Producing Days 20-21: Sharpening the Visualization

Reporting on Friday and Saturday’s production/consumption ratio tracking, as described here. Overall, these were productive days, but I’m surprised at just how much time went to non-production work. I’ve made some adjustment to my categories, and figured out how to make Excel plot colors the way I want so I can easily tell what time went where:

Activity Day 20-21 I’ve used color to group similar modes together:

  • The orange areas are CONSUMING or REACTIVE modes, which are two types of activities that are not “mindful” or otherwise lack deliberate purpose/intent.

  • Blue areas are INTERACTION (with people, not necessarily in-person or with people I know) and MAINTENANCE (which usually feels good). These provide a kind of “sustaining” energy, though not necessarily toward a given life goal.

  • The green areas are PRODUCING, GATHERING, and PUTTERING modes, which are positive progress toward future goals of a deliberate (if not always crystal clear) nature. These require effort but deliver change-supporting assets. This is the hard stuff that I need to do to make progress toward my life goals.

  • Lastly, the gray areas are CHORES that just have to get done. Sometimes the exact same task can be either a CHORE or a MAINTENANCE task; I have noticed that how I feel about it seems to depend on context.

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p>In addition to getting a better pie chart, I also have expanded the notation on my daily logs:

Activity Day 20-21, Detail View I found myself facing resistance during the day, and to track this I started noting this with an “R” in the ENERGY column. On Saturday I modified this by adding a two-digit “repeat resistance” count which increments each time I delayed starting it. For example, I had decided that I should update an ETP for an upcoming collaboration with another blogger, but found myself getting sleepy, napping, and mindlessly surfing the net instead of starting. Each time I saw the entry that didn’t result in a start, I incremented the R rating from R01, R02, R03, etc. I think this might be kind of a neat trick for tracking such non-starting tasks in the future.

Overall Observations for Friday and Saturday

They felt like good days, a good mix of getting some projects out of the way and doing a bit of personal project work with no feeling of pressure. The amount of consuming I did, through gaming and surfing, was much higher than I thought it would be.

I did, however, feel that there was something eating at me, and late Saturday I figured out what it was: I had not done a deep dive into work. Much of the work I’ve done this week, while productive, did not feel like a MASSIVE PUSH toward a conclusion. I think my best and more valuable work comes from that total immersion, but I also tend to avoid doing it because there are high costs that come with it. In the past, I’ve described it as “crawling into an isolation chamber” and “shutting myself off from the world”, which I don’t enjoy doing. The concept of Happy Bubble Time arose partly as a way to avoid isolating deep immersion into a project.

I’ll write about this a bit more in a few days.

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A message from Dave:

I believe we all benefit when we respectfully share our perspectives on common experiences. My house rules are "please be respectful of divergent views" and "enjoy the flow of ideas!"

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