the habits and patterns of each other and

00:08:14   we are working to respect those so I know that you'll be traveling and you know that

00:08:22   I want an episode.

00:08:23   Right what Myke is trying to say here listeners is we respect Myke knows that I want a

00:08:29   bunch of time off this summer. And I know that Myke watches a bunch of episodes this summer.

00:08:34   We have these mutually incompatible desires and so we have compromised on

00:08:40   one Cortexmas, so there was going to be one fewer episode of Cortex this summer,

00:08:45   and also doing this episode in advance. So this is the thing, this is the

00:08:51   compromise that we have come to. This is another one of those CEO to CEO

00:08:55   discussions that we had that we've mentioned in the past which again I will

00:08:59   underscore the importance of anybody who is self-employed working with other

00:09:03   self-employed people that it is very very useful to be able to have these

00:09:07   conversations. So useful so useful. And we were able to come to an agreement

00:09:13   because I wanted more episodes than we're doing and you wanted more time

00:09:16   off than you have so we came to a compromise. Uh-huh yes we did come to a

00:09:22   compromise because as we may discuss later in the episode in theory I would

00:09:27   just like the whole summer off. I would like the whole summer off too but then I

00:09:32   can't eat right that's not how it works. Right but that's what I mean right there

00:09:38   are all of these various constraints and things in life. I do also just want to

00:09:42   again reiterate your point to anybody listening who is self-employed and works

00:09:46   other people. I really think if you can try to introduce the explicit language,

00:09:54   like we will say like we are talking CEO to CEO now, like do that as a mode

00:10:02   shift when you're having business conversations with someone. It is hard to

00:10:07   express how much easier and clearer that makes things. It really really does. I

00:10:13   I highly highly recommend anybody working with other people like try to do that try to institute that as a company culture

00:10:21   In both of your companies, it's extraordinarily beneficial and just makes things much much easier

00:10:25   But yeah, so in addition to this being a bit of a negotiation between the two of us

00:10:30   this is also

00:10:32   one of these cases for me where it's important to

00:10:36   know yourself and

00:10:38   I

00:10:41   I found myself as this summer was approaching

00:10:43   really constantly thinking back towards last summer and

00:10:49   just realizing how last summer was a bit of a disaster across all fronts.

00:10:55   Like this summer, I had a bunch of family responsibilities, and I also had a bunch of work responsibilities. So there was Cortex.

00:11:01   There's also the Hello Internet podcast. There's also the YouTube videos that I did. There's some other business stuff.

00:11:05   And also a bunch of family things and

00:11:10   Last summer I just did a frankly terrible job of trying to manage all of those things

00:11:17   And as a result, I had a kind of grumpy summer. Like I felt that I was not doing

00:11:21   necessarily really great with a lot of the business side of things and then I also felt that I wasn't doing really great with a

00:11:28   lot of the family responsibilities. Like I was just torn between these two different worlds and

00:11:34   not being able to give either

00:11:37   the time and the mental energy that they required.

00:11:42   And so I think this is such an important skill in life is to be able to look on a thing,

00:11:50   objectively evaluate yourself on it to recognize,

00:11:54   "Oh, I didn't do very well last summer with these kinds of things," and then think forward to the future about

00:11:59   what are the structural changes that can be done to improve this situation.

00:12:04   And so,

00:12:07   Reducing the number of Cortex episodes by one and also doing one in advance like we're doing now like that is one thing

00:12:13   That is definitely happening, and I'm doing a similar thing with hello internet. I think

00:12:18   One maybe two I still have to finalize it

00:12:21   But there's going to be a few fewer episodes than would otherwise be

00:12:25   Normal over the course of the year during the summer, and I'm also making a conscious decision like I do most summers to

00:12:32   intentionally do one fewer video than in theory would come out over the same three month span if I was

00:12:40   working at another point in the year.

00:12:42   And I feel like this is one of those times where, well,

00:12:45   I have a bunch of things to do. This summer in particular is going to be filled with a huge amount of

00:12:52   social time and family time. Like I always find that very

00:12:58   energy intensive and so I am not like last year going to think oh I can just truck through this like normal

00:13:05   I'm just I'm just gonna keep doing all the amount of work that I normally do and I'm also going to have all of these

00:13:10   Other responsibilities and everything is going to be fine. It's like no no

00:13:13   I'm going to learn from last year's experience and intentionally turn down the work dial so that hopefully

00:13:20   The whole of the summer goes more smoothly than it did last time

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00:15:12   In the balance of all of that is time off, right?

00:15:16   Understanding that you should be putting your efforts

00:15:19   into the right places, one of those places

00:15:22   should be time off.

00:15:23   Because if you work in a company, you'll get time off.

00:15:27   And you'll get time off because there's a very good reason,

00:15:30   'cause everybody needs breaks, right?

00:15:32   And in more traditional companies, everybody takes it

00:15:36   and it's all done.

00:15:37   And like in the company that I worked at, you had to, right?

00:15:40   It wasn't even a joke, like this was just a thing

00:15:43   you had to do and one of those breaks had to be two weeks.

00:15:47   Right, they were like all things that were like,

00:15:49   you had to do them.

00:15:50   And I know in a lot more kind of new companies these days,

00:15:53   there are like these trends which,

00:15:56   the face of it seemed quite good,

00:15:57   but actually workouts will not be too great,

00:15:59   like unlimited vacation time.

00:16:01   Are you familiar with this?

00:16:02   - Oh man, I love unlimited vacation time at companies

00:16:08   because this to me is the embodiment of corporate evil.

00:16:12   - Yep.

00:16:13   (laughs)

00:16:14   - So for listeners who may be unaware,

00:16:17   this is a trend I feel like over the past few years

00:16:21   of companies saying there is an unlimited amount

00:16:23   of vacation time for you to take.

00:16:25   You take as much as you feel that you need

00:16:29   because we, the company, we love you

00:16:32   and we want you to be happy.

00:16:34   And it sounds great and I think especially

00:16:37   for people walking out of university and into their first job.

00:16:42   Like, oh, this sounds like an amazing bonus.

00:16:44   But the end result is that without knowing

00:16:47   how much vacation time is okay to take,

00:16:51   that people who work at companies

00:16:52   that give unlimited vacation time

00:16:54   essentially take no vacation time.

00:16:56   That they never take time off.

00:16:58   Because everybody has this paranoid feeling

00:17:00   about how much time is appropriate to take off.

00:17:03   When is it okay?

00:17:04   I don't understand what the boundaries are.

00:17:06   And so, yeah, it's just, it's total, total corporate evil to do that kind of thing.

00:17:11   But it is very important to make sure that you do it.

00:17:14   And that like unlimited vacation time in a strange way is exactly the way that me

00:17:20   and you live our lives in and with so many self employ people, right?

00:17:25   It's like, I can take as much time off as I want because I make, I call the shots,

00:17:29   but what happens is I take none.

00:17:31   Right?

00:17:31   Yeah.

00:17:32   So I have become better and better maybe in the last year

00:17:37   about taking some breaks, but one of the things that I do,

00:17:41   which is good and bad is a lot of those breaks

00:17:43   have some kind of work component in them,

00:17:45   but that helps me justify a lot of it to myself.

00:17:50   And I'm definitely not working as much as usual

00:17:52   in those scenarios, but there is more relaxation time

00:17:57   occurring than usual.

00:18:00   I was laughing before because the comparison between unlimited vacation time companies and self-employment is just

00:18:07   perfectly spot-on and

00:18:09   again in the thinking about my upcoming summer, which will have passed by the time people are listening to this, and

00:18:17   thinking about

00:18:19   my last summer that's gone on and thinking about just how I spend my working time,

00:18:24   I am so very much aware that in the past two years

00:18:29   this is also an area that I have been just very bad at, is taking time off.

