Daily Entry: February 28th, 2019

Today's log.

The Return of the End of Day Review

Okay, so, I want to do end of day reviews again. I have been reading a book (Triggers), and it brought up the value of follow-up on making progress on one's goals. So, that'll be the main purpose of the end-of-day review going forward.

I'll be doing routine and formulaic anwsers in my log, and then I'll try to review my answers there and think about what that means here.

The questions in the book are:

  1. Did I do my best to set clear goals today?
  2. Did I do my best to make progress toward my goals today?
  3. Did I do my best to find meaning today?
  4. Did I do my best to be happy today?
  5. Did I do my best to build positive relationships today?
  6. Did I do my best to be fully engaged today?

Whether or not I'll use these specific questions, I don't know. I'll almost certainly have some of my own.

Today's review is pretty clearly becoming thinking about what my end-of-day review is. There are certain things I wish to track, that I was tracking with my old end-of-day review, that perhaps I should revisit here.

Stuff like:

  • YNAB

....

I guess the other stuff is better for morning. Stuff that calls me to action really shouldn't be too close to bed, as I may get addicted to it (it's been happening lately).

Today we'll start with those questions (see the log for the very short answers) and we'll mutate as we go.

Already Doing it Wrong

A bit more reading of the book has told me that I'm supposed to rate my effort. It is not a simple yes/no answer. Let's fix that now. I may also want to reflect on my numbers and why I chose them.

Daily Entry: February 10th, 2019

Today's log.

It's Been a While

Hi there. You know, I usually call you Stephan, but I wonder if there's a value to calling you T. There's another layer there, I think.

You okay with that? I think you are, T, I think you are.

I don't miss much. I don't miss often. Things that are gone... are gone, and if they come back I'm happy to see them again and if they don't, they're still valid.

And yet, I often find myself missing this diary. Like, the old pomodoro in the morning and two in the evening checklist of items diary. Lots of data with no digestion plan. No scaling. Limited automation.

It felt like I was doing something.

But I think it became less and less doing something and more and more busywork. To be sure, there was a lot of useful stuff in there that now doesn't get done as consistently or as well, but it was a flawed system.

But I find myself not knowing how to properly evolve it.

Throwing Things into the Future

There's a couple of things in my tickler that I see and keep throwing into the future. I don't want to deal with them. I don't have time. I don't care? I don't know.

I suppose the point is that I don't. So they keep on cycling in my tickler.

Some of them are important, but not urgent (to use 7 Habits language), like getting a new passport and updating my Canadian documentation.

Some of them are things I want to start at any time and can start at any time, but I don't know how. Some of these things are skills, but it's not that I don't know how to learn a skill. It's that I don't know how to start a habit.

It's something that I've done, sure, but it seems never on purpose and stickiness is fleeting. How is it that I make it a year and then can just stop? What am I doing that kills a habit?

But this really just ties into one particular item I keep throwing into the future. Something that I'm maybe even avoiding really thinking about, event now.

The Emotional Barrier

....

An ongoing dialog with myself is good. It keeps me grounded and forces me to assess what I have actually accomplished. But I find it difficult to maintain that dialog.

Why? I don't think it's a sustainability issue. Yeah, I was making too much content to keep up with but that was because of bloat.

I must assume there is a pain involved. A pain I do not consciously acknowledge, but one that impedes improving introspection.

Last year, I read the First 20 Hours. In it, the author mentions an emotional barrier to learning. Something that must be addressed and taken as seriously as any other obstacle.

So, I've decided on a theme for this year, and all work that isn't paid work (aka work-work) will be towards that theme. The theme is self-improvement or self-mastery.

By which I mean I want to develop and sharpen the tools that let me develop and sharpen tools that further empower me. I want to clean the self-viewing lense. I want to gain a means of self-efficiency.

And I want to deliberately practice such efficiency.

Do you know what's needed to do proper deliberate practice and not just purposeful practice, T? The best path forward to address this emotional barrier is to ask for help. I'm going to schedule an appointment with a therapist. Therapy wherein I will develop a training regiment torwards this theme.

"If given 8 hours to cut down a tree I would spend the first 6 sharpening my axe."

No unnecessary additional work beyond self-improvement this year. Stick to the theme.

Daily Entry: January 15th, 2019

Today's log.

Listening to Podcasts Cortex Again

So, I'm noting a cycle here....

I wanted to say "I'm listening to Cortex while I'm writhing this" but it is, in fact, too distracting to do so. So let's turn it off.

....

Okay. So. Last July, I started noting my listening to Cortex during pomodoros. I didn't know how I felt about that. Was it hurting the productivity of a pomodoro?

Eventually, I cut listening to anything whilst working. This was, in fact, a boon to my productivity.

But looking back on the decisions I made, it wasn't sustainable. Which is to say, "I didn't maintain high productivity in a distraction-free environment."

It is now that I must ask, "Why not?"

So, then, what's going on? I think I need to consume certain kind of ideas, and the way my environment is set up leads me to only consume such ideas during knowledge work of some kind.

