The Week Of Visa Confusion, Loss Of Focus, And Delicious Meals

This Week:

  • Sending out my first 2 full engagement reports to bloggers!
  • Confusion about my visa – will I overstay my welcome?
  • The struggle to keep my mental and physical health a priority.

December 2023

Su M T W Th F S

Where In The World Was I?

  • Canggu, Bali, Indonesia

The Dog Man

Before we get into the rest of the post, I HAD to share this first before anything else.

In last Sunday’s post (The Week I Got Surrounded By A Pack Of Angry Dogs), I spent a significant portion of the post talking about these run-ins I’ve been having with wild dogs out here – not in the good way.

Well, almost immediately after I posted last week’s post, I went on a long walk (I call them “podcast walks”) and then this happened.

I turned onto the backroad I always take and there was this group of locals sitting on the side of the road. They were chatting and laughing. I smiled and said hello and walked by.

Further up the road there was a stray dog standing right in the center of the road and there were two men walking in the direction of the dog.

The dog looks over and starts barking at them. Immediately both of them turn around with these huge smiles on their faces laughing and start walking back.

I wasn’t sure what exactly was going on, but I smiled and walked by them as they walked back to the group of locals.

But the dog was still there standing in the middle of the street.

And then he started barking at ME as I got closer.

I started to slow down and stopped. With the dog continuing to bark at me, I turned around and looked back at the group of locals and they were smiling and giggling. I was thinking “uhhh, do you know something I don’t know?” 😄

I turned back towards the dog and kept very slowly walking. I was thinking, *rolls eyes* “here we go again.”

Then all of a sudden one of the guys that had previously been walking towards the dog (and turned around) came up beside me.

Roll the tape.

(sorry for the stutters, I tried to stabilize the video so it wouldn’t be so bouncy)

It’s a bit hard to see in the corner but after he bends down you can see him turn around at me and smile and laugh.

Now that was a frame shift!

Also, what a nice guy! I was expecting him to turn around and make eye contact with me as we parted ways so I could say terima kasih, but he never did.

Anyways, on to the post!

Metrics From The Week

Don’t be fooled by a bunch of green recovery bars! They’re easy to get when you don’t work out the previous day 😬 More on that later…

Didn’t watch as much YouTube during meals this week. I tended to either eat quick lunches at the laptop and go right back to work. I also ate out a couple times (more on that as well later)!

Photos From The Week

👇 My home almost every single day for the last 2 months straight. Best seat in the house! (I’m sitting here as I write this!)

👇 Gorgeous sunset last night. That beautiful soft pink/purple reminded me of Tahoe!

👇 That book tells you a lot about the people here. This is MY kinda hostel that’s fo-sho

👇 💈

Business Progress Update

This week I sent my first 2 (out of 2) full engagement reports!

One went to a blogger that doesn’t embed maps (just links to them). It was a shorter since one of my big value-adds here is tracking interactions with iframes (i.e. embedded maps) – 5 pages.

The other went to a blogger that does embed maps! And phew! Took me 7.5 hours to put together – 16 pages! A big portion of this was me trying to dig into the analytics to actually see what insights there are. The hope is that now that I have a template, the next ones will be quicker.

So, what does the data say?

The bad news

  • The number of users that interact with maps is VERY small. Like we’re talking 1-2% of all users clicking on a map (link or embed) whereas 5-10% of all users click on ANY link on a site. In terms of interactions generally, a map seems to capture the attention of at most 25% of users.
  • The average time spent viewing a map is not that long. In the best case scenarios, the average was 30 seconds with a median of 11 seconds. I just don’t think you can do that much in under 30 seconds…

The good news

  • There’s a minority of users that seem to use the maps a lot – they view it multiple times in a session, click around multiple times. It smells like a “Pareto Principle” situation to me – a minority of users make up the majority of the engagement.

I’m still figuring out what to make of all this, but that’s at least where I’m at so far.

And speaking of work/focus, towards the end of this week, I decided to move this work to “maintenance mode.” I’ll still be answering bloggers and such, but won’t be making any forward progress.

Instead, I want to use this end-of-the-year time to focus on something else.

End-Of-Year Productivity Optimization

A couple weeks ago I had the idea to do some kind of end-of-year productivity optimization. I was inspired by The French Guy™️ I met here, who “grooms” his Notion workspace every year – getting rid of what’s not helpful, updating it to be more useful, etc.

It also reminded me of something from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. Hey wait I actually wrote a blog post about this! Literally the only book I did this for 😅

Habit 7 is “Sharpen The Saw” where he talks about P (production) vs PC (production capability) and that every so often is it essential to stop and “sharpen” the habits and systems that ALLOW you to produce what you produce.

So the idea here is stop, reflect, clean out the cobwebs, and see where I can reduce friction and improve my productivity systems. I’d also like to use this end-of-the-year time to do some more general reflection as well as planning looking forward.

The challenge here is going to be drawing the line of what’s “enough” because there’s infinite ways to optimize productivity, but at the end of the day, the whole idea behind productivity is actually producing something.

