Productivity Boost


         “No great achievement is possible without persistent work.”, so says Bertrand Russell. And it’s very true. Everyone expects life to hand them ease and luxury on a platter and that it’ll be served in exactly the flavor they want. But for those of us with feet planted firmly on the ground, we know that isn’t the case. If you want to succeed, you have work increasingly hard at it. You have expect and accept failure. You have to learn to pick yourself. You have to push on. You also need to keep a clear picture of what it is you really want. You need to keep your goals organized and your To Do List constantly updated. Know what you want to do, but keep in mind why you want to do it, and be sure to track how you can achieve it. What is your end game? What is the ultimate goal of your goals? We can all sit around daydreaming and wishing on a star, but a truly successful person is organized, constantly in motion, and always thinking three steps ahead. But how do we accomplish this? It’s simple really. Just get yourself a Never Ending To Do List.
         I came up with this concept earlier today when I thought of some really important things that didn’t really fit the structure of my to do list for today. So here’s what you do: Get a notebook, of any size you choose. On the outside cover, merely write The Never Ending To Do List. Inside that notebook write down everything thing you need, want, have to do. Don’t date anything, don’t prioritize (at least not at first), and don’t put anything in any particular order. Success doesn’t come in one swift event. It happens through tiny baby-steps. You have to skip the stone several times across the water to reach the other shore line. Figure out what your goals are, what your intentions are, and then write down everything you need to do to secure your future. It can be small items, such as getting business cards. Or it can be a grand gesture, like hiring an agent to handle your affairs. Don’t limit the book to just your career dream, though. Make the to do list for all of your life. Finances, family, friends, retirement, goals, dreams, ideas, health, etc. Anything you need to accomplish in order to become the best person you can and should be needs to be listed.
         When you think of a new To Do, write it down in the notebook. Don’t back burner it in your mind (Or worse! Forget it entirely!). Write it down where you can see it. Let it become a real goal that you have clearly declared. Keep track of your comings and goings. Unfetter your mind and let a simple piece of paper keep you motivated and aware of what you need to do next. If you accomplish a goal, put a thin line through it. You’ll slowly start to fill the notebook up with finished tasks. Start off small, with easy goals that you can finish quickly. The success of the smaller goals will snowball into greater success with bigger tasks. As you become more comfortable and you get into a routine of using the notebook, you can then start experimenting with priorities. You can change the color of your ink; use red for my important, higher priority To Do’s. Use a highlighter for high catching tasks that need to be finished quickly. Use the margin to fill in dates next to time sensitive tasks. It’s important to never lose focus on what you need to do for yourself. Most To Do Lists are short and simple, written daily, and then discarded at the end of the day. But the steps we take towards our security in happiness aren’t done in a day. It takes a long line of hard working, organized, and focused days to accomplish what we want. Nobody else will keep track of your life. It’s up to you to pay attention to what you are (and aren’t) doing to realize your dreams.

The basics.

Hopefully yours is far more complex than this.

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Daily Personal Kit Project Pt 2


A really unique bag.

The OverBoard Waterproof Back Pack

         About ten days ago, I posted a blog about developing my own personal daily survival kit using the OverBoard waterproof backpack. I’ve been slowly developing it into something unique that is not quite as diverse as a Bug Out Bag but is definitely useful as a “Get-Out-of-Dodge-and-Get-Home” type of survival kit. As promised, for every new item I add to it I will post details on here so that I can hopefully give you, my readers, a chance to gain new ideas on survival and perhaps get different perspectives on what others might use to survive. My first add-on to this wonderful backpack was to add some paracord. Paracord -or parachute cord- is generally a lightweight nylon kernmantle rope that was originally used for suspension lines in US parachutes during World War II. Once these ropes – or cords as most like to call them – were used in the field of battle, soldiers often found many other handy ideas they could be used for besides jumping from planes. Fast forward to modern time and paracords have been used by a vast array of organizations ranging from NASA to the Marines and even to everyday preppers like myself. A good rope can be a huge advantage in a survival situation. Paracords have a wide range of uses, and they are terrific for any survival kit as they virtually weigh next to nothing and cost just about the same. Lots of companies and brands sell different kinds of paracords. I went with an actual military grade just to ensure a long-lasting, reliable life. Most paracords are designed using a braided sheath made up of high number of interwoven strands giving each line a relatively smooth texture. The all-nylon construction makes paracord fairly elastic and, depending on the application, this feature can be an asset or a liability. But unless you are using the rope to go rock climbing, this generally isn’t a concern.

Rothco Paracord

Strong, Cheap, Necessary.