00:18:35   And I recognize that as one of these things that I want to try to improve and I want to try to get better at,

00:18:41   but it is in no small part because there is a bit of a lull, this feeling of like, "Oh, in theory

00:18:46   I could take any day off."

00:18:48   But you never want to take any particular day off because there's always stuff to do when you're self-employed.

00:18:53   This is the downside that we talk about of being self-employed, that it's very hard

00:18:57   for the job to leave your mind or for you to leave the job. It's always there, there's always stuff that you can do.

00:19:04   And I look back quite fondly on my time as a teacher when you had those breaks and

00:19:13   there was stuff to do during the breaks, like I was always working on side projects or whatever, but there was a

00:19:20   way that you could genuinely completely leave the job behind for regular stretches of time.

00:19:27   And that was without doubt hugely mentally beneficial to do such a thing.

00:19:32   And I particularly love the UK schedule for teachers, which is very different from in America.

00:19:37   In America you usually have like one really big long summer and a few shorter breaks throughout the year.

00:19:42   But in the UK, it's like six weeks of teaching and then one week off, six weeks of teaching, two weeks off, six weeks of teaching, one week off.

00:19:51   It's an amazing amazing schedule that I think I need to move closer to that in the future

00:19:59   because my current schedule of I work almost every day some amount after probably pretty

00:20:07   close to two years of doing that it's like no this needs this needs to change this is

00:20:11   a thing that I need to improve upon and it is one of the areas in which I have not been

00:20:16   so great.

00:20:17   Time off isn't just vacations though.

00:20:19   No, it's not just vacations. I'm thinking of vacations because that is the area in which I have been the worst at.

00:20:25   And I'm also thinking about that because I keep comparing that, oh, this summer would be a lot easier if I could just

00:20:32   have it be like my summers were when I was a teacher.

00:20:35   That's why I'm thinking about vacations.

00:20:37   But I have been much better this past year in particular of making a really conscious effort that

00:20:44   no work happens on Saturdays.

00:20:48   So I have Saturdays blocked off in my calendar as just no work days.

00:20:53   Nothing's going to happen here.

00:20:54   You know, I'm spending time on my own or I'm spending time with my wife,

00:20:57   but I'm going to have one really dedicated day out of the week that I know I'm not going to work on that day.

00:21:05   And simply doing that has been much more helpful, like to really treat that day respectfully.

00:21:13   Like to not just blow it off and it's very easy to do some low-level work.

00:21:16   But it's like no no no I'm very serious about this. Again, it's very funny in this way like when you are self-employed

00:21:22   you have to be quite disciplined with this kind of stuff. Like you have to take time off really seriously, otherwise you won't do it.

00:21:29   And that is a thing that has worked for me, but like

00:21:33   what is it that you do in in your schedule with regards to time off because

00:21:40   you have all of these shows that you record and it seems like

00:21:44   You record shows constantly from my perspective. I mean do you have a

00:21:49   Day in your schedule that is perfectly clear. Do you do something similar or how does it work for you? No?

00:21:57   Well yes, and no okay, I have no day that is like

00:22:04   Absolutely no work. Mm-hmm like

00:22:08   categorically none

00:22:10   Weekends are low to none.

00:22:14   And that is a regular thing for me.

00:22:17   There might be some low level work that I do on a Sunday,

00:22:20   there might be some like just bits and bobs that pop up

00:22:23   that I take care of, but it's not one or the other

00:22:27   for me on weekends, but it tends to be that they are like

00:22:30   significantly lower work, so the point where it feels

00:22:33   like I'm not working, right?

00:22:35   But I know there's always stuff going on

00:22:37   because our companies are very different.

00:22:39   mine runs with people.

00:22:41   - Right.

00:22:42   - And I like to be available for people if they need me.

00:22:46   So it is a different scenario,

00:22:48   it's set up slightly differently.

00:22:49   But I'm totally happy with that.

00:22:51   I wouldn't wanna work any other way.

00:22:53   There doesn't have to be any people involved,

00:22:55   but I wanted there to be.

00:22:59   There would have been a way to run Relay FM

00:23:02   very differently than the way that we run it.

00:23:05   We didn't have to create a Slack group

00:23:07   that had every host in it.

00:23:10   We just didn't have to do any of that, you know?

00:23:12   'Cause that makes everybody much more available

00:23:14   to each other, so it has more requirements to it.

00:23:16   But that's the way that I like to run my business.

00:23:18   But what I do is, in my theme of the year of less,

00:23:23   I have two days every two weeks,

00:23:27   I mentioned this many times, where there is way less work,

00:23:30   and also one week where there is just less work anyway.

00:23:34   Like less shows recording.

00:23:36   I specifically stack one week heavier than the other.

00:23:40   And I'm running some side projects

00:23:43   through some of that stuff too,

00:23:44   but it doesn't feel so much like work,

00:23:47   like you, the way that you do that.

00:23:49   And one thing that I'm very mindful of

00:23:51   is taking mini breaks throughout the day.

00:23:54   That is something that I put a lot of focus

00:23:56   on making sure that I do.

00:23:58   And working with a predominantly US audience

00:24:02   means that's very possible,

00:24:03   because there are a lot of people

00:24:05   that are asleep for the majority of my morning and afternoon.

00:24:09   So I'm able to do work that is isolated during that time, where I'm able to take care of

00:24:15   things that people won't bug me for.

00:24:18   I'm able to take care of things where I can send stuff to people and they won't get back

00:24:22   to me immediately.

00:24:24   And then I'm also able to relax a little bit before working again in the evening.

00:24:29   Yeah, I think that's good and sort of along the same lines where you're talking about mini-breaks.

00:24:38   One of the behaviors I have been trying to be much more conscious about is deciding when work isn't happening at particular times.

00:24:51   And as I've mentioned before for me, the afternoons are always my least productive time.

00:24:56   And while I have been bad about taking a dedicated time off like a vacation,

00:25:01   one other thing that I have gotten much, much better at is really accepting the afternoons as my unproductive time,

00:25:10   and deciding to not feel the guilt of "there are things that you could be working on right now."

00:25:16   And to say instead, "No, I am accepting that this is low productivity time for me,

00:25:22   and if in the afternoon I want to sit down

00:25:26   and I want to watch a couple episodes of TV

00:25:30   or I just want to read a book or something,

00:25:32   that is fine because this is the time of day

00:25:35   when it makes most sense to do that,

00:25:37   when you'd be the least effective working

00:25:39   on something else anyway,

00:25:41   and you might as well take this as your downtime.

00:25:46   - So I try and do this and I do this.

00:25:49   I still struggle with it though,

00:25:51   And funnily enough, the times where I struggle with it

00:25:53   the most are also the times when I need it the most.

00:25:56   - What do you mean you need it the most?

00:25:59   - So when I have a lot on my mind,

00:26:02   so when I have a lot going on, and when I'm very busy,

00:26:06   it makes me feel overwhelmed.

00:26:08   And when I feel overwhelmed,

00:26:10   I usually need to take more breaks,

00:26:12   because typically, when I have that overwhelmed feeling,

00:26:16   it's not as bad as I think it is.

00:26:18   And what will usually happen is,

00:26:21   Adina will come home, and I will be in a bad mood.

00:26:25   Like usually not angry but upset, like I feel upset.

00:26:29   - Grumpy Myke.

00:26:30   - Grumpy's not even the right word for it.

00:26:32   Like it's a weird feeling of like,

00:26:36   maybe more vulnerable?

00:26:39   It's something that's very difficult for me to explain,

00:26:42   but the only way that I describe it is,

00:26:44   I will say to her, I feel overwhelmed.

00:26:46   and then she'll say to me, tell me all of the things

00:26:49   that you have going on, and then I'll list them

00:26:52   and realize it's not as many as I think it is.

