Groundhog Day Resolutions 11/11/2012: More of the Same

SUMMARY: Yes, friends, it’s already time for this month’s Groundhog Day Resolutions review. This month, I lament the seeming lack of progress despite being busy. Perhaps it is just the lack of closing projects? Or is it a lack of commitment?

Why don’t I feel productive even though I actually got a few things done? Let me review what did get done. As I’m writing these down, I see that there’s a pattern of expending a lot of energy

  • Helped buddy Brad figure out a tricky website transition
  • Helped buddy Alen figure out how to do a video shoot using green screen chromakey, so we can underlay background graphics.
  • Met with new friends to explore the meaning and business of art
  • Redesigned the Productivity Tools Page so it’s easier to see the product categories.
  • Designed and released a new version of the Fast Book Outliner.
  • Attended an information meeting for National Novel Writing Month, and started writing daily to meet the 50,000 word goal.
  • Created a NaNoWriMo word counting calendar and released it.
  • Made several WordPress improvements to my server configuration, decreasing memory use.
  • Made the third pass to the Creative One Sheet (I still need to post about this)
  • Attended the New Hampshire Media Makers meeting up in Newcastle to see if I’d be inspired.
  • Ongoing web maintenance work for a long-term client, along with a few tweaks for the occasional client.

On the leisure end of the scale, I’ve been:

  • Learning how to cook spaghetti sauce and chili.
  • Watching Arrested Development on Amazon Prime.
  • Playing the beta of Firefall, as it’s being developed by a good friend mine and I love seeing how design decisions are unfolding over time.
  • Hanging out with my sister for a weekend.
  • Riding out Hurricane Sandy, which resulted in a total of 90 minutes of powerless downtime
  • Voted, and watched election results.
  • Cleaned up a lot of junk in the house.
  • Rewired my computer power and household ethernet network.

So it seems that I’ve been busy if I look back at this list. However, what remains is a feeling of dissatisfaction. I think this is because all my projects are ongoing, and haven’t run their course to completion. I also am not maintaining daily awareness of my big Trello Task list. The combination of lack of payoff and drifting direction are closely intertwined. I think if I have better daily focus on the right deliverables within a set timeframe, and if I work on those projects consistently, that might help move my plans for mastery toward fruition.

The idea for this springs from two thoughts: doing the NaNoWriMo and the idea that 5 minutes of practice a day is preferable to an hour of practice once a week. It’s the daily mindfulness that helps set the tone. It’s also maintaining a small set of deliverables, as opposed to more nebulous goals. I haven’t been good about maintaining this kind of mindfulness for the past couple of months; it’s time to re-instate it.

So for the final Groundhog Day Resolutions push of 2012, this is what I need to do. I have a lot of things on my Trello board that seem stalled because I’ve allowed the “shipable deliverable” to define itself, rather than setting a timetable or level of challenge.

Picking Tangible Deliverables

Rather than focus on completing projects, I think I’ll try focusing on delivering tangible results. These results are not the final deliverable, but are instead the intermediate steps that aggregate into it. I have been fixated on wanting the finished project (for example, a working e-commerce store that looks like a store) instead of the doable steps that each need to be determined then conquered (for example, taking pictures of products). So the idea here, in other words, is to relabel the intermediate things I have to do as an actual deliverable that’s ready-to-use in the next stage.

One big rock that’s in my sack oof burdens is setting up a tabletop photo studio. There are a LOT of pictures I need to take for various reasons. This relates to the Productivity section content review and rewrite; much of the material here has grown out of the original experimental blog posting, and today they do not serve well as an introduction to the forms. This limits comprehension and adoption, which is a darn shame. It’s actually a pretty daunting project, which explains why I haven’t touched it for years, but the time is now!

Anyway, I’m going to focus on two things:

  • Setting up the Photo Studio.
  • Rewriting the ETP Page + background information.
  • Taking new pictures of the productivity tools in the photo studio.

That’s it. Let’s see if this is any more doable! :-)


Groundhog Day Resolution Posts for 2012

Here are other posts about Groundhog Day Resolutions for the 2012 season.