Is Repetition Enough?

I have read books and listened to several blogs that discuss methods for developing good habits. The window for repetition generally is twenty to thirty days. The thought process is that after repeated behavior changes, we either drop our old habits or develop the desired new one.

I have a task that I perform without fail every day. It is to take a daily vitamin and low dose aspirin. I can only accomplish this by using a pill box. It requires little thought or effort, the benefits are without quesiton; yet I can never remember if the pills have been taken. Question: if I can not remember if a task has been done – how can it be that it can be considered a habit?

One could propose that the answer would be to take the pills as soon as you take your first cup of coffee. And therein lies the focus of this blog. I would like to discuss two thoughts:

Repetition is not enough – triggers are the key.

Habits are shallow – disciplines are life changing.

More to come. Life is good.

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First Things First by Stephen R. Covey

Step two: Identify your roles. Pain in life comes from neglect in one or more roles due to the neglect from focus on other roles. The ideal balance isn’t from spending time in each role, but from utilyzing roles to accomplish your mission. Role change throughout life but consider including personal development and sharpen the saw (physical, social, mental and spiritual). Covey suggests that we spend so much time focused on sawing through life that we forget to sharpen the saw.

Roles should not be depatmentalized but should be viewed as a whole. Set goals for each role. “The key, however is not to prioritize your schedule, but to schedule your priorities”. Analogy of putting rocks in a jar is that if you don’t fill the jar with big rocks first, you’ll never get them in the jar.<br>Set a specific time of the day for goals. Quadrants I and III usually do not have any problems grabbing our attention. Deliberately methodically place big rocks in the jar.<br>Life is good.

I have in my schedule every year around Thanksgiving to replace the batteries in all the smoke detectors in the house.  I have been an outside consultant since ’89.  One year my wife called at 3am in the morning with two smoke detectors chirping due to low batteries.  We ended up in a crisis with me being out of town with chirping smoke detectors 14 feet up in the air in the wee hours of the morning.  It is important for me to replace batteries in the smoke detectors once a year.  Neglecting to do so could end up turning into a crisis.

First Things First – Kindle

Life is Good.

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The Effective Manager

Reading the Effective Manager by Mark Horstman

Does 4 things:

  • Gets to know your people.
  • Communicates about performance.
  • Pushes work down.
  • Asks for more.

Know your people through one on ones. Single most do as manager to improve – get to know strength and weakness of people. Most efficiently is meet regular. Not strategy, task assignment, resource planning or prioritization: it is in getting to know your people who has the skills and get the work done. Short term effective with threats. Retention if included sours. Do not treat everyone the same. Everyone does not want to be treated equally.

Top performers expectations are different. Most managers manage the way they want to be managed. The problem is that it only works with people like you. People and behavior is what will deliver to the organization, not system, process, computers, machines, results are the primary responsibility.

The Effective Manager

Audible – The Effective Manager

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Article: The Science Of Gratitude And Why It’s Important In Your Workplace

The Science Of Gratitude And Why It’s Important In Your Workplace

http://flip.it/S9tU3r

Many studies also on the health benefits. 

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Sustainability 

http://www.agile-doctor.com/2016/08/16/agile-processes-promote-sustainable-development/

Wonderful case for four legged stool: scope, resources, schedule and quality. Scope and resource seems to be easiest –  we seem to always struggle with the balance on schedule and quality. Schedule seems to primarily be an assumption of those who usually have the least skin in the game. 

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Agile development – Stand Up Meetings 

https://agileoutloud.wordpress.com/2016/06/16/starter-agile-pt-3/

Sprint Stand Up meetings can be a drain from having independent developers treating the time as status meetings with everyone focus in their own world. One of the hardest part it getting everyone to work as a team. There is a constant natural gravitational pull of only working on what I know and what I have done in the part. 

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Houzz: Maximize Harvests With Square-Foot Gardening

Houzz: Maximize Harvests With Square-Foot Gardening. http://google.com/newsstand/s/CBIwzJDwhSY

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Smart Innovators Value Smaller Teams Over Better Processes

Smart Innovators Value Smaller Teams Over Better Processes – http://pulse.me/s/3ZLDv

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Creating a Text to Speech Application

Creating a Text to Speech Application is surprisingly simple on android. I’m going to write a quick post with some great pointers on how to accomplish this.

What you need:
Android SDK
Eclipse (I’m using Helios)

Lets begin:

First we need to create a new android project in Eclipse. In Eclipse Click File, New, and select android project. You will be created with the following screen. Enter your project name and click Next to continue.

Next we need to select a target platform. I have chosen 2.2, make your selection and click Next to continue.

Now we need to name our package name, activity name, and set the minimum SDK. Enter your information and select Finish to complete creating the android project.

Now that we have the project created lets get started with the good stuff. Start off by creating the layout. open /res/layout/main.xml

This is the screen for the application, it is also by default created by eclipse.

In this document we are going to create an EditText for user input and a button to start the text to speech.

