Here’s the deal — I’m really good at making lists… but in quantity not quality. I can make a dozen or more to-do lists between assorted notebooks, sticky notes, email, Evernote, Trello, and who-knows-what-else. (I’ve created a super simple list tool that I’m hoping will help combat that problem)
But I’m not always very good at following through with the tasks. Lists from 6 months ago might be the same as a list I jotted this morning. That’s right, I still haven’t cleaned up my worktable, or fixed that bug in that code…
Some I’m issuing this challenge to myself:
get as much done on my projects and to-dos as possible during April.
Here are a few principles I’ll try to follow to help me stay on track:
1. No time-sinks
Of course, that’s how we want to be all the time right, crossing stuff off our list(s)? But I’m sure even the best of us have been procrastinating on a few tasks. So for this month, the plan is to be especially vigilant about avoiding the things that steal away time without giving anything useful in return. Naps okay, Imgur bad.
2. No new projects
Similarly, I want to avoid starting anything new (I may start a separate list *uhoh* for reference later). New is exciting, but it doesn’t help cross things off.
3. Make progress every day
Putting things off to tomorrow is easy, but if I’m going to really get things done, I have to make at least a little progress every day. I’m also planning to document my progress so at the end of April I can look back and be impressed with myself :). I’ll add updates to this post as I’ve completed tasks and share highlights on Twitter.
And in the end, build better habits
If all goes well, this sprint will help me to see the value in not procrastinating. And maybe I’ll be able to fully remove those time-sinks from my life, or at least May.
If you also have lists older than the bottle of mustard in your fridge, you’re welcome to join me. Or maybe you’ve tackled your todo lists already and can share your tips and offer encouragement!
- 4/1 – Finished and published a blog post.
- 4/2 – Taxes done (finally).
- 4/3 – Renewed my tabs. Fixed a bug in the mobile display of this site. Made improvements to my site’s backup scripts.
- 4/4 – Installed Redis on my server. Updated a friend’s WordPress site.
- 4/5 – Fixed an old Twitter robot. Figured out some git hooks.
- 4/6 – Cereal for dinner and watched a movie!
- 4/7 – Moved some stuff to GitHub.
- 4/8 – Boring chores, but they must be done.
- 4/9 – Made biscotti 🙂 Okay, I really need to refocus.
- 4/10 – Got more stuff added to GitHub.
- 4/11 – Friday night! BBQ with friends.
- 4/12 – Yard work. Vacuumed car.
- 4/13 – Computer cleaning. Freed up ~30GB of space.
- 4/14 – Learning about puppet.
- 4/15 – More learning about puppet.
- 4/16 – Hacked on http://xref.trepmal.com/.
- 4/17 – (oops)
- 4/18 – (oops)
- 4/19 – Garden stuff, manicure with mom.
- 4/20 – Cleaning. Brother’s anniversary / family dinner.
- 4/21 – (oops)
- 4/22 – (oops)
- 4/23 – (oops)
- 4/24 – Recorded ‘git basics’ video.
- 4/25 – Wrote the “Be Nice” post.