00:26:54   This is a very common thing, maybe happens

00:26:57   every few months or so, but it's not something

00:27:00   that I can really see until I'm able to express it,

00:27:04   but it's funny that the more and more it happens,

00:27:07   the more that I'm realizing that it's in those times

00:27:11   is typically where I'm not taking breaks.

00:27:15   And it's when I'm not taking breaks,

00:27:17   I'm working maybe a little bit more than I should,

00:27:19   and then I feel like there's always more happening

00:27:21   than there is.

00:27:22   - Yeah, that, it's funny you mention that,

00:27:28   because just, this thing that I do fairly, fairly regularly,

00:27:33   I mean, maybe like you, maybe every couple of months,

00:27:37   I don't know exactly, but I am also aware

00:27:40   of that feeling of overwhelmedness,

00:27:43   as I mentioned before sometimes like just this feeling like there is so much to do and

00:27:49   So little time to do it I almost feel like that feeling is

00:27:55   anti correlated with

00:27:59   Actually how many things there are to do?

00:28:01   and so

00:28:04   Just the other day again. This is now months ago from whenever people are listening

00:28:07   It may have happened three times to be known. Yeah, I may have done it several times now

00:28:12   But just the other day I posted on Twitter about how I

00:28:16   always know like oh things are serious when I feel the need to break out a second to do app and so I

00:28:22   am more like if I have this feeling of

00:28:25   Overwhelmedness I do the same thing that Adina is walking you through of

00:28:31   Let me let me

00:28:34   Not look at my normal system. Let me not look at all of my normal things. Let me just list

00:28:41   What are all of the things that are on my mind right now?

00:28:44   What are all of the things that are top of my mind that's taking up all of this mental attention? And what am I feeling?

00:28:50   Overwhelmed about and it's always the same experience of okay once I write this down in a list there may be

00:28:57   nine things on that list

00:28:59   But what I often find is oh, I'm feeling overwhelmed or or busy because a bunch of these things are

00:29:07   new or unusual things

00:29:11   It's not that they're actually, I may not actually be tremendously more busy than I currently am, but it's just there's

00:29:18   uncertainty here and

00:29:21   writing it down on a list like clarifies and refines that uncertainty and helps get rid of that feeling of

00:29:27   being too busy and too overwhelmed.

00:29:30   Yeah, there is something quite funny in there that you talk to a to-do app and I talk to my girlfriend.

00:29:37   I mean, I used to write it down on a piece of paper, but now I use it to do out for the night.

00:29:41   We're living in the future, come on.

00:29:43   Yeah, we're living in the future.

00:29:44   But yeah, so like having just gone through this, like this week I had been feeling very overwhelmed.

00:29:50   But when I wrote it all down, what I realized is, okay, I am actually quite busy.

00:29:54   Because this week I am working on a video.

00:29:58   We're doing these two podcasts, one which is the bank episode in the future.

00:30:02   So that is a thing that counts for me as a bit of, oh, this is unusual, this is different.

00:30:07   The video that I am working on, again, I can talk about this now even though it hasn't yet happened, is a collaboration video with somebody else, and so that also adds to the differentness of the project.

00:30:21   I like that you said somebody else. You were still trying to guard the secret.

00:30:25   Yeah, I don't know why I did that.

00:30:26   From the people that know.

00:30:28   Right, I just...

00:30:29   It's a crossover video with Kurt Gissat. I don't know why on earth I said somebody else.

00:30:35   Very proud of you right now.

00:30:36   No.

00:30:37   That was part of my brain, being like,

00:30:39   I'm not sure if we're supposed to reveal this yet,

00:30:41   but no one will hear this.

00:30:42   But so that's the thing, it's different.

00:30:45   And then the other thing is I have a bunch of stuff

00:30:47   that's just related to finalizing and preparing

00:30:50   for all of the summer travels.

00:30:52   Now, that is a busier week than normal,

00:30:56   but overwhelmingly, the feeling of busyness

00:31:00   or the feeling of overwhelmness was just coming from

00:31:03   a bunch of these things are different

00:31:04   than they normally are.

00:31:06   And so when you write them all down on a list,

00:31:08   you can see, okay, this is clearer

00:31:11   than I thought it was before.

00:31:12   And this helps focus the mind on what you're going to do.

00:31:17   And what I also really like about this process

00:31:20   of writing things down in these moments

00:31:23   is forcing the list to be in what order

00:31:28   are you going to work on it?

00:31:30   And you're like, here's the thing at the top,

00:31:32   this is the thing that you're doing right now,

00:31:33   the next most important thing is below it,

00:31:35   and then just so on.

00:31:36   I find that is extremely helpful and I don't know,

00:31:41   I almost wanna use a hippie word like centering,

00:31:44   I don't know, it's a similar thing

00:31:46   if I have a hard time verbalizing the mental feeling of it.

00:31:50   - It's like decluttering.

00:31:52   - Yeah, yeah, that's actually, that's pretty good.

00:31:55   That's a very similar feeling of like a decluttering is.

00:32:00   How much stuff is here?

00:32:01   Maybe not necessarily a lot,

00:32:03   what you really need to do is get rid of a few items and better arrange the items that you have and then you realize

00:32:08   Oh, it wasn't actually that cluttered but I did need to do a bit of decluttering. That's that's that's pretty good. That's pretty good

00:32:13   So going back to the time off part. Mmm, so the time off that isn't vacations

00:32:19   You mentioned TV shows. I assume you do video gaming and stuff like that during those periods as well

00:32:26   Yeah video gaming. It's actually quite recently. It's it's been much more TV than video games

00:32:32   I always tend to go in cycles with video games of playing a lot and then not playing very much at all

00:32:36   Yeah, it depends on what whether there's something out that you want to play right as well

00:32:40   Yeah, that's part that's partly it but I think it's there's also just something in my brain which is more or less engaged by that

00:32:46   Activity and so I think that the it's like the video game TV cycles are our opposite cycles that go on

00:32:54   So so yeah

00:32:55   Those are the things that I do if if I'm feeling busy or I sometimes I feel like there's something that's on my mind

00:33:01   mind in a way that is difficult to articulate and so that's a time when I'll also really

00:33:07   like to just go walking around the city and just kind of explore or go to a different

00:33:12   place.

00:33:13   Kind of chew over something in my mind.

00:33:15   I feel like I often don't even know exactly what it is that my brain is thinking about

00:33:19   but going for a long walk can really resolve that kind of stuff.

00:33:24   And again an afternoon is a perfect time for that kind of thing.

00:33:26   Like what else am I going to do?

00:33:27   Am I going to record a podcast with Myke?

00:33:30   Not every day.

00:33:31   look into that though. No we should not. I mean we've been doing it. Two days in a

00:33:36   row is one day more than enough. Yeah. This is supposed to be fortnightly.

00:33:41   That's what this is supposed to be. On this show we spend an awful lot of time

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00:35:06   But what about you, Myke? Like for your time off, because I always just think about your

00:35:12   schedule. Like you have this crazy schedule that I think I could not live with. And it

00:35:17   seems like your day is just very fragmented. Yeah. So it's like, what does that look like

00:35:23   for you? It has been a real problem for me this week.

00:35:27   Mm hmm. Yesterday I had a feeling which I do not have

00:35:31   very often, boredom. So yesterday morning I was very bored and when I started thinking

00:35:40   about it what I realized is I haven't been outside of the house in five days. Previously

00:35:51   to that I was in a relative's house for the day and then before that I was home for four

00:35:58   days. So what I realized is really I haven't left the house in two weeks because the times

00:36:04   that I left the house I was going to other houses.

00:36:06   [Laughter]

00:36:07   Matthew: You've been a house cat for two weeks.

00:36:11   David: Exactly. And this is where my – there are two factors here that make this difficult,

00:36:16   which is schedule and location. Now, I was talking to Adina about this and she was saying,

00:36:23   saying, "Just go for a walk," but the walk is not the thing that I need. Being out of

00:36:29   the house is not what I need. It's stimulation when I leave the house. Just leaving here

00:36:35   and walking around my outer rim planet is no good for me.

