(last edited on February 15, 2023 at 12:24 pm)
Happy October! It’s time for yet another Groundhog Day Resolutions Update, which I have decided to do as just a picture (above). It took 4-5 hours to draw, but it was a novel way of approaching the report. I’ll provide a little more information in the RECAP.
Recap of the Past Month
For the last month I practiced trackerless productivity again. You can read about what I was thinking last month if you want the hoary details, but essentially I’m just trying to focus on just one or two things at a time and not track things at all. The net result is a reduction in time-triggered distraction. I believe I am doing roughly about the same amount of work as when I was tracking it diligently. Tracking was good for helping me get a sense of how fast I could do something, but it really stopped having benefits a long time ago.
In practice, though, I’m doing minimal tracking primarily to protect my time and maintaining continuity on my reduced goals list. Here’s what I’ve been using
- My Weekly Sheet (right) – for overall ‘big picture’ continuity and remembering things that I eventually need to do.
- Google Calendar – for scheduling events, and making sure I don’t overschedule a week with more than two errands on two different days.
- Discord – for virtual coworking with like-minded online friends.
- Slack – for timeshifted conversations related to billable work.
This has been enough, and learning to be happy with the limited amount of work I can do has been very helpful. I do still have thoughts that I’m a terrible developer and not fast enough to be a true professional, but I try to ignore them. I’m starting to hit my stride, finally, with the new code environment and this is exciting.
A second major thread has been the large number of social commitments that I’ve had to prepare for as an organizer. Up until yesterday it had been a VERY STRESSFUL MONTH because I was trying to prepare for every contingency. At some point, though, I convinced myself that I didn’t need to make a fuss about every possible problem, and relaxed. I figured I could just trust myself to handle what came, and this reduced my anxiety about screwing up. The stress experience even lead to a major epiphany about how I missed being on a team, and that I’ve CONTINUED to miss this. While community is a big part of what I like, it is community in the service of doing COOL STUFF that really excites me. For that, I need to be part of a team. And I realized that maybe I’m ready to lead one on my own volition because it would be interesting and fun.
Here’s the list of things from last month:
- Trans group restarting – INAUGURAL RESTART MEETING DONE. Materials written. It’s going to be OK.
- Ralph Baer activity group – KICKOFF MEETING DONE. Was great to plot the next year with friends.
- Southern New Hampshire Meetup – INAUGURAL RESTART MEETING DONE. Used some materials from the other groups. This group is also going to be OK.
- Cooked every workday to make tasty lunches – Largely DONE. I got my curry making skills sharpened.
- Grants – Closing down one (a bit late), and new one is scheduled in Nashville.
- Work on brows, styleb – Got brows shaped! Bought brow stuff! Still terrible at it!
- Work on house cleaning to make space – Small Improvements
- Work on house improvements for holiday season – Small Improvements
- Look into alternatives to Amazon, or take care of problems on Marketplace – This is still a big problem, but I’ll get through it. I am not fretting about it.
For October-November month, I’m going to continue working on the same things and NOT track very much:
- Start updating the new websites for groups and prep for next group meetings
- Recruit volunteers and team members for all activities
- Continue to get a lot of work done on projects
- Keep cleaning-up the house
- Take care of chores and stuff as they come up.
My weekly tracking sheet is doing a good job of helping me remember what’s important to me, and the ease of copying/updating the sheet every week (it’s a digital notebook) is really nice. What I’ve lost, though, is the sense of urgency to get more things done. That said, I think I’m actually accomplishing the same amount of stuff without all the self-imposed stress.
It’ll be interesting to see if adding more team activity, whatever that ends up being, will change the formula. My working style is much different when I am in the same room as people with a shared objective.
But that’s the report! To summarize:
- I like not tracking in detail because I’m now able to trust myself to “do the things”, and my minimal tracking system is good enough given the small number of people I work directly with. I don’t know how I’d handle more people, but I guess I’ll find out if my scheme to build teams comes to fruition.
- I still seem to be getting stuff done.
|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.|
Awesome tracking sheet, Dave. Very inspirational. I love the doodles. Working in this way reminds me of Dan Roam’s book Back of the Napkin. Looking forward to seeing more of these.
Awesome! Your posts have made be wonder if tracking is like the starter in a car (whether battery or crank). It’s something you need to get going but you may not need it after things are running smoothly.