Quantified Self and Me
I have become quite serious about this whole Quantified Self movement. I guess as a developer it is easy to be caught up in that. And I have in large periods of time use RescueTime to monitor myself, but at times used more time analyzing the rescuetime data, than I saved from selfmonitoring. (I actually had to set up rescuetime as unproductive in rescuetime).
Lately I have been working on three things.
Stop distractions when working.
Monitor my effectiveness when working.
Hacking motivation for goals.
This has proved quite easy. There are two kinds of distractions - the people around you (physical/actual human beings in the room with you), and the internet. If you work in an office and on a computer (as a programmer) it is often not a possibility to shut either off. So you need to manage it. I do two things. When working, I usually wear my headset - and my colleagues actually respect that when I am wearing that, it means only important disturbtions may go through - the rest of the time I am open for chitchat, or whatever other disturbances occurs. My internet is managed by using the Concentrate App - I work in bursts of 25 minutes, and thus I use my Alfred workflow to start a 25 minute pomodoro which closes all unrelevant applications, and blocks access to all social media, news sites and blogs I visit often - and opens my editor. For the next 25 minutes all I can do is work.
Monitor my effectiveness when working
I love data. And when I found SelfSpy I was almost in love. It runs all the time, monitoring my computer use, and lets me query for how fast I type based on certain criteria. E.g. this post was written in 28 minutes, with 4728 keystrokes in 55 key sequences. I will use this to setup goals for my self in the near future. This serves two purposes. 1. Help me focus on becomming a better typist and 2. to focus on actually typing when working. (Meaning, I should not sit with my editor open, and not type - that is an indication that I forgot to think - just a little - before trying to code)
I have been reading The Motication Hacker and it is (so far) awesome (no I have not finished it). I have never read a book that wanted me to take action on the points in the book so fast ever before. (And I have read almost everything in this field). Wether it works is hard to say, but I have tried to set up some process goals for myself to test this. They are all managed with Beeminder, which (now when I have used it for about 12 hours) looks very promissing. It is a Quantified Self tracking tool with reminders attached. Oh, and if you fall of the waggon, it will cost you.
My goals are so far:
Wake up before 6 at least three times a week
Read at least 120 minutes a week
Practice guitar at least an hour a week
Make at least one commit to my blog a week. (A post, or a design/code change)
Make at least three commits to any of my github repos
Make at least 100 kettlebell swings a week
Loose at least 0.76 kg a week
Most of them are things I do already, but I am not tracking how much - I may very well add more goals soon, and I may adjust these once as well. The last one (the weightloss) will be the hardest, because it is not a process goal per se, which means I need to add a few good habits as goals here, to ensure I can do this one.