GHDR Weekly Review 8.2 – Standardizing My Review Process

Pineapple Cakes Standardization Process - a fitting metaphor to my attempt to standardize my weekly reviews! I still find it difficult to remember what happened during the week, and I also don’t like spending too much time on these reports every Sunday. So, I’ve made more refinements to the process I laid out last week!

First, I made a cheat sheet for remembering what my goals are:

October Goals Setting In the sheet, I designated four areas that I’m focusing on out of my entire set of GHDR goals. The two on the left are the “elective goals” that have external relevance, while the ones on the right are ones that are more about my internal fulfillment and interests. I’m not quite sure how to describe them, but they are tasks that are currently on my mind so I’m listing them.

To help make the task of writing this report less onerous, I’ve been noting observations in a draft of the report blog post. As a bonus, I’ve been writing my drafts in my “Knowledge Management Software” development directory:

Knowledge Management Folder Structure While the software part isn’t working, I’m actively using the content folder to keep track of all my research and writing. It’s backed-up to a private repo on GitHub so I can access it from anywhere. For the curious, I’m using Visual Studio Code for all my text editing needs these days; it has a nice Markdown Preview built-into it.

Next, I updated the Review Process, splitting it into three phases:

  1. GATHER ACTIVITY DATA
  2. ASSESS ACTIVITY DATA
  3. SET NEW TARGETS

The specific steps are also printed and taped to my laptop:

October Review Checklist I think this will work, but I won’t know until we run through the list. Let’s see how the week of October 15-21 went!

1. GATHER ACTIVITY DATA

STATE FEELINGS: I remember that I felt the first four days of the week seemed unproductive. I felt constantly distracted by other people’s needs, and I let myself be distracted. While I don’t feel bad having chosen to meet other people’s needs, I did become frustrated with my lack of progress on the BIG TECHNICAL CHALLENGES related to billable work. I also felt like I was letting a lot of things build up in my personal and household maintenance categories.

REVIEW ACCOUNTABILITY: Here’s my #accountability list as of Sunday 1030PM:

...
[x] - post GHDR weekly review
[~] - build electron proto framework
[ ] - design MEME L&F
[ ] - js library strategies
[ ] - nanowrimo calendar (part 2)
[ ] - shipstation?
[+] - Markets Overview for Brenda
[+] - Audience Overview for Brenda
[ ] - GHDR weekly for SUN
[~] - >> reconstruct don's site
[ ] - >> reconstruct robert's site
...
[-] ->>> deal with utility bill in-person
[x] - TUE 1030 stationery biz meeting
[x] - TUE 1245 meeting in burlington
[F] - TUE 1400 checkin jakob
[x] - TUE 1700 electrolysis
[x] - clean upstairs bathroom
[2] - morning cardio 5x + watch videos
...
/// - nanowrimo
/// - air conditioning? airbag? win/stuck in #accountability?

LEGEND: [ ]=planned [X]=planned+done [+]=added+done [~]=in-progress !!!=late ///=remember
LEGEND: { }=optional [-]=cancelled [?]=stalled [.]=paused [:]=blocked [>]=pushed [/]=fail

Reviewing this, I can see that I did considerable work on STATIONERY BIZ, personal, and GHDR. It doesn’t seem like I did very much, though. Tuesday in particular was a very long day. Wednesday was a kind of recovery day. Thursday was only partially productive.

REVIEW OTHER SOURCES:

I went to have a birthday lunch with my friend Alen at the Korean supermarket in Burlington, and did some shopping. They had a nice Asian-style bakery (below left). The pickle section is impressive (below middle) too! For Alen’s birthday present, I made Taiwanese pineapple cakes the night before (below right) and they came out pretty good. I brought them to my friend Joy’s store later in the week for her to try.


Bakery at H-MARTPickles at H-MARTPineapple Cake

Boot shoppingFirst nail salon experienceFirst purse

I also went boot shopping, though I didn’t try anything on; trying to figure out what my “boot style” would be (above left) . I also gathered the courage to go to a nail salon for the first time, and had them paint all my nails a lovely fuschia color (above middle) to match my fountain pen. I got a few curious looks but nothing horrible happened. I also have been having trouble with scratching up my nails when digging in my pocket for house keys, and realized that’s what a purse might be good for, so I found a small one to experiment with (above right). I haven’t been brave enough to actually wear it yet as part of my ensemble; my friend Joy suggested I get a black one and try that first.

Not shown: I participated in a new forum that my online friend Susan is kicking around. I made the goals cheat sheet to help keep me focused. I spent time with my cousins online playing video games together and talking through life stuff.