         I purchased Rothco Paracord via Amazon.com for a fairly cheap price. I ordered two 50 foot strands of black Type III nylon paracord. I would have preferred a straight 100 foot shot, but it wasn’t practical for my small backpack. The paracord from Rothco has a 7 core strand made of 100% nylon. Each cord has been tested by a U.S. military contractor and has been certified for up to 550 lbs. Made completely in the United States, the cords boast a thin diameter of 5/32 inches. For the price and the durability, you really can’t beat it. I started by weaving one strand onto the left strap of my bag. My thinking is that by utilizing a basically free space on my bag, I don’t have to take up any additional space inside and it doesn’t make the bag any more bulky or uncomfortable. It was a very slow process, but I took my time and made sure I packed the rope tight and wove it in a straight, winding-up pattern. Tied off at the top around the carrying handle already built into the bag, I finished the left side and quickly started the right. The right side was definitely neater and completed faster than the left as I had spent time perfecting the technique I used. In the end, I finished the project and now have 100 feet of paracord attached neatly and almost inconspicuously to my pack. Granted, having wound it and tied it off I cannot get to it in a real hurry, but at least it’s there should I need it.

I'm actually proud of myself for this idea.

Half way done. The right strap came much easier.

I wish the bag came standard like this.

The finished product. Quite nice looking.

         That being done, I added a few smaller, simpler items to the pack that might come in handy. I took four quarters, stacked them, and then taped them together. Having a few quarters is essential in case cell phone communication drops during an emergency. Chances are good that landlines will stay be okay, so keep quarters with you for payphone usage. If all else fails, at least you have $1 for an emergency vending machine candy bar if you need it. I also added a small bungee cord that is attached hidden in plain sight to the outside of the bag. A bungee is useful as it can be developed into a makeshift fishing hook if needed, or can be employed as a hanging device if you need to put some water to boil over a fire. In the event of something tearing, I could also use the bungee cord as a temporary clasp to keep something sealed until I can secure it properly. Inside the pack, I clipped two large safety pins into the actual bag’s factory tag. Safety pins are invaluable and have many uses. All three items I just mentioned have been added to my pack and have taken up no additional space, nor added to the weight or bulk of the pack. So far I’ve added four helpful items and I haven’t even started to fill up the pack yet! It’s great beginning to my project. There will be more to come once I begin to add new items.

All hail the bungee and pins!

Small, but very useful items.

Secretly hidden away.

Bungee cord easily added into the makeup of the backpack.

We won't charge them rent, they aren't using any space!

Safety pins neatly hidden away for a rainy day.

Daily Personal Kit Project Pt 1


         I have recently been devoting my time to creating a personal carry around survival kit. This kit is not designed for extended survival. But if I am caught in an emergency situation, or even stranded for 1-4 days, I will be able to maintain, survive, and endure. I am fortunate that I already carry a backpack to work every day to transport my lunch, drinks, books, and miscellaneous papers with me. Unfortunately, I work in a government building with x-ray machines and metal detectors at the front door. So I am a bit limited in what I am permitted to bring into the building. Luckily, I’ve found some pretty ingenious gadgets to get my by and keep me prepared. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be slowly getting a new backpack together that I will carry with me to and from work, just as I always have. This will be used five days a week. I’ll also be creating a personal carry kit that I can lug around just on my person during the weekends. This weekend kit will not include a bag so I have to really stretch to stay prepared without one. I’ll document what I’m doing and the steps I took and hopefully give you some ideas to create your own daily survival kit. This should not be confused with your Bug Out Bag, or long term survival kits. This is just a standard, bare-knuckle kit that will always been on you to get you out of a scrape in a hurry. You should still have a bug out in your home for temporary evacuations and in your car for getting stranded roadside. The first step to this project was to invest in a large, durable, and ,most importantly, WATERPROOF backpack. Several times I’ve been caught at work in a downpour and without an umbrella. I have a long walk out to my car and on more than one occasion I have gotten drenched, and so has my pack. I’ve had an iPod ruined, a few books warped, and even some important papers turned soggy. It’s not good for anyone when your personal belongings get wet. But it would be even worse for my survival gear to get wet right when I need it most. So I invested into a waterproof backpack from OverBoard. The backpack is very thick and has a fantastic design to fold in and lock into itself to keep water out and make sure your belongings stay safe and dry. The company also guarantees the pack will float and can be fully submerged without getting your stuff wet (when properly closed, of course). The bag comes in many colors. I went with standard black; helps me to blend in during a survival situation. I did some searching on the internet and found the cheapest price to be on eBay. I got free shipping from a verified seller and got the bag new with tags. Over the next few weeks I will slowly add to the pack and make it a personal survival kit. Stay tuned for more on my progress.

 

Multiple colors available.