Random Comments and Thoughts 20220213

I just had to pull myself away from playing Quordle which is basically Wordle but you play four games at once with your guesses. I like Wordle. It’s simple, it’s a bit of a challenge, and it’s over in ten minutes or less. And it feels to me like the word list is a bit curated to not be the easy ones but also not be impossible.

Interestingly enough, because I can play it more than once I’ve been playing Quordle more even though I like it less. Yesterday one of the four words was BALER which, not one in my vocabulary. And I had NANNY for one, too.

It seems to love words with Y in them and the fact that it allows words with the same letter three times and pulls a very wide range of possible words makes it more annoying to play. There’s not as much “I won something mildly challenging” satisfaction.

But if someone were trying to monetize a product, I suspect they’d develop Quordle. More time spent per game, more games played per day.

Which, you know, might explain a lot of things we get in society when the focus is on maximizing profit over other measures like enjoyment.

On another note, I’ve found a productivity hack that works for me.

I happen to feed my dog three times a day. She’s a large dog and part of a breed that can be prone to bloat and one way to help reduce that risk is to give smaller meals. For the last however many years she’s been getting her lunch at 10 and her dinner at 4.

At 10 I take time to feed her, feed me, and read. At 4, I feed her, feed me, and then call it a day. As much as I tell myself I’ll go back and work from 5-6, it generally doesn’t happen.

So this year I decided I was moving her meal times to 11 and 5. There was a bit of sad crying the first week, but she’s now settled into the new schedule. And the beauty is, it bought me more than an hour of work time.

As I write this it’s 9:20 in the morning and I’m just getting ramped up on “work”. I’ve checked ads and that sort of thing, but I haven’t done any writing, editing, formatting, etc. yet. And before what would happen is I would wrap up this post around 9:40 and I would think about how I had to stop at 10 to feed her so instead of working I’d putz around until 10.

Now, because I don’t have to stop until 11, I will finish this post and go work on my project and have a good solid hour-plus of work I would’ve normally lost. And I seem to be seeing the same thing with the afternoon, too. It feels like I’m using more of that window of time for work as well.

So just a little change to the timing of my behavior triggers (feed dog dinner-stop working) and I get more work done.

Something to consider if you’re trying to find a little more time in your day. It isn’t exactly what the guy covered in Atomic Habits, but it’s along those lines. He discussed how you can chain activities together to form habits. This little hack is more about just changing the timing of that chain.

What else?

Yay for the D2D and Smashwords merger. I tried Smashwords many moons ago and found their process too difficult and never went back but it’s been on my to-do list for a couple years to try to list direct in their store. So now I can hopefully do that with the click of a button someday soon.

A reminder if you update your A+ Content in the U.S. store and you were using a copy of it in other stores that you need to go through and re-approve it in all of those other stores because it will kick back to draft.

And if you run AMS ads be sure to occasionally expand the ad data period to 30 days or even lifetime to catch any keywords you might have turned off for a limited-time slump but that are actually good keywords for your book. I’m pretty sure Amazon removes fake clicks a few days after the fact, so what can look horrible on Monday will look just fine when you go back a week later and look at that time period.

I’ve never actually sat down and mapped my numbers to verify this, but it seems to me that’s how it works.

Anyway. Off to write with all of my new writing time.

Author: M.L. Humphrey

M.L. Humphrey is a former securities regulator, registered stockbroker (although only briefly), and consultant on regulatory and risk-related matters for large financial institutions with expertise in the areas of anti-money laundering regulation, mutual funds, and credit rating agencies. Since 2013 M.L. has also been a published author under a variety of pen names and across a variety of subjects and genres. You can contact M.L. at mlhumphreywriter [at] gmail.com.

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