00:36:40   JE: You just got cattle skulls to kick over.

00:36:43   AD: Yeah. Just tumbleweed. I could chase the tumbleweed down the street, but that's not

00:36:46   going to do much good. There's not really any benefit to me that I feel for doing that,

00:36:51   other than the exercise. I do exercise at home. Don't worry, I'm not turning into a blob here.

00:36:57   So this is like an issue that I have had mainly because the last two weeks have been

00:37:03   uncharacteristically busy because of upcoming travel. So it's one of the reasons why the

00:37:10   Year of Less quiet week, which I'm currently in, has actually been busier than my previous busy week

00:37:17   Because there is travel coming up and I presume that this means

00:37:21   You are like you're doing with me right now

00:37:24   recording other shows in advance or getting them getting ready in some way for a

00:37:29   Content drought while you are at WWDC and not going to be recording a ton of stuff exactly

00:37:36   And also other people like other co-hosts and stuff are moving around a lot

00:37:42   So there's like just a lot of like things moving around on my schedule

00:37:46   we've had new things that we're trying to get ready to do and all that sort of stuff so there's like

00:37:50   Additional pressures that maybe wouldn't be here usually

00:37:54   And the other part that you mentioned my schedule

00:37:57   Combined with the fact that I am kind of on the outer rim my schedule will throw things in the middle of the day

00:38:04   Yeah, yeah, so we record at two o'clock

00:38:07   I record some other shows at three o'clock. So once I'm done with my morning work, I

00:38:15   I can't really go anywhere because I wouldn't make it back in time because I'm like an hour away from anything I want to do.

00:38:23   Right.

00:38:25   So this is where the location is a problem,

00:38:27   which is why, you know, when we move, which is getting closer and closer,

00:38:31   one of the key things that we're looking for is to be in civilization of some kind.

00:38:37   So I won't have to have this feeling because I can just go take a walk

00:38:42   and maybe go get a coffee in a different location

00:38:44   or take a nice walk around a nice place,

00:38:47   do a thing, go to the store.

00:38:49   I can do all of these things

00:38:51   and they'll be more pleasant for me.

00:38:53   But the good thing is I don't feel like this very frequently

00:38:56   because I do make an effort in usual times

00:39:00   to plan things outside of the home,

00:39:02   going to visit people,

00:39:03   having lunches with people and stuff like that.

00:39:05   But it was very interesting to me

00:39:07   to confirm what I expected would be the case,

00:39:10   which is if I stay in the house too long,

00:39:13   I would get the boredom feeling.

00:39:15   But it is funny that it's maybe the first time

00:39:19   I have felt this in the two years

00:39:21   that I've been self-employed.

00:39:22   - Yeah, it's a funny thing,

00:39:26   'cause boredom is a feeling for children

00:39:30   and for office monkeys.

00:39:31   That's where that feeling seems like

00:39:33   it would be the most present in the population.

00:39:35   And to be self-employed, there's always something to do.

00:39:40   I think boredom, I caught myself feeling slightly bored a few weeks ago and I just noticed it

00:39:51   as a bizarre feeling like, "Oh, I haven't felt this way in forever.

00:39:55   I haven't felt this way in a really long time."

00:39:57   Yeah, that's how I felt.

00:39:58   I was like, I put my iPad down and I went, "Phew!"

00:40:01   I was like, "Oh, no!"

00:40:04   Like patting your legs with your hands and just looking around.

00:40:08   There's nothing to do.

00:40:09   There's nothing on my to-do list.

00:40:10   I have something later on, but nothing to do right now.

00:40:13   I've already watched all my YouTube videos.

00:40:15   I've already completed Uncharted.

00:40:17   There's nothing to do.

00:40:18   - Yeah. (laughs)

00:40:21   This, like my summer planning,

00:40:23   like some of the other stuff we're talking about now,

00:40:25   I feel like this is all falling into the category

00:40:27   of this meta skill of observing yourself.

00:40:30   - Yeah.

00:40:31   - And it is a really key skill to, in those moments,

00:40:36   take note of your own mental state and what's occurring.

00:40:41   And that, I don't know,

00:40:43   I think that sounds kind of obvious,

00:40:46   but I really think this is a learned skill

00:40:48   to cognitively learn to watch yourself

00:40:52   and then walk yourself through

00:40:55   precisely what you're talking about here.

00:40:56   Thinking like, why do I feel bored?

00:40:58   And tracking it back.

00:41:00   As opposed to just accepting that boredom is a feeling

00:41:03   that you occasionally experience and projecting outward.

00:41:06   like, oh, my media is not entertaining enough for me right now.

00:41:10   That's why I'm being bored. It's like, no, no, no, no. That's,

00:41:13   that's not what it is. There's some,

00:41:15   there's something that you are doing that is causing this in yourself.

00:41:19   And so then you recognize like, oh,

00:41:21   I have been a house cat for 14 days in a row. That's why I'm feeling bored.

00:41:25   There's, there has been no external stimulation.

00:41:28   Everything is just the same or everything is just media consumption.

00:41:31   But I think it's really key to be able to recognize that in yourself and then be

00:41:36   to try to course correct and act on that. I was also quite pleased because it proved a hypothesis

00:41:43   that I had about myself. You know, and I was able, I was happy in the sense that I was able

00:41:49   to understand that this could happen and then when it did happen I recognized it. Right. And it also

00:41:56   just makes me very wary of allowing it to happen. Which is why, you know, as we get closer and

00:42:03   and closer to the end of the year.

00:42:06   I mean, we're still halfway through the year,

00:42:07   but we're about to be on the other end of the middle,

00:42:12   so we're moving towards the end of the year.

00:42:15   I'm beginning already to think about

00:42:17   what does 2017 look like commitments-wise.

00:42:21   - See, this is perfect,

00:42:25   because this is exactly what I've been thinking about

00:42:27   so intensely in the past several weeks as well,

00:42:30   is almost mentally like,

00:42:32   Well, the rest of the year is kind of set.

00:42:35   - Yeah, I'm not gonna make any changes now.

00:42:37   - Yeah.

00:42:38   - I might do new stuff, but I'm not gonna get rid

00:42:40   of anything, 'cause it's all planned, it's all there,

00:42:42   it all exists, we all accept it.

00:42:45   - Yeah, there's a schedule in place.

00:42:47   - Yep.

00:42:47   - But already thinking forward towards next year,

00:42:50   and what does next year look like,

00:42:52   and doing the same thing on a bigger scale

00:42:54   of what has this year looked like,

00:42:55   what does last year look like, what do you,

00:42:58   again, along with the metacognition,

00:43:01   this feeling of the project of a human life

00:43:05   is to design a life that it wants to live.

00:43:08   Like this is the ultimate thing that you want to try to do

00:43:11   is make your life more of a life that you want to live.

00:43:16   And so doing the same thing of thinking forward to 2017

00:43:20   and thinking, okay, how can 2017 be better than 2016?

00:43:28   What structural changes are there that can be made in the future that will place me in a situation where I like my life even better than I already like it?

00:43:39   This is one of these things that you kind of naturally end up thinking about.

00:43:42   But it's just funny that you say that you, again at this point, which is essentially not yet, but barely halfway through the year, you already are quite naturally thinking forward toward next year.

00:43:55   Like that's just something that's coming across your mental horizon.

