Focus Denied! Screw this - I’m installing 12.10 Quantal Quetzal

by Mike Levin SEO & Datamaster, 07/16/2012

An unfortunate fact of professional life is that focus is both a luxury and the secret to success. How well one reconciles that fact determines much about achievement. Single people with no kids can always take evenings and nights, and really apply a lot of personal time towards this end, but once you’re married—if you’re not ignoring your family and kids—this becomes a particularly greater challenge. There’s a point in your life after which you’ve invested those 10,000 hours (or 10 years) of your life into becoming spontaneously and truly expert at something, and the hope is that the main way you make your living starts to come naturally to you, and that sort of compresses time, allowing personal development and growth activities to occur in the defragmented time-space.

Now there’s a tongue-twister mental gymnastics opening paragraph for a Monday morning, but it’s what my situation is. I got bit in the ass by trying to just use my spontaneous expertise for a “future of SEO” training video I needed to help produce for a client, but the program was to have a Powerpoint prepared, and as I learned on the same day, use a particular template. Putting my know-how into Powerpoint for throwing the bullet-points up on the screen during a talk is easy enough, and I cranked that out in about a half-hour. But the thing is, I have to go on an image-hunt to have visuals for every slide. And this is the sort of thing that really throws off my rhythm and fills-in that freed-up time with daily-grind busy-work. So early this week, I must hit this ezscrape thing home AND get a Powerpoint together for the future of SEO.

Okay, in order to not want to kill myself, I’m going to make as intense and quick of an effort as possible to hit ezscrape home, and have something big and flashy to announce, then beat the organization up over the head by squandering my time on Powerpoint production, when just spontaneously and naturally whiteboarding the same material would have been just as good—and likely better due to the natural spontaneous and engaging flow of whiteboarding, versus zombie-ifying Powerpoint. Could you imagine Kahn Academy if it had to be Powerpoint? Ugh!

Okay, anyway enough complaining. Ugh, looking at my calendar, I have meetings today I usually don’t have on Monday. And there’s some prep-work to do. Oh well. The best-laid plans of mice and men. And these meetings are about preparation for high-end strategy meetings for a client that already has privileged access to news in the industry, and is looking for how to get out ahead of things. It’s a very tall order—getting out ahead even of Google announcements. We can look at the micro-details of movement in search rankings, speculating about the next Search Quality Update / Panda / Penguin update. We can talk about VERY forward-looking things, like what HTML2 and SPDY could mean for search (if anything). Activity seems to break down into two categories—parsing the Google Search Quality Updates, for which there hasn’t been one for June, or getting out into crystal-ball territory, with the long-term implications of HTML5 microdata, extreme localization with mobile, voice recognition, Google Now “push” search, etc. The former is not really out ahead of Google, and the later sounds so much like blowing smoke pontification on the future. I need to zero-in on the inevitabilities of our industry. What cannot be any other way? The gradual emergence and dominance of the 7-inch tablet platform, because of the razor/razor-blade business model, as made clear by the Kindle Fire, Nexus 7 pattern?

It’s interesting, these SEO “get ahead of Google” and “Future of SEO” training module that I have to do have a lot in common. I should really structure it around a few very solid visual metaphors that each work as an idea “axis” such as in an analyst’s 2-axis plot diagram. But I give a strong visual image to each “axis”, such as it were. Then after discussing each topic, I can hit them with an actual axis diagram that works the symbol for the axis in… very powerful!

Okay, I just had my meeting for the upcoming Strategy meeting, and the outcome is that I will script it. That seems to be the standard solution for people who are uncomfortable just speaking spontaneously. They want it scripted. They need it scripted. It increases their comfort-level, and it is totally contrary to the loose and free discussions that these were intended to be. So be it. If everyone wants “scripted” in all their interactions with me, scripted it shall be. I will always have a script ready, and it will at least help me think things through. Get down the spiel or the schtick.

Okay, what you need to do is get a script down on the Strategy meeting for tomorrow. Do that right in this daily journal entry. There’s what I have to do for tomorrow, and what I need to do for this week in general—about Google Product Search in the former, and Future of SEO in the later. Okay, screw it. If I have to derail my progress to do this sort of work, then I’m going to do the Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal Alpha 2 upgrade that I’ve been putting off. If I can’t focus on getting ezscrape done today, then getting onto the new Ubuntu Alpha will be my reward for letting myself get derailed.