Saturday, February 20, 2010

Multitasking > Multi Time Management

Since I begun my work as a stuntman in summer 2006 I’ve been focusing a lot in my versatile training. I considered physical skills to be very relevant in my line of work, and I haven’t been wrong. No matter what I’ve done since then, I’ve always kept on training – Although, sometimes more and sometimes less; I’m still only a human. Because of the sports center (Töölön kisahalli) where I’ve trained for years, I have had to train between 9am and 2pm.  Nevertheless, there have been times when I have had to make profound adjustments to my training schedules – especially if I wanted to keep on training as actively as always.

For example, I studied acting for a year , and for every day I was occupied with my studies from 9am to 2pm. Because of this I had to go to train right after my school. The sports center starts to be filled up with other people starting from 2.30pm, therefore I had 30min to train in peace. After 2.30pm it took more mental conditioning in order to train and not pay attention to lots of other things that were happening in the sports center at the same time. After I finished my studies, I was able to go back to my more normal training rhythm taking place between 9am and 2pm.

Since January 2010 I have been working for a non-profit organization called Young Finland Association (Nuori Suomi).  I’ve been hired for two months to help them with the Web Marketing and the Social Media for the Your Move campaign. A nice change, as I can now do some work that my education (M.Sc. Econ.) has prepared me for :D

Now, I’m required to work at the office for 37,5h per week. In common language it is a day job usually around 8.00am to 4pm and so on. Fortunately, I am free to adjust my work schedules as long as it’s a total of 37,5h per week. Training still continues to be important to me, therefore I’ve adapted to this new rhythm: 2-3 times a week I train 8.00 – 9.30am, and then I can make it to the office at 10am. Time management in this case means going earlier to bed around 10.30 – 11.00pm, so that I can wake up at 6am, have a good breakfast, and then be energetic enough to train at 8.00am.

Multitasking has always played a big part in my life. I’m one of those people who can’t stay focused on only one thing for too long. Something always has to be happening. Until some point, the more the better. Learning to recognize my limits before overdoing things has been a formidable challenge. I’m still not master in Multi Time Management, but at least I have an environment where I can practice it constantly!

Working 37,5h per week in an office, training 2-3 per week, teaching a class 0-2 times per week, working on an ad hoc basis a stuntman or as an actor and building my business as an entrepreneur requires more than just presence. I don’t think I could manage all of this unless all of them are something that I LOVE TO DO. I rarely feel that I’m just working constantly. Most of the time I’m flabbergasted for the great opportunities that life has given me but I’m not counting on it to be like this forever without making any effort. I keep on Multitasking, and with my Multi Time Management skills, I keep myself on a clear path for a wonderful life on this planet! If I can do it, anyone can!

Lessons learned about Multitasking > Multi Time Management

  • Love you what you do. When you love something, there’s always time for it. If you don’t like it, DO spend some time to think about other possibilities. This is real Personal Management. Watching television etc. might be relaxing but you can’t give the responsibility of managing your life to the TV (or even to another person).
  • Think constantly about the Big Picture. Everything you do in long-term should direct you towards the same goal (ie. being happy, enjoying life, achieving something X, having a meaningful life etc.). The more ecological, and unselfish your Big Picture / Dream / Life-Goal, the more likely it is that you are heading towards the right direction. And the greater forces help you more on this path. 
  •  Identify the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Definitely keep the Good, it is usually a source of positive energy in your life. Identify the Bad, and get rid of it. The sooner, the less long-term negative effects it has in your life. The Ugly is the trickiest as it can be a disguise for both the Good and the Bad. Wisdom in life helps identifying which one it is, but most of the times it’s the Gut Feeling or the 6th Sense that tells you what you should do with the Ugly. 
  • Know your Self-worth. Learn to say NO. If you are a nice person and at the same time acknowledged by other people as a skilled person, you will be offered multiple opportunities to do lots of various things – usually first for their own benefit, and after that comes your needs if ever. If you have gained the status of a Pro, you might still get lots of work requests but at least everyone knows that if nothing else is gained, you require a monetary compensation. There is a common fear about saying ”No, thank you”. I urge you to think about your self-worthiness. If you value yourself low, some people might take advantage of it. If you say no to them, they still might get hurt. If you value yourself high, less people try to take advantage, and when you decline the offer, usually they understand it better. Nevertheless, self-worthiness has to be based on real-life achievements whether it is education, career progress, colourful medals, certificates etc. Unfortunately, it’s just not enough if one day you just decide to be more valuable. But it’s a good starting point for a better life. Value growth requires long-term constant effort. You have 100 years time to grow on value as a human being. Like companies, the more valuable they become, the more they help directly (donations) and/or indirectly (taxes) in making this world a better place (being ecological).
  • Prioritize. Act. Receive. Be Grateful. Chill-out. Move on. Most people know how to prioritize but that’s just the beginning of actually pulling things through. I guess, it’s human nature, but usually the most prioritized or important thing becomes the scariest at the same time. It’s like betting all your money in one racing horse. You want it to win but at the same time you don’t really believe that it’s your lucky day. Of course, it’s not always like this :) Winning, getting the best result, finishing a BIG project is scary especially if you’ve put a hell of a lot of effort in it. Again, know your self-worth, feel that you really deserve all the good. And if you get it, be Grateful about it, say thank you at least to your life. Celebrate, give some moment for rest, and then move a long in your life. If you plan to live to be a 100 year old, getting the best thing in your life at the age of 30 doesn’t last for the next 70 years withouth continuous effort. Besides, how do you know that it was the best thing?