00:43:57   I think it's, you know, a lot of it is because by this point in the year,

00:44:01   I at least have accumulated some new things and I want to work on some new stuff. So I'm like,

00:44:08   okay, you're at the halfway point now and how are you feeling? Okay, you're starting to feel like

00:44:13   maybe you've got a lot going on, but oh wait, you're not stopping. So it's just a case of over

00:44:19   the hump, time to consider what next year looks like. And it's just like, you know how we were

00:44:25   were talking in January about New Year being time to reflect. I feel like in the same vein,

00:44:33   half year is just in the time to start making yourself aware of next year. It's just like

00:44:39   a little mental clock thing that happens where I'm like, "Okay, I've been doing this, what

00:44:45   I set out in January for six months now. Now it's just time to start preparing myself for

00:44:52   what the next part looks like. I should by this point in the year have worked out if

00:44:56   the 2016 plan was an effective one, and now how do I tweak it to create the 2017 plan?

00:45:03   Right, and the rest of 2016 is in some sense execution on what has already been set up.

00:45:10   Yep. Right, it's like we're just going to continue

00:45:12   to execute what has been set up and then thinking forward toward the next year.

00:45:17   There's no point for course correction unless there's something significantly wrong, which

00:45:22   there isn't.

00:45:23   I mean, you're course correcting in some way in that you're getting help.

00:45:28   Yes, that's true.

00:45:29   Although I will still say that all of this is falling under the year of less.

00:45:34   This is why that project was set up for this year.

00:45:38   And to go even on a zoom out one additional level is another part of the motivation behind

00:45:47   the Year of Less was also relates to what we were discussing before, which is recognizing

00:45:52   I have been really bad at taking vacation time for myself, and the last vacation time

00:45:59   that I theoretically had over the summer, I was not very good at doing that.

00:46:03   I was bad at vacationing.

00:46:06   And so the Year of Less is in a larger part a way of thinking of, okay, well, how can

00:46:11   I set up structures so that it is easier for me to take some dedicated amount of time off,

00:46:17   right? And but that but even that is like, okay, I need to get those systems in place in

00:46:23   2016 if there is any hope of

00:46:26   rearranging schedules or commitments in

00:46:29   2017.

00:46:31   It's funny to think of these things on such a long term,

00:46:35   but if you don't think about this stuff,

00:46:38   you can't do any kind of course correction in your life and

00:46:41   Everything always takes longer than you think it's it's going to

00:46:45   So that's why it can take a whole year to think about how can I reduce the number of hours that I am

00:46:52   working on stuff while not dramatically reducing the actual output and then if

00:46:57   That is successful that can have knock-on effects towards what happens in in the future

00:47:04   Do you have anything that you want to reveal about your 2017 Myke any secret plans you want to tell the people about?

00:47:08   I don't have secret plans yet

00:47:10   So, what are you thinking about then towards 2017 like what what is pulling your mind in that direction?

00:47:16   It was the same thing as last year. So the the 2016 change was

00:47:22   cutting a show and

00:47:25   Reducing the schedule of some others. Mm-hmm

00:47:28   So it will be the same kind of thing I expect

00:47:32   Like that's what I'm thinking now is like, okay, that worked pretty well

00:47:36   What can I do? So are there any shows which would be natural to end at the end of the year?

00:47:42   And are there any shows which would be natural to reduce commitment in some way?

00:47:47   Maybe I don't change the publishing schedule of them

00:47:52   But maybe there are parts of the process which I won't need I won't do anymore

00:47:56   Whether that is planning it differently or editing it differently

00:48:01   What are the changes that I can make to reduce?

00:48:05   And this is the thing. It's not for me about reducing the amount of work. It's

00:48:10   Freeing up time again. Mm-hmm. So I'm not looking to like do less and chill

00:48:17   Mm-hmm, you know, I'm not getting into the gray mentality. It's just just chill

00:48:21   I'm looking to reduce

00:48:24   commitments so I can do

00:48:27   new things

00:48:29   Mmm, because I like working I like it a lot

00:48:32   And a lot of the time off stuff that I do is to enable myself to be able to work more effectively

00:48:39   Because I give myself the time to relax because I know that that helps me but in the same vein

00:48:44   I also then try and find ways and I don't know if this is good or bad to turn the things that I enjoy into work

00:48:50   So it all comes full circle. It doesn't stop my enjoyment of those things

00:48:55   I still play video games for 12 hours, but then I just do a podcast episode about it

00:49:00   And it feels like it was all okay, right you're getting return on investment for entertainment time there

00:49:05   Yeah, well this I think this is

00:49:09   This is a very

00:49:12   natural thing and

00:49:14   My version of this as well is is like I am I know that I am

00:49:21   happier with side projects and other things to work on aside from the main things and it's similar thing of feeling that I

00:49:29   want to be able to clear time on my schedule and part of that means like, you know,

00:49:36   I always have like projects that I'm thinking about. Oh, maybe this would work out. Maybe this this would work out

00:49:41   and I am filtering them all now through the

00:49:43   year of less

00:49:46   filter that if they're successful other people need to be able to do them or I need to be able to pass them on or

00:49:50   they need to be completed things. Again, I'm very happy to have that mental filter in place,

00:49:55   but I'm still very much in the mindset of as well freeing up time and very consciously not working on any of those side projects

00:50:02   until I have freed up a significant number of hours.

00:50:04   But then the thing that I'm also wondering about is I agree with you that that vacation time is necessary recovery time and

00:50:11   recognizing like I haven't been good at that and so feeling is there a way to

00:50:16   Aggregate a bunch of these hours together so that in the future at some point I can say I am taking a legitimate

00:50:21   100% week off. I am doing nothing and I am going to feel glorious about it and

00:50:27   That will be okay. And then after that recovery period going back into

00:50:32   the regular schedule because

00:50:36   Even though again our very first episode was titled "I don't really like work"

00:50:42   I am very aware that I am still in the category of the kind of person who, if I don't have something to work on, I would go crazy.

00:50:51   Like, I need to have some kind of work to do, and without that it would just be a descent into madness.

00:51:01   So there always has to be stuff to work on.

00:51:03   But there's the interesting question of how do you rearrange hours in the day?

00:51:08   How do you arrange your time to be most effective so that you can work on the things that are of interest to you and that are also hopefully profitable in some way to pay the bills?

00:51:23   And to fulfill all of the various financial obligations that we all have.

00:51:27   What is a gray vacation? Or a graycation, if you will.

00:51:32   I mean here's the thing those trips to Amsterdam which we have made fun of various times on this show

00:51:39   Workations. Yeah

00:51:41   those were

00:51:44   In a way my attempts this year to try to do a vacation sort of

00:51:50   But I knew I wasn't able to actually take time off to do nothing

00:51:56   but I found those very interesting experiences because I

00:52:01   I was working in a very, very focused way,

00:52:05   but I also felt like I am getting a lot of the same benefits that I would get from a vacation.

00:52:13   And I think this is just simply the, again, knowing yourself and knowing how to work with yourself,

00:52:20   and because I am quite naturally an introverted person,

00:52:27   those trips were intentionally arranged so that like I'm not really talking to

00:52:32   anybody when I'm there.

00:52:33   And I was also very consciously minimizing as much as possible my

00:52:38   communication with the outside world.

00:52:40   And so those were really interesting experiences to me

00:52:46   of,

00:52:47   I feel like I am able to have some kind of recovery while

00:52:51   still working.

00:52:53   as long as I am very conscious about being aware of what are the things that are most

00:52:58   draining to me.

00:53:00   And it's like, oh, okay, well, one of those things are unusual or new social engagements,

00:53:07   or things like the podcast where this is not an unusual or new social engagement, but there

00:53:13   is something about this which is always a bit mentally draining in the same way because

00:53:19   there is the awareness of the audience that is listening.

00:53:22   This is a thing that is going out into the public world. This is not Myke and I just meeting for a lunch conversation

00:53:29   so

00:53:32   Those trips are really interesting and I think

00:53:35   Oftentimes many people's idea of what a vacation might be or it's like oh well

00:53:40   We're gonna go away with a bunch of people to a fun place like that can actually be hugely draining for me

00:53:45   like that is what's

00:53:46   That is what is going to happen this summer in no small part with some of the family obligations that I have is

00:53:51   is to any outside observer, the activities that I am doing, they will look like vacations,

00:53:58   but I will be totally exhausted by them.

