GHDR Weekly Review 10.2 Bonus: A Welcome Season of Slothfulness

Christmas and New Year’s Day have come and gone, and though I’m not officially doing any goal tracking yet I feel like writing-up a review.

From December 12 to January 1st, I was pretty much in vacation mode, though I only decided to call it that on December 31 :-)

I haven’t been doing billable work or tracking time AT ALL, confining my activities to (1) eating things and (2) pursuing comfort. A productive side-effect of pursuing comfort was cleaning up my living room to make it MORE pleasurable to be in. Behold my cleaned-up workspace!

Dining Area I converted my dining area to my home office back in July. I used to have the office in the living area behind the white KALLAX dividers, but I wanted to have that space be more for socializing / coworking. I have a long-term house guest at the moment too, and he needed a place where he could get out of the guest room to work. A perfect test of the LIVING ROOM CAFE concept!

Anyway, back in the office area is my gaming PC (left corner), which is now connected to a roomscale Oculus Rift setup. My primary work computer is the old Macbook Pro which lives on a wheeled cart loaded with A/V gear for doing podcasts and livestreams. A major change I did was hanging the cables that formally lived in a rubber floor conduit, so it’s much easier to wheel the cart from the dining area to the living area.

Now that it’s January, I wanted to reflect on what I’m looking forward to for the year. My slothful December did have one major benefit: I’m REALLY ANTSY about getting moving again on my projects. I think last year’s Groundhog Day Resolutions ended really well, and the refined processes from November will help keep me going. That’s what I hope, anyway…I think I might have a handle on the minimum effective discipline I need to feel like I’m making regular progress without anxiety. So let’s do a quick review of the week and see if that feeling is legitimate or not!

I’ll start this by writing a TWO WEEK version of my regular report format, which is described in my Accrual Log under the Guidance Tab around line 52. Here’s a snapshot:

Review Process IV

1. Weeks Assessment: [B+]

I wasn’t really doing anything nor was I tracking goals. However, the three day workweek from January 2 to January 4 is going pretty well, so I’m going to give it a B+ so far. I feel like I can have the weekend to myself. On the downside, the lack of work in December means that I’m having to dip into savings until the next invoice. There’s always a cost. It would have been nice to pack in more billable hours but I think I needed the downtime without guilt.

2. Review of Goal Activity and Achievements

October Checklist This is the checklist for my major GHDR activities, and largely they’re the same. As before, there are two primary work tasks and a host of personal tasks, which are based on the template from October (LEFT).


WORK SLOT 1: JAVASCRIPT WORK

Didn’t do any for the last half of December, but I had some good insights into the nature of my software development work. For the first 3 working days of 2019, it seems to be going well. I have my next two weeks scheduled-out workwise.

I have to be mindful of not overloading on other software development work so I can keep a clear head on the Javascript; I’m very tempted to look at some other environments (iOS, Unity) but that is a huge rabbithole that should be filed under “Happy Bubble Time”.

WORK SLOT 2: STATIONERY and BLOG WORK

After updating my Amazon store listings with the work I did with Brenda, I’ve done a number of blog-related promotions. I updated the word counting calendar and ETP almanac for 2019, and supplied them as perks to my Patreon supporters as well as offering them for sale on my shopify store. I haven’t actually done the last item on the December tasklist, which is to start my tracking spreadsheet for Amazon sales. Doing anything with numbers like that is very tedious for me. This is a great candidate for “minimum effective discipline” action: 5 minutes just gathering one of the items on the tracking list may help me overcome my malaise.

AUX SLOT: PERSONAL MATTERS AND MAINTENANCE

I mentioned cleaning up the living room earlier, so that was a major win. Personally I am feeling pretty good in all aspects, though I’m a little concerned about maintaining revenue generation for the months leading up to a yet-to-be-scheduled trip to Taiwan to visit my dad. My other main initiative in personal stuff is just to continue my weight loss. I ate like a pig this December and have paid for it. I’m back on “slow carb” and “intermittent fasting” every day except for Saturday cheat day; I’ll do the official weigh-in at the beginning of Groundhog Day Resolutions on February 2nd.

3. Choose New Targets

  • For JAVASCRIPT WORK, I am implementing feature requests for a January 15 deadline. This is pretty straightforward.
  • For STATIONERY / BLOG WORK, I need to make that report for tracking sales. I also want to get my accounting for Q4 2018 closed out.
  • For AUX SLOT WORK, continuing to clean up the basement, shred old records, and get rid of junk is my main focus here. I also would like to write a great strategy+implementation guide for GHDR this year; I think I can start to tie everything together finally.

Concrete Milestone Check

  • Both JAVASCRIPT and STATIONERY/BLOG targets are concretely defined
  • For AUX SLOT WORK, getting rid of the filing cabinet will be an excellent success metric because it’s possible only after I do major cleanup. For the strategy guide, I think if I can produce a weekly status update on my thoughts, complete with updated strategic maps, that would fit the bill.

Goal Conclusion

I’m feeling positive and am getting stuff done. It’s not a lot of stuff, but it’s a realistic amount that my available reserves of energy can handle without being wiped out. From now until February 2nd, I’m in a kind of freeform goal planning and tracking mode.

I am also finding these weekly reviews helpful just for reminding me that I AM doing and learning things. My working memory and sense of time is so unreliable that I think these reports are more essential to my life balance than I thought. Might as well keep doing them, until they stop working.

2 Comments

  1. Eric Beaty 1 week ago

    Great post, Dave. I myself am assessing and re-working my goals for this year. It’s been a stressful one, though productive. You’ve inspired me with your candid posts like these to give my own a try on my blog. I’ve let it sit by the wayside for too long and have allowed other, more trivial tasks get in the way of why I started my blog in the first place: to increase my joy of writing. I’ve decided to commit to attempting one weekly review blog for as long as I can throughout the year, which I’ve listed on this Trello card for my new 2019 Goals board: https://trello.com/c/AZWHFGYT.

    I believe it will serve to help me:

    1. Stay accountable to this new goal, thereby helping me in staying accountable to my other goals for 2019
    2. Release much-unwanted stress in the form of “sort of” journal entries (writing in journals is great therapy in my opinion)
    3. Help me retain my sanity in light of all other activities that are either planned or will accrue throughout the year

    I’m also using the Bullet Journal Method for planning, though I still use your ETP sheets from time to time if I want a more “Deep Work” kind of workday experience.

    Thanks for sharing with us, and I’ll be looking forward to posting work on my weekly review blog post on your #accountability Discord server.

    • Author
      Dave Seah 1 week ago

      Hey Eric! Happy New Year!

      I like your goal to increase the “JOY OF WRITING”…I’m kind of in the same place regarding joy in writing myself. Largely I see the blog as more “THE CHORE OF WRITING AND MEETING COMMITMENTS” regarding my Groundhog Day Resolutions. I feel a sense of accomplishment and a measure of pride for keeping up with it, but it’s not joy. Maybe for me it is more like a reduction of anxiety, which is just as important for productivity and maintaining forward momentum.

      I think you’re right on the money with your three points…looking forward to seeing how it works out in a month or so! I’ll be doing the same thing with you, so next time I see ya in the chat room maybe we can compare notes :-)

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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