SUMMARIZE FINDINGS:

In hindsight:

  • It has been a week full of talking about life stuff with five or six people, and I’d say that although I didn’t complete the technical work, I did do a lot of community-related things.

  • I also did finally claw my way to some understanding with regards to the technical work. It feels like I didn’t do anything because I didn’t actually BUILD something new, but I did build understanding that will help me in the coming week.

  • It hasn’t been a bad week in expressing myself outside of the gender binary, pushing in three new directions at once.

2. ASSESS ACTIVITY DATA

EVALUATE PROGRESS IN GOAL AREAS:

  • In JAVASCRIPT: Pieced together understanding of how to mix ElectronJS with Webpack, React, and Babel with all the development features we are used to. I think I almost have it all worked out in my head. This is a big deal.

  • In STATIONERY BUSINESS: I had the business meeting with Brenda on Tuesday, set up the Trello board, got the statement of work, and wrote two of the five bits of review material. It’s all due November 2nd. Feels like things are moving forward.

  • In PERSONAL: I’ve been actively improving the GHDR and monitoring process (see the top of this post). I’ve been working on my personal appearance and style, and that feels good.

  • In MAINTENANCE: I’m pondering the “number of contexts maintained”. That’s stuff like “how many friends do I talk to about their problems?” and “how many things do I do for people that are not immediately enriching for myself?” The more of these I actively maintain during the week, the more mentally drained I am.

GRADE THE WEEK, UPDATE ACCRUAL LOG

This week felt like it was more socially demanding than I expected, but I have a terrible suspicion that it might be average. Many weeks feel like this, and having a focused work week appears to be the exception, not the rule.

It occurs to me that while I didn’t get a Big Fat Challenge completed in my JAVASCRIPT work, I did make some progress in understanding that HAD to happen. It just took a lot of thrashing around, over a week. I think this might be normal.

I will give this week a rating of C for “an average week” of not a lot of stuff happening. Nothing terrible happened, but nothing great happened either. It was a mix of frustration and small achievements, and I maintained.

See the Accrual Bucket in the Acrual Log Spreadsheet.

3. SET NEW TARGETS

CHOOSE ACTIVE PROJECTS BASED ON DESIRE, EXISTING COMMITMENTS

These are “moving forward” goals:

  • Get Electron+React+Webpack framework running.
  • Get a handle on how to make a good library.
  • Wake up early at least 3X, and do cardio before 10AM.
  • Do NaNoWriMo Calendar Stream early in week
  • Finish Stationery Biz Task List for Brenda

These are “personal maintenance and social commitments”:

  • Scheduled: MON Therapist; TUE Electrolysis
  • Call: Doris to schedule
  • Call: Doctor for prescription
  • Schedule: Global Entry Interview in Vermont
  • Schedule: Vet appointment
  • Call: Sid to see what’s going on

Stuff leftover from last week’s ACCOUNTABILITY list:

  • Design MEME look and feel
  • Look into SHIPSTATION
  • Reconstruct Don, Robert’s websites

I’m tempted to add more, but I think this is a pretty good list to start with.

CHECK FOR MEASURABLE MILESTONES

Specific milestones for the “electron+react+webpack” framework:

  • I’m able to port the NetCreate AppShell system into the framework
  • The Electron App HOSTS the Web App.
  • Both Electron App and Web App use Webpack, Babel 7, React
  • The Electron App restarts when its source changes
  • The Web App live reloads when hosted by the Electron App and its source changes
  • My NPM startup scripts make sense with regards to this hybrid workflow

Specific milestones for “getting a handle on making a good library”:

  • Learn how to create a multiple module format library
  • Learn how to import a specific github or gitlab commit into package.json

Everything else on my list is either “done” or “not done”.

Report Summary

With a grade of “C”, it was an average week of productivity. While this might seem depressing if a “C” grade is something terrible in your mind, it’s actually a good thing because average weeks are good enough. With a little more focus and a bit of luck, next week I might have a pretty good week!

The big productivity effort is getting my review process more streamlined. This week didn’t feel too bad, though realistically I think I’ve spent about 5 hours on review-related material. I’d like to cut that down to about 30-60 minutes a week. I’ll make a note in my 2018-1029-ghdr-weekly-8-3.md file to track time spent on logging.

1 Comment

  1. Katie 4 weeks ago

    A good base and top coat are essential! Are you wrapping your tips? (google it) I love having my fingernails painted but they are a lot of maintenance.

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