00:54:01   It's like, "Oh, I'm not doing a whole lot of work, there's just a whole bunch of hanging out with people,

00:54:07   and like, oh, there's things to do and activities to participate in, and this looks like a vacation."

00:54:12   But it is not. It is not if you are me.

00:54:16   So I think for me vacations at their best are always about limits in activity or very conscious choices about what is being engaged in.

00:54:31   That to me is what a vacation is. That is what I feel like is the best return on investment per hour spent of recovery received.

00:54:42   So is Amsterdam the best type of vacation then or is it sitting on a beach?

00:54:47   for you

00:54:50   Or that kind of holiday the not doing anything holiday. What's best then if it's like

00:54:55   low

00:54:58   Low social interaction

00:55:00   And low work interaction is you know because Amsterdam is high work interaction. Yeah, I

00:55:09   This is what I'm trying to think about towards

00:55:11   towards for next year is like how am I going to do this and one of the things I'm thinking about is an

00:55:17   Amsterdam type trip is

00:55:20   very effective because it is it is high work

00:55:24   but low social interaction high recovery, but I still need

00:55:32   trips or vacations every once in a while that have some period of time which is just absolute nothingness.

00:55:39   And so,

00:55:41   last summer, which was quite busy, at the end of the trip the best decision that

00:55:46   my wife and I made was that after a whole bunch of things that we were doing, a place we were going, and like

00:55:51   things to do, we intentionally scheduled

00:55:55   a mini post-vacation recovery time by going to Las Vegas and

00:56:01   and we just rented a nice room in Las Vegas and did nothing for a few days.

00:56:08   And it was just glorious.

00:56:10   And that was a real kind of like, this is great, I can relax, I can just...

00:56:17   There's nothing to do, I need this every once in a while, there's no responsibility,

00:56:21   there's no getting up, there's no writing, it's just a total break.

00:56:26   And because that is a thing that went really well last summer,

00:56:29   that is actually what we're planning on doing again this summer.

00:56:32   It's like, I have this incredibly unusual busy summer,

00:56:35   but at the very end of it, the last thing that we're going to do

00:56:38   is we are, once again, we're going to go to Las Vegas, we're renting a nice room,

00:56:43   we're gonna spend a few days there, and we're just going to do nothing.

00:56:48   And I feel like I need a little bit more of the "do nothing at all" time in my life

00:56:54   than I currently have.

00:56:56   Like I feel over the past two years in particular I have had

00:57:00   Too little do-nothing time. I don't need a ton of it

00:57:05   But I need some of it on a somewhat of an interval that it doesn't just randomly

00:57:11   It doesn't just randomly occur. But now this is one of these cases where I

00:57:16   Imagine Myke that you might be a little bit different from me in this scenario

00:57:21   What's a Myke-cation like?

00:57:25   - Well, recently, most of my vacations

00:57:30   are centered around conferences.

00:57:34   And it's because I take my vacations

00:57:39   as times to see my friends,

00:57:41   because very few of my friends

00:57:42   live in the same country as me.

00:57:44   - Right.

00:57:45   - You do, which is great, which means I see you often.

00:57:49   Other friends, I maybe see once a year.

00:57:52   Or twice a year, something like that.

00:57:53   So I'm able to couple these things in,

00:57:55   because they're also interesting locations.

00:57:59   I very much like going to America

00:58:01   and it's usually nice places in America

00:58:03   that I'll go to for this sort of stuff.

00:58:05   And they are kind of work-cations

00:58:08   'cause they're a worky type things happening,

00:58:10   but it's way lower.

00:58:12   I tend not to record on these things.

00:58:14   If I do, it's very few.

00:58:17   I've tried, like San Francisco last year, WWDC last year

00:58:21   was quite a lot of show recordings

00:58:23   and other things happening and this year was planned very differently to hopefully, maybe

00:58:30   it did, who knows, it's already happened but maybe it was better, maybe it wasn't.

00:58:35   We'll find out and adjust again.

00:58:38   Recording with you was an unexpected thing on the calendar.

00:58:42   Hi.

00:58:43   Hey ho.

00:58:44   That's how these things go.

00:58:45   It's all about cooperation.

00:58:48   And I do like though the do nothing vacation.

00:58:51   I just don't really plan for those as much.

00:58:55   Because one of the things that has occurred is

00:58:59   me and Nadina like to make sure we try

00:59:01   and take trips together, which typically means

00:59:04   that she will take a trip with me to a friend's location

00:59:08   in America centered around a thing happening,

00:59:10   and then maybe I will take trips with her to Romania

00:59:13   and we'll see friends.

00:59:15   But we are thinking, again, for later this year

00:59:20   to maybe take a trip with my family,

00:59:24   which will be a do nothing vacation.

00:59:27   Because I feel like I could do that.

00:59:31   When I take family vacations, or have taken,

00:59:34   or would take family vacations,

00:59:36   I would feel way less obligated to do stuff with my family

00:59:41   than maybe you do.

00:59:41   I feel like there is an obligation within you

00:59:44   to when you're on a family vacation, family activities.

00:59:48   I don't really do that and my family understand that about me, which is actually quite interesting

00:59:55   though going talking about this is I may be more you with my family than you are.

01:00:00   Yeah, with my immediate family, there is no obligation to really do things.

01:00:05   Ah ha, I have a very small family, you see. So I think that's why I'm able to get away

01:00:11   with it. But people tend not to bother me and my family with stuff because they know

01:00:15   I just have no tolerance for it. Which is quite nice. So on a family vacation I wouldn't

01:00:22   do anything like that. If we don't do that trip I would very much before the end of the

01:00:28   year like for us to do a do nothing vacation. The house buying process might kind of get

01:00:32   in the way of that. But yeah I like to try and do that as well but the majority of my

01:00:38   vacations are centered around some kind of big activity that brings people together.

01:00:43   Yeah, for me an interesting intersection of sort of doing nothing but also engaging was

01:00:51   a few years ago my parents treated my wife and I to a cruise so the four of us went on a cruise

01:01:01   and it was just fantastic because a cruise ship is an environment in which

01:01:12   While there are many things going on, I again really enjoyed the constraint of it.

01:01:18   It's like, well, there's not actually a whole lot to do.

01:01:21   The internet is unusable because it's going through a satellite.

01:01:27   And it's like, oh, actually, that's a benefit. I like this.

01:01:30   There's not really any internet to use.

01:01:33   There's very little to do except kind of like sit and read a book and watch the scenery go by.

01:01:40   And a cruise ship is also a nice environment where it's like, oh,

01:01:44   because it's relatively small, like you keep bumping into my parents, right?

01:01:48   You can't, you can't not run into people.

01:01:50   And it's, it's like an artificial tiny village almost.

01:01:55   Yeah.

01:01:56   In this really constrained but enjoyable way.

01:02:00   And there's always something to like remark upon because the cruise ship is

01:02:06   going past interesting places.

01:02:07   And I found that was just a really pleasant way to have a trip that just totally felt like recovery time,

01:02:16   but also had the thing that is beneficial and best about traveling, which is novelty.

01:02:23   Like your brain needs some kind of novelty, otherwise you become like Myke was.

01:02:29   You're bored or you feel like you're an indoor cat.

01:02:32   And I don't know, I found that was just a really great interaction.

01:02:38   Like this is just perfect. This is an absolutely perfect experience.

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01:04:42   I feel like we've been really philosophical on this episode, Myke.

01:04:47   This episode being an episode out of time, it has a totally different feel to it.

01:04:53   Do you feel that?

01:04:53   It is weird, right?

01:04:55   I feel way more raw than usual.