What I need to do, then, I think, is to properly prioritize the processing of such data in my short-term scheduling.

....

Argh, my thinking is so scattered and unstructured here it is a bit frustrating. If this were a proper blog I'd have to edit this post constantly.

Prioritizing My Thoughts

Okay, there's a lot of stuff swirling in my brain. I'll let it settle and maybe come back and write more later.

Daily Entry: January 8th, 2019

Today's log.

Yesterday Not So Great

The wife has an alarm that goes off every morning at 0900. I decided to try out an alarm again and set my alarm for 0600. It's been like this for a week or so now.

Two nights ago, I really wanted to wake up and stay up at 0600, no matter what. This materialized into a dream wherein if I didn't wake up at that time and stay up, the world would end. Yesterday, I woke up in a panic and unplugged and replugged my sunrise alarm clock, thinking that this would allow me to go back to sleep without thew world ending.

Then, 3 hours later, my wife's alarm went off. I jumped to my feet with the resolve to stay awake.

Now, neither the 0600 or 0900 alarm woke me up. I was up before them in anticipation. This is often the case when I first start using an alarm. Usually, however, Iturn off the alarm and go back to sleep. Eventually, this is a trained response and I don't even wake up when doing it.

However, every once in a while, I program a response to an alarm that results in me actually waking up. It seems this dream of the world ending programed a "jump out of bed" response, which is pretty effective at waking me up.

Despite a reasonable wake-up time of 0900 (and reasonable sleep amount), I wasn't feeling particularly well all of yesterday. I ended up accomplishing little at work and watched TV the rest of the day at home.

Feelin' Good Today

With the "success" yesterday of waking up at 0900, I decided to switch my alarm from 0600 to 0830. Again, I woke up before my alarm. Around 0800 with attempts to fall back asleep. At 0830 my alarm went off and I jumped out of bed. And I'm feeling pretty great today! Further, I find myself capable of choosing to do productive things. My tickler is caught up, and I stretched when I got to work.

I think I'll move my wake-up time 15 minutes backwards each day until I wake up at 0600. Then, hopefully, I can reignite my climbing habit.

In any case, now it's time to focus on work.

Daily Entry: January 7th, 2019

Today's log.

Quiting IGDA

I have quit IGDA stuff. Was planning on "getting it to a good place", but software is never finished, only abandoned. I have told the other volunteers that I quit, and if they need me, they can ask me for help. Else, I'm not going to think about it. It's time for me to focus on me. Helping others will come later. That's the more efficient path.

Daily Entry: January 4th, 2019

Today's log.

Habits to Rebuild

Okay, so, I've reset a lot of my daily items. Basically, the only thing I'm making sure to do is the timeblock.

Another thing I need to make sure to do is my tickler. Also, daily YNAB would be ideal.

Extremely Distractable

Something is weighing heavily on my mind, but I can not discuss it here. Or anywhere, I think. There is a pit of dread and my escape thus far has been YouTube, because this diary is not a place I can go, I feel. So, I am trying a round-about means of using the diary.

Daily Entry: January 3rd, 2019

Today's log.

Vacation Over, Now What?

The winter break has ended. What's the plan? It is also a new year, but that doesn't really matter. In fact, I read an interesting argument that the best time to make a long term commitment is the beginning of spring, where energy levels are at their highest. This jives with my experience.

I believe my main goal is this: replace all instances of meandering Twitter or YouTube with diary time. Thoughts I may want to review will be here, and thoughts for pure logging purposes will be in the log.

Quitting Twitter should be doable, and keeping YouTube within certain time constraints should also be doable. As an example, I have been reddit-free for almost 8 months now. Reddit was really hard for me to quit. It took many tries, but eventually I stopped and never went back. I can do the same for Twitter.

Developing a habit of, perhaps even an addiction to, a dialog with myself will be far more powerful than any social media habit. These dialogs with myself help me strategize my personal growth. I want to get back into personal projects this year, and the first things I need to do is overcome the emotional barriers to doing so. Then there will be planning I need to do. Thinking. And I can do that thinking here.

Ten Minutes of Diary Time

I gave myself extra buffer for Veggie Grill lunch. Upon returning, I made myself a cup of decaf coffee and now, instead of diving into work early or lurking Twitter, or watching a YouTube video, I'm going to write in this diary.

Doing this has immediately launched a bunch of thoughts that I wouldn't have necessarily had otherwise. There include:

"I need to set up my pomodoro environment before it's time to work."

"The wife needs an update on what my plans are vis-a-vis when I'm coming home from work."

"I need to decide what I'm going to work on for the next work block."

"I need to catch up on various shallow work like email and slack."

"Am I going to listen to Cortex while I work? Yes, but with the option of turning it off if I find it too distracting."

And so on and so forth.

This is good. This is a habit worth building for sure.

Five Minutes of Diary Time

I feel like eating a sugary protein bar, but I'm not actually hungry. Also, I want to run home in an hour and a half. Based on past experience, I will not be happy if I eat a protein bar.

Thinking the best thing to do is to switch back to standing desk.