(last edited on February 15, 2023 at 12:26 pm)
It’s Day 3 of my 2016 Groundhog Day Resolution Challenge. Still pacing myself, though I’m feeling a little antsy to really get moving. I’ve been taking the time to design a goal tracker for this year, based on my old concrete goals tracker. Today’s post picks up from yesterday, when I largely just did concept outlining
Tackling the Layout
Starting with the starting list of goals and points from yesterday, I spent about 3 hours putting this together in Adobe Illustrator (which crashed multiple times, grr). I started from scratch rather than starting with a copy of the CGT from years past, because I wanted to see what might happen with 2016 perspective. Also, the old CGT form is not designed to handle multiple goals, so I had to think-through how I wanted to present them.
Here’s a screenshot of the work in progress!
On the LEFT is a menu of 2016 GHDR Goals Table based on yesterday’s breakdown. Each goal includes a description of an acceptable “concrete result” (abbreviated here to just “result”). What is a concrete result? It is the tangible fruit of your labor that is a new asset or capability that you did not have before. WHen you produce a concrete result, you get to award yourself 10 fat points.
ON the RIGHT is a Point Valuation Table that lists what other work is worth points While the left-side Goals Table is pretty specific about what is considered a tangible result, this table gives you a lot of leeway in finding ways you can give yourself some credit. This is a compact but complete summation of my personal creative productivity process:
- I evaluate my productivity by what tangible concrete results I produce, which is what increases my creative capability.
- I try to show my work in person as much as possible, because this is how random fortuitous connections are made. I also talk about what I’m doing, if face-to-face meetings aren’t available.
- I de-emphasize finger-twiddling “research” as much as possible, pushing myself to actually try things and develop my own understanding a little bit at a time.
- I relentlessly document, but I don’t adhere too closely to a detailed plan. I see where the discoveries take me, and try to pull the patterns over time as my understsanding builds.
This list works for me because the kind of work I’m pursuing is all new to me in some way. Being productive in the face of uncertainty is my job, and while I don’t particularly like uncertainty it is an unavoidable part of the creative process. This list is designed to help me overcome uncertainty and convert it into tangible results through the magic of exploration and synthesis, developing a new (to me) process along the way. This approach doesn’t work as well for endeavors that are mostly about following existing procedure with well-known criteria; productivity in that sense is more about efficiency, feedback, and workflow.
I still haven’t gotten to the Point Tracking System, but it’s getting late and I will address it tomorrow. I think this is a pretty decent result for today’s daily.
Other Things That Happened Today
I spent some time looking at Google Hangouts on Air, which might be a good way for us to meet virtually in a video chatroom and talk about our GHDR progress. It allows me to share my screen, and presumably others will be able to share their screens to. As a bonus I can also stream video solo directly into my YouTube channel, so Google Hangouts on Air might be a good way to start video blogging about my progress on the goals.
I also took the time to clean up my Google Plus profile. I know, I know…it’s still around! There was an update to the user interface last November, apparently, and they’ve emphasized a couple features I really like: Collections and Communities. The design of the UI is a refreshing change and seems very focused on having long-form discussion and sharing curated collections of topical posts.
Both the Hangouts and Google Plus Communities might be a good way to collaborate on our informal Groundhog Day Resolution reviews! If anyone has any thoughts on this, please weigh in in the comments or on Twitter.
» Dave’s Google Plus Profile
That’s it for today! Thanks for following along!
About this Article Series
For my 2016 Groundhog Day Resolutions, I'm challenging myself to make something goal-related every day from February 2nd through December 12. All the related posts (and more!) are gathered on the Challenge Page.
Hey Dave, nice to see you are cranking out new stuff! (I’m the artist formerly known as An Onymous – too shy even for a computer screen… sorry!).
I’ve followed with interest your form arrangements for yesterday and today; I wonder what will you come up with. As a user, I think it would be cool if the form could incorporate some kind of “feedback loop” to make the goals flexible and redefinable along the way, depending on what you learn each day. I mean: after taking any action, besides scoring, the new stuff you discover can sometimes redefine a bit what you’re after: “I thought this would work, but this other thing turned out to be better instead”, “I thought I would get a kick out of this, but after trying it I found it’s not that important right now”, etc…
In my systems at least, those definitions do need to be changed now and then, although not as often as the actions, but there is a constant ping-pong, action>lesson learned>redefinition of something>new action… so for me, putting them “in print”, like you do in the Point Valuation Table, would make things look too definitive (unless of course you can write them using something like a PDF form with fields that you later print… maybe that would save the beauty of the design while providing the flexibility?). Of course all of this is highly personal…
Anyway, just a few thoughts that popped in my mind reading your stuff. Thank you for your all content and your inspiration, and keep up the good work!
Well, I have done chats via google hangout, so I know where to find that — if it’s the one I can get to from email easily. Love following the logic here, Dave. I’ll keep reading and see what develops. Kudos on attacking this.
Watching your creative process at this level is fascinating. Thank you so much for taking the time to share these detailed posts.
Side Note: The Google Plus link on this page is wonky and needs a quick fix.
Thanks for the kind words everyone!
Nacho: I like the idea of a feedback section. I’m pretty flexible about changing my goals as I go along myself, though I tend to log the thought instead of changing it on-the-fly; during one of the review periods I will usually make my adjustments then. A lot of the reflections themselves go into my journal (or rather, this blog, since I’m not keeping a private journal currently) rather than in the capture forms too, though this isn’t a process “by design”; it’s just how I’ve done it to now!
Also, fixed that google plus link!