01:04:58   Yeah, I'm looking for.

01:05:01   It's very strange.

01:05:02   It is. Raw is a good word.

01:05:05   Maybe the continuity somehow keeps us safe.

01:05:10   Maybe.

01:05:11   When we're out of continuity, everything just goes out the window.

01:05:15   Yeah. It almost feels like I'm just, I'm here in my office, just floating in the black void of space talking into a microphone.

01:05:26   That is the feeling of this episode.

01:05:28   It is weird.

01:05:29   From my perspective.

01:05:30   Because I don't, there's so much uncertainty to it.

01:05:33   Yeah.

01:05:34   have happened to our lives in between now and this episode being released we

01:05:38   don't even know yeah who knows nobody knows it's just been it's been very

01:05:44   strange this episode out of time and I think I think we need to try to try to

01:05:51   get ourselves back into the regular space-time continuum with some normality

01:05:57   and I think we should do that with a little bit of a score tax that's a great

01:06:02   idea let's bring the people back to us yeah yeah that's what it is this is like

01:06:05   calling out in the void to the other voices that have spoken to us please

01:06:11   tell me that you have some ask cortex questions I do I do and the first one's

01:06:16   from Kevin look at that your voice is even normal now or happy again if the

01:06:22   normal mic voice okay Kevin would like to know what is your relationship with

01:06:27   Magic the Gathering. Apparently Kevin has recognized some references in the video

01:06:33   and was wondering if you have played and if you do play. Do you know what

01:06:38   Magic the Gathering is Myke? I know what it is yes, a trading card game. Okay yeah

01:06:43   yeah magic is a trading card game it is I'm not it is one of the first I ever

01:06:53   came across. I don't know how early it is in the history of these actual things of

01:06:58   collectible card game kind of stuff. I feel like it is the one though, right? Like it is the

01:07:05   trading card game. It feels like the progenitor of the modern idea of what

01:07:12   trading card games are. And I got into Magic when I was in high school I think?

01:07:20   I can't remember how but it was it was right at the very beginning because I remember

01:07:24   reading some article in some physical magazine that was talking about this new thing and I thought it looked cool and

01:07:32   I

01:07:34   Remember bugging my parents to take me to some game shop so that I could buy these cards. Mm-hmm and

01:07:40   Of course, I didn't realize that these card games are

01:07:46   Set up to be like drug habits

01:07:50   That you right you can get in really easy right you can you can start out by just oh here you go you buy yourself

01:07:56   A starter deck and oh hey, maybe kid. Do you want to buy some expansion packs? I'm like oh yeah

01:08:01   I would like to buy some expansion packs and then next year

01:08:04   They come out with the more powerful version of the drug and so you have to buy more

01:08:08   expansion packs if you want to if you want to keep up with what's happening in the game and

01:08:12   I really liked it

01:08:15   magic just

01:08:17   super fit the kind of thing that my brain likes.

01:08:21   Thinking about all of the different cards and how all of the cards interact with all of the other cards and the systems of it.

01:08:27   I really, really liked it.

01:08:29   But I did not have a large enough wallet at the time to express how much I liked

01:08:37   Magic. And so my feeling of magic from from being a kid was mostly "I do not have enough money to play this game."

01:08:45   I always have to play it with whatever cards I have just scrounged together.

01:08:48   So I really liked it a lot as a kid. As an adult

01:08:53   I have played some of the iPad versions of it because it's a much cheaper way to get into the game.

01:08:57   I'm not super into it as an adult in no small part because there have been

01:09:02   so many expansions and so many add-ons that the game is

01:09:07   horrifically complicated now if you haven't been following it every year with all the little changes that they make.

01:09:14   But yeah, Magic the Gathering. Quite like it. Got into it as a kid and if I can make a 15 years out of date Magic the Gathering reference in my videos I'm not going to pass up on that.

01:09:27   Have you ever played Hearthstone?

01:09:29   *sigh* Hearthstone is really fun. Have you played Hearthstone?

01:09:35   Yeah, I have played and sucked so bad.

01:09:39   Listen, there's never a discussion about how good we are at these things. It's just a question of have you played?

01:09:46   Yeah, I have played.

01:09:48   Hearthstone is, for listeners, it's

01:09:51   To me, it feels like the next generation of Magic the Gathering

01:09:56   It's it's all on the iPad or on desktop. It's cross platform. Yeah, I always forget that it's on desktop

01:10:03   Yeah, it's a collectible card game

01:10:05   But what I love about it is they so understand that nobody has physical cards here

01:10:10   It is the abstract idea of a card and it allows them to do a lot of really interesting things digitally with the game

01:10:16   Hearthstone is a thing that I slide in and out of but I think it's it's really fun, but Hearthstone

01:10:23   Totally killed my ability to play magic because all of the things that you learn in magic that make you a good magic player

01:10:32   I think Hearthstone was designed

01:10:35   specifically so that all of your magic habits will just be like

01:10:40   Sliding a knife into your own gut when you play the game if you play it like oh

01:10:46   I love I love magic based card games

01:10:48   Let me play a hearthstone and it's like oh

01:10:50   I'm going to die immediately everything that I would do in magic which would be a

01:10:54   Smart strategic move will get you killed immediately in hearthstone

01:10:57   So I think I'm probably never gonna go back to playing magic because once you do hearthstone, it's it's hard to go

01:11:04   back, but it's super fun. I really like it and it's fun to play people anonymously online.

01:11:11   I'm not very good at all, but I don't care. Like that's not the point is to be good. The point is I'm doing something fun while I'm sitting on the couch.

01:11:19   The only trading card game, physical trading card game I've ever played was the Pokemon trading card game.

01:11:25   Of course.

01:11:26   Which was awesome. They even made a Game Boy version of the card game, which was great too.

01:11:33   Pokemon trading card game huh? Yep it's still going it's still a very popular

01:11:39   trading card game they're still making it still producing packs and stuff like

01:11:43   that yeah I used to play it with my friends you know during the whole

01:11:47   massive Pokemon phase mm-hmm and yes that's the only one I've ever played but

01:11:52   I remember when I would buy my packs that magic were always in the same cases

01:11:56   from the places that I bought them from that's how I know about magic because it

01:12:00   was always there when I was buying the booster packs for the Pokemon.

01:12:04   Mmm.

01:12:05   I'm just looking at it, yeah.

01:12:08   Man, you gotta get that shiny Charizard.

01:12:10   That was the card, man.

01:12:13   That was the card.

01:12:15   Oh, of course, I just realized everyone will want to know, all the Magic players will want

01:12:19   to know.

01:12:20   When I played Magic, my preferred colors were blue and black.

01:12:25   So yeah, fun memories.

01:12:27   Do you play the Pokemon game very much anymore?

01:12:29   No, I don't even have any cards anymore. Like I don't know where they are. I had a big collection of cards. I used to love it.

01:12:35   I still have a box of magic cards at my parents house that they have in a box of a bunch of like stuff from when I was a kid.

01:12:41   I expect all of my Pokemon cards are at my grandma's.

01:12:44   I find it really hard not to look through them when I remember that they exist.

01:12:50   I just pull them out and I look at them and I'm like "Yes, I remember setting up this deck."

01:12:53   Like "Yes, this was a really fun deck. Oh, this was a good combination."

01:12:57   It's just a thing that my mind likes to turn over and over.

01:13:02   You can't escape some of that stuff.

01:13:05   Now I have a question that I've been wanting to ask you just because it's going to be so difficult to ask the question.

01:13:12   Oh, okay.

01:13:13   So this comes from Alan.

01:13:15   And Alan says, "When Grey uses this face, then inserts a character, where does that face come from?

01:13:22   Do you have it locally and copy and paste it or do you Google it every time?

01:13:25   Now how would you describe the face character that Alan has, you just sent it to me over iMessage,

01:13:34   how would you describe this face character? What is this?