I’m not saying that multitasking is the only way to live your life. I love seeing people who are focused in only one or few major things. That’s the beauty of life: Versatility.

'Perfection with Passion'

Friday, February 5, 2010

Ideas, the Driving Force of Development

Do you get ideas? What happens to them? I get ideas constantly. Some of them pop out from unconsciousness but most of them are triggered by some external source eg. people, discussions, writings, events or just plain image or sound.

For the last 5 years I've been trying to get myself exposed to as many things as possible. New things give usually give me new ideas. Of course, I expose myself mainly in the areas that I already feel very comfortable with. In my case I have always enjoyed sports. Since childhood, in a chronological order, I have exposed myself to the following sports:

- Football
- Athletics
- Karate
- Floorball
- Breakdance
- Ultimate
- Acrobatics
- Parkour
- Motorcycling
- Skydiving
- Golf
- Rock'n'Swing dances: Boogie Woogie & Lindy Hop
- Cuban dances: Salsa, Bachata, Rumba, Merenque
- Ballroom dances: Walz, Quickstep, Jive, Chachacha, Samba
- Paintball

As a Stuntman my philosophy for being able to do good quality job is to be able to learn new movements quickly. With this in mind I consider all the sports as a combination of specific movement techniques. This allows me to do almost any sport without me feeling embarrassed (eg. tried out ballet and it's DIFFICULT!). After all, I am there to learn to use my body to for versatile movement - not to become the best of the best in one sport discipline.

With my versatile background in movement, I use it again for my stuntwork for example when I design Fight Choreographies. I want my fight choreographies to be fairly realistic in effectiveness but I also want them to be visually good looking. In more common terms I try to combine power and grace which is usually more easily said than done. And the doing part usually requires lots and lots of training in order for the movement to sink in to my body.

One of my first short-film productions Yakuza Diaries depicts a little bit of this philosophy of power and grace in fight choreography. The film was made in 2004, so my philosophy hadn't really come out yet in it's fullness (though, it still hasn't) :D

A new Thai film Raging Phoenix is a good example of innovative fight choreography. They've managed to use breakdancing in it's pure form for a fight scene. To my eyes it's a lot about beautiful movement but I'm not convinced about the power in the techniques. Nevertheless, I loved the idea that they didn't want to make a hybrid breakdance fight style but instead go nearly 100% with original breakdancing. a great IDEA in my opinion!

To conclude, for me creating ideas, looking for ideas and understanding other people's ideas is a key essential tool for my line of work and in my life in general. Every day I feel like starting my life from Day 1. My eyes and mind are wide open to devour new and interesting things! And some day an idea might pop out. Then it's another story what comes out of the idea :D

Below is a picture that portrays 8 ways that can kill and idea. Knowing your enemies is half the battle ;D I got the picture from my friend's blog at