Redesigning everyday life – Explorations

Brain recovery, how far can the brain recover ? According to most experts your brain can recover from serious damage but once the recovery stops that’s it. It is , however possible to recover up until your old level, which can take a few weeks months or years. In most cases people change, either in their ability to concentrate, memorize stuff, finding words etc, or have changes to their personalities. And now the fun part, most of the experts agree that in the first period recovery is at its quickest. After that it slows down. Sometimes people find themselves getting better years and years after. Which is good , very good.

I have gone past the half year mark and have had some nice improvements , reading is going better and I am getting used to all the tips and tricks that make my life easier to manage.

However, a few area’s are still a bit of a problem. And not so easy for people to understand and get their head around. In this article I will try to shed some light on this.

First off, conversations. If I am well rested and in a reasonable relaxed environment , I make sense most of the time and can actually interact on a normal level. It can happen when I’m talking my brain can’t always find the right words or my sentences get screwed up. Especially if there is a lot of noise or a lot of people talking nearby. This gets worse at the end of the day when my energy levels drop. I mix up words more often at the end of the day, so most of the time only my girlfriend notices. When I am asking for a spoon when I want her to pass me the remote control or something.

More troubling I can’t really remember what I have been talking about without taking notes. Making notes during casual conversation might be a bit odd. So I don’t do that. But then something happens along the lines of , remember you said this last time we spook. And I really can’t remember it. Most people close to me know this by now. But for people a bit further away this is a bit weird. As if I am not that interested in them or have been half ignoring them at the last meet.

Taping conversations is not really an option just yet, meetings of an official nature I am leaning towards it. But for a friendly conversation this is strange.
So I am figuring this out as I go. If I meet new people I try and casually slip in a few lines about my condition and how it can affect the conversation we have. This can clarify why I sometimes ask people to repeat what they just said twice (so I can remember better) or why it takes time for me to respond. Some people pick it up really casual ask one or two things about and continue. Other people react as if they just seen the grim reaper and the fun and casual conversation turns into me answering loads of questions about my condition. Which is normal I guess but not something you always want to do. Don’t get me wrong here , people being interested is not a bad thing and most are very compassionate and nice. But I don’t want it do dominate the conversation in any way. It’s just me trying to give some insight in why I have to apply these tactics in order to follow the conversation.

Secondly, I am extremely slow in finding solutions to any given problem, question or anything hard. It takes ages. I have to take notes, read them over. Ask questions later etc.
I a meeting this is difficult. I come up with stuff way after the momentum has passed, well after the meeting has ended basically.
This doesn’t mean my level of intelligence just dropped , my brain is essentially processing everything in slow motion. And my response is therefore also in slow motion.

This has been the greatest effect , because it takes so much time it also sucks energy. I can’t work on a hard project for hours on end on just food and coffee. I have to split everything up in small parts, which hopefully makes me a great planner ;). It’s about energy management rather than time management.

So after my first goal of getting my energy, focus and concentration on a higher level has been reached , these things will hopefully have improved a lot. Hopefully these examples will give some insight , and maybe I will tape our next encounter ;-).

Portfolio news – August 2016 additions

A bit late as I an busy taking more time off and balancing my energy, more on that in another post. The addition of August.

Only one addition this month, and yet again a extension of an existing position, namely Microsoft. It was a position that was not in line with the rest of the portfolio so it had to be adjusted. Most of the tech positions in the portfolio are performing well and I think Microsoft has more potential on the upside. The company is producing good results and while this may not be the best way to take investment decisions I love windows 10, it’s an excellent OS , fast and stable. And a lot of people agree. Also their development tools are great and they are doing a lot in the way of education and making people familiar with the software.

I think this can only get better, more and more people getting involved in tech will make for more innovations. Hopefully not only in just another app but also in research and other tech fields where you are bound to need software. All in all I am positive about Microsoft. Next month , well this month in the coming week I will get a brand new position. For the September addition.

Redesigning everyday life

Last few weeks I have been taking some more rest and time out to reflect on my progress so far. It’s been a steep learning curve and I am now up to a point where I almost know how much energy I have on any given day. I am now working on a system to score the amount of energy of each individual activity in a way such that I can compare and measure my flow of energy.

Until now I was giving out colours , red for an energy consuming task, green for an energy giving task and yellow for neutral. At the end of the day I also scored the overall day on a scale of 1 to 10.

While this was fine it didn’t help me as much as I wanted, especially when planning ahead. While thinking about this , I set on designing a system that helps me plan my activities more accurately and thus keep the heavy dips in energy at bay. So my first idea was to come up with some kind of system to score my activities and my daily available energy amount.

I discussed my idea with my therapist and she had a system which they don’t use that often because it’s normally a bit to hard for people to understand. But it has exactly what I need , a scientific based scoring method to score your activities. It also has a tool to calculate your base daily energy.

The goal for me is now to start and measure the activities and score my days. Once I have that sorted I will be able to manage my energy in a way that the strange dips in energy don’t occur as much any more.

For me this is a great step in redesigning my life in such a way I feel more in control about it. It also opens a lot opportunities to develop this further. Since it’s more accurate than just handing out colours it has a lot of potential for analysing my day to day and week to week planning.

I am very enthusiastic about this new method and hopefully I can report some good progress over the next few weeks and months.

August 2016 – Dividend

Dividends again, always a good thing. As always the markets are moody as ever and nobody knows how long this ridiculous policy of low interest and buying huge amounts of bonds will go on. It has led to inflated markets and in the Netherlands , the old crazy pre credit crisis housing madness is back once again. This time with even lower rates. More debt at lower cost is still debt.

People don’t seem to mind and are paying large amounts of money for housing again. But more on that later, back to the dividends. It has been a slow month and I am looking for good ways to even out the monthly income from my portfolio. I am looking into various ways to do this. Maybe incorporate a bit more option strategies during the month. I now sell some for extra revenue. Which works great , so I am looking into ways to extend this.

Well, without further delays and small talk the August dividend result.

9-8-2016 Dividend (NSI) EUR 13,00
4-8-2016 Dividend (AMSTERDAM COMMOD.) EUR 5,60
15-8-2016 Dividend (Product: ONEOK INC. COMMON STO) EUR 5,23
11-8-2016 Dividend (Product: APPLE INC. – COMMON ST) EUR 4,85
16-8-2016 Dividend (Product: ONEOK INC. COMMON STO) EUR 4,63
12-8-2016 Dividend (Product: APPLE INC. – COMMON ST) EUR 4,34

Total EUR 37,65