I think 1-2 weeks is a good amount, anything more probably gets into the space of “optimizing for the sake of optimizing.” But that said, this is my first time really doing this so who knows. I’ll let you know how it goes.

The Visa Confusion

This week I spent a lot of time focused on this. My visa expires next week, so I had to decide to either extend it or leave Indonesia.

I was under the impression, since I applied for my visa online, that I could also extend my visa on the “Extend” page of that same online system.

But, I wasn’t seeing it show up to be able to extend. From what I was seeing, it looked like the online system didn’t think I had entered the country yet and wasn’t “connected” to my physical stay permit sticker that I got when I used my visa to enter the country.

I spent so much time researching, googling, looking up forums and such. But, I was seeing different answers. It was all too confusing.

Anyway, I tried to “LiveChat” with immigration to see if they could fix this error. The last time I did the LiveChat they responded in ~1 hour.

But this time I waited… and waited… and waited…

A full day went by and no response.

Then the next day, still no response.

By Friday I had basically made my decision, but I left it open in case they finally responded, but nope.

So, my options were:

  • Extend it online, ~$30, one click and done
  • Go to immigration in person to extend it, ~$30-$50, but it’s >1 hour away and requires 3 different visits
  • Pay a visa agency to extend it for me, ~$175
  • Just leave Indonesia (flights to Singapore/Malaysia for $50-$90)

I think some of my understanding of the prices and numbers here are just wrong. I kept reading and hearing different things so I’m not really sure.

My next guess is that I can’t actually extend this type of visa online 🤷‍♂️

So I thought, eh, might as well use this as a nudge to go somewhere new!

I’ll definitely be back to Bali, it just seems like the least hassle to fly out and get a new visa when I come back the next time.

Struggling With Focus

I put figuring this visa situation out as my highest priority this week. At the same time, a lot of this came down to just waiting for immigration to respond, so there was almost not much I could do.

The result of this was that I spent so much of my days task switching, staring at my laptop for hours and hours, attempting to “be productive,” but getting to that point where I have no ability to think anymore. I just destroyed my focus this week and it bled into the other parts of my life.

I missed my evening exercise/workouts because I spent my time glued to my laptop continuing to task switch and attempting to piece things together while I just waited… and waited…

One evening, for some reason, I thought it was logical to get back on my laptop after dinner at ~6:30pm. (maybe because I didn’t actually DO anything during the day, I felt the need to “make up” the productivity in the evening).

7pm rolled around

Then 7:30pm…

Then 8pm… (which is when I usually finally stop whatever I’m doing and do a meditation and go to bed)

Then 8:30pm… I was still “wrapping up” what I was doing, which, wasn’t even important.

One of the staff/waiters came by (the “that’s a big portion!” guy) and was clearing the table next to me.

He looked over and in some broken english went, “you not work … not work out today?” and flexed his bicep.

Basically every single day the last 2 months I have worked out (in some way), then come back and ordered food at the hostel restaurant. Instead, this evening I had gone on a little walk and ate out at a restaurant rather than the hostel.

I looked up and with a smile on my face I said “nahhhhh” and then looked back down as he walked away.

But as I reflected on this moment, 2 things came to mind.

  1. I was appreciative that he remembered me and thought to bring it up! I like that I’m known as “the guy that works out and eats a big dinner every night” and that it’s considered unusual when this doesn’t happen.
  2. I remember realizing in the afternoon that my focus was just destroyed and I wasn’t properly taking the steps to fix that problem. I knew I could’ve worked out, but didn’t. I didn’t have an excuse. So this felt like Life calling me out on this. I felt ashamed. This was a shot across the bow. “Do better next time,” is what I heard.

I talked about this day in this video:

And so while the next day went largely the same (waiting for immigration)… I DID go for a workout.

I came back that next night and the same guy was behind the counter. I said “I got my workout in today!”

Fortunately I’ve resolved most of this (i.e. just made a decision about my visa situation), so I feel like I’ve got things back under control again.

A Walk Along The Streets Of Bali

What it’s like to walk along the main street here in Pererenan.

I walked to the laundry this week – motorbikes wizzing by, cars nearly swiping off your arms, but hey I’ve got clean clothes! 😄

Interesting Content From The Week

Eh, nothing to write home about this week.

Food From The Week

Went out a couple times this week!

  • Honey – lunch/brunch salmon quinoa bowl, sweet potato fries, roasted cauliflower ($14.52)
  • ARTE – another pizza (as amazing as the last one I had), pasta, and delicious gelato ($22.08)
  • RiZE x2 – I had to try their buttermilk sourdough pancakes at brunch because my Dad makes a killer buckwheat sourdough pancake back home! ($20.70) Came back for dinner for the best Indian food I’ve ever had in my life ($24.84).

The number of times I’ve been ordering a chocolate croissant has been steadily increasing over the last couple weeks. I need to leave before it gets to be every day 😅

What’s Next?

Oh boy! A flight! ✈️

It’s been a whole 2 months living here! Feels like I forgot how to travel 😅

See you in a different country next week!

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