A Post A Day Keeps The Procrastination Away

I always say it, right? I’m going to start writing things again! I know it’s a great idea, that it’s beneficial in all kinds of ways, and that it only takes a few minutes (depending on how pedantic I’m feeling). It’s a creative outlet that takes weight off the mind and in doing so shares that weight with others who might have a use for it. Blogging is a thinking person’s hobby.

But inevitably I don’t. Why?

Doesn’t matter. This time it’s for real. “Hah!” you may exclaim, and you may even be right to do so. However I have a comrade in arms now, a little Chrome extension called Blockr which doesn’t let you use the internet until you’ve written X words or made Y code commits for the day. In effect you’re buying internet time by achieving goals you set for yourself. Pretty neat if you ask me. I discovered it via Lifehacker, another neat source of inspiration I’ve been growing increasingly attached to (life is too important not to hack into shape).

Blockr reminds me of the Beeminder concept of TagTime, in which you’re occasionally and unpredictably accosted by a popup box asking what you’re doing right now. Over time, that random self-reporting will form a statistical picture of what you’re likely to be doing at any given time, and thus it can subconsciously (and occasionally actively) drive you to work on ‘the right things’ at the right times.

Well, I’ve decided time and time again that writing some words about what I’m working on (projects, challenges, technologies, general trivia) is a good thing to be doing, so let’s see how it goes. I’m doing so many varied and interesting things these days that I’ll always have something to write about, even if it doesn’t seem terribly exciting at the time. Story-telling is an art, and arts take practice.

So here we go. Wish me luck.

So We Row

A couple of things before I run off to bed again.

The About page has a little more info on what to expect. In short, just about anything, so long as it’s interesting, at least to me. Or technical. Most things probably tend not to be both to you.

One of the pillars of the personal stuff for a while is going to be The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People. I’ve been reading it for only a few days, but it’s saying exactly what I need to hear in exactly the right way. I’ll be reviewing each of the habits in time, but the second (which I’m just digging into now) is to “start with the end in mind”, to know exactly what you want in the long run and to work with that in mind every day. It seems so obvious, even cliché, but who really does it? He makes clear things like the futility of misdirected efficiency, and the universality of it; its application to personality, parenthood, and organisations. It really seems like one of those chapters that’s going to spawn a lot of jotted notes and sketchily-imagined futures.

I’m also starting to feel out which will be the first habits to be locked in, and we’ll see how they go. Healthy sleeping, eating and exercise patterns, and general proactivity to get the little things done. It’s all about building up a string of small, private victories. Private victories must precede public victories. There are no shortcuts to the Character Ethic. It holds a long-term focus, like a sensible investment, and has the same kind of accumulative, compounded returns. Life is always going to be work, so living smart is working right and having fun doing it.