Weekly Review 0218 – A Rough (But Promising) Start!

Weekly Review 0218 – A Rough (But Promising) Start!

Pong Game Controller The process post for this year’s Groundhog Day Resolutions is taking a lot longer to put together, so I’m going to jump in with the first weekly report for February. Since I haven’t formalized this year’s changes to the format, I’ll just use last years so I can keep moving. I’ve been maintaining the habit of noting my weekly/daily planning in the virtual coworking chatroom, so I can reconstruct my recent history of work.

As I mentioned in the GHDR Kickoff Part II Goal Setting post, there are two over-arching goals this year: Software Development Mastery and Better ECommerce. These are the two “main slots” that my limited attention span can manage, and they deal specifically with hard path to creating future benefits. Everything else—self care, fun projects, etc—are in the “aux slot” and is everything OUTSIDE of the other two goals. Keep in mind that ultimately all activity, whether it’s main slot or aux slot, will feedback into my sense of well being. So goes my theory, anyway!

GHDR Hard Path In the diagram above, the GHDR HARD PATH in yellow corresponds with the two main slots I spoke of. Everything else is the auxiliary slot: happy, curious, unplanned. For this year’s GHDRs I’m trying to concentrate my very limited ability to focus into GHDR, and just let everything else happen.

So with that brief introduction out of the way, let me start with the Weekly Review Summary:

  • Impressions – Last week was a mix of tasks that didn’t seem to get done. I had planned to finish GHDR Kickoff Part III last week, but this got supplanted by preparing for paying project work, issues related to the Amazon store (such as redesigning and restocking the ETP StickyPads), and other stuff that just popped up. In hindsight, it was a week of RAMPING UP and I didn’t enjoy the definitive feel of having finished something until Sunday evening, when I finished the Ralph Baer Day PONG tribute game I’ve been working on.
  • Winning – Finished the PONG tribute game
  • Stuck – Very slow progress on MEME, GHDR Part III.

In the next session I’ll get into the details.

1. Week GHDR Assessment: C

It felt like an average week, and was largely frustrating as far as GHDRs were concerned. I wanted to finish my Part III post, which is going to list the specific processes I’ll be using to track my progress throughout the year. It’s grown pretty large, because of that I’m now wondering how to present the information.

It was also an average week of putting a lot of things in-place to start a major software development push. I installed a promising database library and looked into the use of the Typescript language, spending a couple of days to determine that maybe it wouldn’t work for us after all.

On the ecommerce side of things, I have several products out of stock and had to ship-in some inventory. I’m also dealing with designing a new StickyPad, which means getting new measurements from the printer. I find this kind of activity very draining.

On the plus side, I did get the arduino/pong project working and almost ready to deploy. I also had a good day at the gun range, starting to improve the accuracy of my target shooting. Overall though? It felt merely like an “average” week, and it ended somewhat on a down note. I feel like I’m moving slow and have too many lingering concerns that are keeping me from enjoying my days.

2. Review of GHDR Goal Activity and Achievements

There are two primary work tasks (slots 1 and 2) and a host of personal tasks (auxiliary slot).

WORK SLOT 1: SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT MASTERY

  • Highlight: Ralph Baer 2019 Pong Game, which is a nice work-in-progress platform for interactive museum exhibit development. It allows me to control a web client to Arduino-based hardware. I’ve made the repo public so other team members can access it. This is an important step toward development mastery, though I have some ways to go before I feel I’ve “made it”
  • Learned: How to install and use Typescript in my current workflow. This is a popular Javascript tool that adds extra consistency checking to your code (“types”). I’m hoping it eliminates some bugs, but I’m also finding that the way it works with other tools is not as straigtforward as I like. At least it’s working.
  • I set up an entirely new GHDR subsite and publishing system that may impact my other work, as it uses many of the same tools but in a different way. This should build up my expertise in new and exciting ways!

WORK SLOT 2: ECOMMERCE IMPROVEMENT

  • ETP StickyPad is underoing a redesign and hopefully improvement
  • I’ve hired a friend to help put together some reports to help me tell how well I’m doing
  • I have a number of ideas regarding what kind of new digital products to make, based on the GHDR process, but they need to “cook” for a while longer
  • Sales are down this month though due to out-of-stock inventory.

AUX SLOT: PERSONAL MATTERS AND MAINTENANCE

  • I’m feeling pretty stressed and even a bit depressed at the number of things on my list, but I am taking deep breathes and reminding myself that it doesn’t have to be done all at once.
  • I’m also concerned about the low sales and upcoming costs to replenish inventory.
  • I want to reduce my debt load by 70% in the next two months; I have enough toys and things to do that I shouldn’t have to spend ANY money.

3. Choose New Targets

I am thinking that I need to dedicate the next six weeks to billable project work since I will be away for an entire month at the end of April. So, my limited ability to focus will be turned mostly to code-related matters.

  • SLOT 1: SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT MASTERYGoal is to have 20 billable hours. Since there is a lot of learning involved, many hours may not be directly billable, so a 20-hour minimum is probably about right. We’ll see. There is also the integration work for the PONG project that has to happen this week, but I have already set the expectation that I don’t have much time available.
  • SLOT 2: ECOMMERCE – The StickyPads are the primary focus. Getting the new ones designed and submitted to the printer is the priority. Also, I’ll be checking-in on the sales reporting process work that I outsourced.
  • AUX SLOT: PERSONAL – I want to save money, so I’d like pursue things that don’t require any new material purchases. It might be a good time to review my entire personal finances setup, but I’ll just bank that thought for the following week. I’ve also added the GHDR Kickoff Part III to my list.

Concrete Milestone Check

I’ll post this list in my #notes channel in my private area of the Virtual Coworking Chat:

  • BILL 20 hours of work on MEME
  • SHIP the working PONG game to integrators
  • DESIGN new ETP and SUBMIT to printer
  • REDISCOVER the interesting assets in my house, and note when I use them
  • WRITE, DESIGN, and POST the new GHDR Process stuff on the new subsite
  • Remember: there’s NO REASON to feel anxious or angry about everything I have to do. Take a deep breath. Put on your human suit.

Report Conclusion

It feels good to get the ball rolling again, though I don’t feel like everything is quite in place. I’m feeling a bit frustrated, frankly, with my slow progress, but I think I am learning to accept slowness again this week. It’s something good to remember.

I also should remember that I have gotten many systems working in the past couple of weeks, and this should result in great process. It’s so easy for me to forget what I’ve accomplished, so doing these weekly reports is a good way for me to maintain an even temper.


DATE HOLIDAY DESCRIPTION
MON 1/1 New Year’s Day Start thinking about resolutions
FRI 2/2 Groundhog Day Make your resolutions. Assemble your peer group.
SAT 3/3 March 3 Review w/ group.
WED 4/4 April 4 Review w/ group.
SAT 5/5 Cinco de Mayo Review w/ group. Think celebratory, spring-like thoughts!
WED 6/6 June 6 Mid-Year Review w/ group. Optional break for summer.
SAT 7/7 Tanabata Star Festival Private Review. Make Wishes. Rededicate.
WED 8/8 Chinese Father’s Day Private Review. Plan for future completion.
SUN 9/9 September 9 Review w/ group. Three months left.
WED 10/10 October 10 Review w/ group. Two months left.
SUN 11/11 Veteran’s Day Review w/ group. A Day to be Grateful.
WED 12/12 December 12 End-of-year Review. Break for Holiday Madness.



About this Article Series

For my 2019 Groundhog Day Resolutions, I'm challenging myself to develop "gathering-style productivity" as I pursue the year's goals. You'll find the related posts on the 2019 Groundhog Day Resolutions page.