Lets add that EditText:
delete the text view that eclipse adds by default.
Add the EditText in between the LinearLayout

<EditText
android:id=”@+id/Speech”
android:layout_width=”fill_parent”
android:layout_height=”wrap_content”
android:hint=”Enter Text for Speech!”
/>

Alright now that we have the Edit Text added we can continue on to adding the button.

Now add the following into your xml

    <Button
android:id=”@+id/Speak”
android:layout_width=”fill_parent”
android:layout_height=”wrap_content”
android:text=”Speak!”
android:onClick=”onClick”/>

The complete main.xml should look like the following

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”utf-8″?>
<LinearLayout xmlns:android=”http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android”
android:layout_width=”fill_parent”
android:layout_height=”fill_parent”
android:orientation=”vertical” >

<EditText
android:id=”@+id/Speech”
android:layout_width=”fill_parent”
android:layout_height=”wrap_content”
android:hint=”Enter Text for Speech!”
/>

<Button
android:id=”@+id/Speak”
android:layout_width=”fill_parent”
android:layout_height=”wrap_content”
android:text=”Speak!”
android:onClick=”onClick”/>

</LinearLayout>

Lets take a look graphically at what we have created.

Open your java file under /src/’your package name’/
Once opened you can see where eclipse has done some of the work for you. You content view has already been set to your main.xml

Start off by adding the EditTex,Speech button, and The Text To Speech into the class.

With the code below you have noticed that I have added ‘implements OnInitListener, OnUtteranceCompletedListener” You must add this as TextToSpeech uses this to check to see if the required data for TextToSpeech is installed.

public class TextToSpeechExampleActivity extends Activity implements OnInitListener, OnUtteranceCompletedListener {
/** Called when the activity is first created. */

Button Speak;
EditText Speech;
private TextToSpeech mTts;

@Override
public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
setContentView(R.layout.main);

Speak = (Button)this.findViewById(R.id.Speak);
Speech = (EditText)this.findViewById(R.id.Speech);
//initialize TTS
mTts= new TextToSpeech(this, this);

}

public void onInit(int initStatus) {
mTts.setOnUtteranceCompletedListener(this);

}
public void onUtteranceCompleted(String utteranceId) {

mTts.shutdown();

}

You will notice that you will have some errors once this code has been written. The error should be the following

“Button cannot be resolved as a type”

“EditText cannot be resolved as a type”

“TextToSpeech cannot be resolved as a type”

The fix for these errors are very simple. Simply go over each error and have eclipse import Button, EditText, and TextToSpeech. There is a even easier way to do this with eclipse. Press Ctrl+Shift+O. This will organize your imports for you and even delete unused ones. Once you have imported Button, EditText, and TextToSpeech we should be error free.

So Lets keep trucking, the only thing we lack is what the button is finally going to do!

I handle my button clicks using the onClick

insert the code below into your class

public void onClick(View v)

{

switch(v.getId())

{

case R.id.Speech:

//when Button Speak is clicked

//grab text from the EditText Speech
String TALK = Speech.getText().toString();

//Talk now has text from EditText

mTts.speak(TALK, TextToSpeech.QUEUE_ADD, null);
break;

}

}

The complete class should look like the following

“Your package name goes here”;

import android.app.Activity;
import android.os.Bundle;
import android.speech.tts.TextToSpeech;
import android.speech.tts.TextToSpeech.OnInitListener;
import android.speech.tts.TextToSpeech.OnUtteranceCompletedListener;
import android.view.View;
import android.widget.Button;
import android.widget.EditText;

public class TextToSpeechExampleActivity extends Activity implements OnInitListener, OnUtteranceCompletedListener {
/** Called when the activity is first created. */

Button Speak;
EditText Speech;
private TextToSpeech mTts;

@Override
public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
setContentView(R.layout.main);

Speak = (Button)this.findViewById(R.id.Speak);
Speech = (EditText)this.findViewById(R.id.Speech);
//initialize TTS
mTts= new TextToSpeech(this, this);

}

public void onInit(int initStatus) {
mTts.setOnUtteranceCompletedListener(this);

}
public void onUtteranceCompleted(String utteranceId) {

mTts.shutdown();

}
public void onClick(View v)
{
switch(v.getId())
{
case R.id.Speak:
//when Button Speak is clicked

//grab text from the EditText Speech
String TALK = Speech.getText().toString(); //Talk now has text from EditText

mTts.speak(TALK, TextToSpeech.QUEUE_ADD, null);

break;
}
}
}

There you go! That ties up the Text to Speech Application if you have any questions about the posted code or have any suggestions. Feel free to contact us or leave a comment. Thanks

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Short Timer-TBS update

Short Timer-TBS update is now available on the amazon market. This update includes the graphical changes to the main screen, edit screen, and timer. The new timer now allows you to create multiple timers and cancel when needed. You also can still have the ‘complete task upon completion’ with the messaging and phone dialer. Let us know what you think with the changes so we can continue to make this product better for you.

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