Progress Report on Progress Itself?

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

In my last post, I mentioned something about logging my programming time. I’d like to expound on that a bit more.

I’ve only been doing it for a little under two weeks, but basically I have some priorities (like Flux) that I am tracking the time for on a calendar. I am carving out discrete amounts of time to work on things and then putting the time spent on the calendar via colored sticker, where the color represents the priority worked on. I’ve made some interesting, personal observations thus far on the usage of this method:

  1. Measuring your own consistency and discipline is less nebulous. You can see as you go through the week and month where your time is being spent and on what. Its not a “I did some work off and on throughout the month” but a “I spent X minutes working on priority Y.” Its a much better measurement to work off of when it comes to adjusting your schedule and gauging productivity.
  2. Time becomes better spent all around. Sometimes, I would just kind of dabble here and there on this or that. Now, I’m trying to spend a continuous block of time working on a certain thing. So now instead of sporadic ten minutes sessions that just kind of poke and prod at the problems, I’ve had better focused thirty or more minute sessions actually being productive. Plus, who wants to put a five minute sticker on the calendar? C’mon.
  3. Analysis Paralysis STINKS. Seriously, there was one project that I didn’t really work on for three days because I was mulling over how to implement something. I can see that on my calendar now. Momentum can then end up getting sheered and it can be harder to actually get the motor running again. Now that I’m tracking things, hopefully I can see the warning signs more clearly and power through when the need arises.

In short, accountability (if only to a calendar) and structure are very good! Hopefully this will continue to help me along.

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