01:13:37   This is the face of disapproval. That's what this face is.

01:13:42   Now it's not an emoji, right? It is text based. It's more, I guess...

01:13:46   It's not an emoji. It's an old school emoticon.

01:13:49   emoticon. Back in the day, we used to build our little facial expressions out of the characters

01:13:55   that we had available.

01:13:56   You're not that much older than me. I used to do this.

01:13:59   We didn't have people just drawing emoji for us. We had to build them with our own hands,

01:14:04   Myke.

01:14:05   Artisanally created emoticons.

01:14:06   Of course, a hipster would think, "You're right to artisanal." No. We're not artisanal.

01:14:13   We're just chiseling them out of characters.

01:14:16   What is this? Has it got a name that you know?

01:14:20   I think it's just called the Disapproval Face. I'm gonna check it right now.

01:14:24   So where does it come from for you when you use it? Do you have like a text expanders

01:14:27   snippet or something?

01:14:30   Its official name is called the Look of Disapproval. And it'll be in the show notes. Anybody who

01:14:37   has ever been on Reddit will know exactly what we're talking about. But yes, it is this

01:14:41   stern looking emoticon face with little horizontal mouth

01:14:46   And I think they're Thai symbols or something which are the eyes

01:14:49   But that end up just looking like eyes that are staring into your soul with furrowed brows

01:14:54   But yeah, I came I came across this on

01:14:57   Reddit you know ages and ages ago, and I think that it is just an absolute perfect

01:15:02   emoticon for very many situations and so I have it set up as one of those the sinking keyboard

01:15:10   Shortcuts that Apple has. Yes

01:15:12   So I can I can whip it out at the appropriate moment immediately

01:15:17   So what do I type? I don't even know like it just built into my

01:15:21   Now that I'm thinking about it

01:15:25   Okay, what do I type I type I

01:15:29   type disq and that is my little shortcut for

01:15:32   Disapproval phase. Mm-hmm. And so the the moment that I need

01:15:37   to over the internet glare at someone with a disapproving face. I have it right at my fingertips.

01:15:42   Rumor33 asked, "Are there any side projects that Gray wishes would have been the big thing to take off instead of YouTube?"

01:15:50   That's an interesting question.

01:15:53   The thing that's that's tricky to answer about that is to express appropriately

01:15:58   my feelings towards all of the projects that I've worked on and my feelings of them is I love them as much as they have been

01:16:06   successful. And so, like I really like the YouTube project because it has been

01:16:14   really successful and I don't have a feeling toward any of the past projects

01:16:19   of "oh I wish this one had been the one to catch on." It's more feeling like "oh I

01:16:26   worked on this thing for a while and it didn't really go anywhere and then I

01:16:31   moved on to the next thing. And so, no, I don't look backward on it in that way.

01:16:41   It's... I don't know if this is the best analogy, but I always think of it as like

01:16:47   placing bets on a table. And so this question is almost like asking, "Do you

01:16:53   wish that any of the bets that you had previously made had paid off?" So, well, I

01:16:59   I think you're thinking about this in the wrong way if you know you're placing a bunch of bets and

01:17:03   you're hoping that some of them are successful and then

01:17:07   You are happy when one of them turns out to be successful

01:17:11   But you don't you don't think about like oh

01:17:14   That black 32 six weeks ago. I really wish that had been the one like it's much more of a like a system

01:17:22   Than it is a series of events. That's that's kind of the way I think about it

01:17:26   Yeah, because it was always about which one would be the one to provide the result you were looking for.

01:17:33   Right, which was to be able to control my own schedule and work on my own, right?

01:17:37   Like that was the thing that I was aiming for and

01:17:41   the various projects were different attempts to try and get there. Like I did, you know,

01:17:48   maybe we can talk about it in more detail on some future or maybe past show.

01:17:54   I don't know we will have spoken about it

01:17:56   But I think the the closest thing that to that is a feeling of it was actually frustrating more

01:18:05   For some of the projects that were partially paying off

01:18:08   because I feel like those were things that

01:18:11   sucked up a lot of my time because it felt like oh man if I can make this a little bigger this will be great and

01:18:20   So in some sense I preferred the things that I worked on that were

01:18:24   Immediately obviously terrible ideas or that just didn't work whereas I had for a while there

01:18:30   I had a few things that I was working on

01:18:32   I was like I'm earning a little bit of money from this and I'm earning a little bit of money from that and I had

01:18:36   This just this very frustrating feeling of like I like can I just cobble this together or can I make this twice as big?

01:18:41   And so those in a sense were bets that in a way were like more

01:18:48   successful than my just straight-up unsuccessful bets

01:18:51   Because they were not winners and they also took up a bunch of my time

01:18:56   All right, Tobias wants to know if we make our beds every morning

01:19:00   I already know from surprising you on FaceTime that one time. I should have seen this coming

01:19:06   That you do not make your bed every morning. I don't make my bed every morning

01:19:09   One of the great pleasures in my life is the fact that it doesn't bother my girlfriend about if our bed is made

01:19:17   You are a lucky man then neither of us seem to care about it every now and then we'll do it

01:19:23   But like hang on a second. Yeah. No, it's an absolute disaster right now

01:19:26   It's right behind you right now. It's right behind me right now and we're both pretty cool about that. I think

01:19:32   Maybe she's I don't know harboring some kind of resentment towards me that I'm not aware of yet quite possibly

01:19:38   Yeah, it's very possible. I think everyone in my life has some kind of resentment towards me

01:19:43   Yeah, I've got some data that says so

01:19:46   [laughs]

01:19:48   But no, I don't make my bed every morning.

01:19:52   I bet you do.

01:19:54   So I used to not, because I used to fall under the category of, "Well, what does this matter? I'm just gonna mess it up later anyway."

01:20:03   Yeah.

01:20:04   And I think that is a totally reasonable position.

01:20:07   But I can't remember where I came across it, but at some point I came across on a podcast or something,

01:20:12   was really selling the idea of you need to make your bed every morning and I'm

01:20:19   always open to trying stuff like I can't remember what they said but whatever

01:20:23   they said it I felt like it was convincing and so I went through a

01:20:27   period where I was going through an effort of making sure that the bed was

01:20:32   made every morning I was like oh this does seem to have intangible benefits

01:20:40   that I cannot quite quantify that do make making the bed worthwhile. It's again

01:20:50   hard to put into words but it feels like it is definitely something and so I now

01:20:56   do try to make the bed in the morning if it is unmade. There's a little

01:21:01   bit of a there's a little bit of a thing here with the morning schedule that I am

01:21:04   usually up and out of the house before my wife is even awake and then it

01:21:09   depends on like she has varying schedules about when she needs to be

01:21:12   someplace in the morning so sometimes she makes the bed sometimes she doesn't

01:21:14   have time and if I come home and I see the bed is unmade I will sometimes try

01:21:18   to make it like but I don't know like randomly sometimes the bed will be made

01:21:21   or sometimes it'll be unmade but the thing that my wife has noticed is that I

01:21:28   am not perfectly consistent about making the bed in a way that I don't notice but

01:21:32   But of course she is aware and she is able to use the madeness of the bed as a proxy

01:21:40   for how on top of his life does my husband feel?

01:21:44   Right?

01:21:45   So--

01:21:46   Mm, canary in the coal mine right there, my friend.

01:21:47   That's exactly it.

01:21:48   So I don't know, maybe, maybe intentionally she leaves the bed unmade sometimes as like

01:21:53   a little test to see is he feeling really busy and overwhelmed right now, so overwhelmed

01:21:58   that he's not going to make the bed, or is he feeling totally on top of things?

01:22:01   I guess I'll know when I'll come home.

01:22:03   Maybe that's what she does.

01:22:04   I don't know.

01:22:05   Grey?

01:22:06   Yeah?