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Tobbe gets productive


Tobbe

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Tobbe Gets Productive

 

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I'm tired of having no time for the things I want and need to do. But still, somehow, have time to get stuck on Facebook. Watch YouTube videos. Random browsing. Etc... I have a job I actually need to perform at. I have a side hustle I need to finish. I have a few rooms in my house I need to make livable. And time is running out!

 

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Inspired by @Mad Hatter I'm going to cut down on the time I'm spending wasting time online. I'm not quitting cold turkey like she did (that's hardcore!), but I do have a plan for how to better spend my time. I'm going to severely restrict the amount of procrastination and underpants collecting I'm doing.

 

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I'm dividing this challenge in three parts.

 

1. Measure

First two weeks are going to be about watching and learning. I'm going to measure and study my behavior to get some metrics to compare to.

To measure my activity on the computer I'm going to use RescueTime.

 

2. Force
I'm going to use software to help me enforcing time away from time wasters. This phase will also last two weeks.

For this, again, I'm using RescueTime. This is part of their premium offering. But, conveniently, they offer a two week free trial ;) 

I might also use the free tool LeechBlock NG to help with this.

News Feed Eradicator for Facebook has proven useful before. Might look in to that one again as well.

 

3. Evaluate and adapt

Last week of the challenge I'm going to try to evaluate how I've been doing, and make any adjustments I can think of to improve my productivity.

 

Goals

 

For my actual job I want to spend at least 5 hours per day, five days per week, on average in my code editor, on work Slack, or on work related web pages. So 25 hours per week. On top of that there will be meetings (very few of those thankfully) and time away from the computer thinking about difficult problems and solving shit by just taking a walk or something... 

I'm not really happy with this metric. Ass-on-chair time is a lousy way to measure performance/productivity. But it's the best I can come up with right now. Any other ideas anyone?

 

For my side hustle I want to complete it before this challenge is over. So delivery before December :scary: They probably want me to do more whenever I'm done with what I'm doing. But this current task is all I've committed to, so that's all I'm aiming to finish.

 

As for our house there are three rooms we're working on. My office-to-be, a new dining room, and redoing the living room. I've promised my wife we'll be able to host a New Years party in the dining room. And in order to get to the dining room you have to walk through the living room. So before this challenge is over my office needs to be usable, and the dining room needs to be usable. That leaves a month to do the living room. Notice how I said "usable". Not "done". I'm pretty sure there won't be time for any decorative moldings or casings/framings around doors and windows. Heck, there might not even be a door to frame between the dining room and the office yet...

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Ooh - time waster detox. Great goal - can’t wait to see you crush it!

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Level 74 Wood Elf Druid

Druid: || 59 | 60 | 61 | 61.5 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 ||

Ranger: || 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 ||

||Char/RPG||
STR: 57 || DEX: 59 || STA: 52 || CON: 47 || WIS: 59 || CHA: 59

 

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So, goals...

 

For my actual job I want to spend at least 5 hours per day, five days per week, on average in my code editor, on work Slack, or on work related web pages. So 25 hours per week. On top of that there will be meetings (very few of those thankfully) and time away from the computer thinking about difficult problems and solving shit by just taking a walk or something... 

I'm not really happy with this metric. Ass-on-chair time is a lousy way to measure performance/productivity. But it's the best I can come up with right now. Any other ideas anyone?

 

For my side hustle I want to complete it before this challenge is over. So delivery before December :scary: They probably want me to do more whenever I'm done with what I'm doing. But this current task is all I've committed to, so that's all I'm aiming to finish.

 

As for our house there are three rooms we're working on. My office-to-be, a new dining room, and redoing the living room. I've promised my wife we'll be able to host a New Years party in the dining room. And in order to get to the dining room you have to walk through the living room. So before this challenge is over my office needs to be usable, and the dining room needs to be usable. That leaves a month to do the living room. Notice how I said "usable". Not "done". I'm pretty sure there won't be time for any decorative moldings or casings/framings around doors and windows. Heck, there might not even be a door to frame between the dining room and the office yet...

 

(Added these to my top post as well)

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RescueTime report for Wednesday

 

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Doesn't look too bad actually!

 

But drilling down into the "Reference & Learning" category for example I think it might be a little bit too kind :P  

 

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Some reasons for only logging 6h 41m is that I've been away on a few different other things today...

 

  • I had a 1 hour appointment with my therapist.
  • I went to a 90 min long Tai Chi class.
  • Had a meeting regarding my side hustle for like an hour
  • I went grocery shopping for half an hour.
  • My wife and I went to our equivalent of Home Depot to look at ceiling options for the rooms we're doing.
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I LOVE this challenge! Can't wait to see it unfold, I wish you fun and success on the way.

 

I've fallen completely out of the loop, what is your side hustle related to?

 

3 hours ago, Tobbe said:

As for our house there are three rooms we're working on. My office-to-be, a new dining room, and redoing the living room. I've promised my wife we'll be able to host a New Years party in the dining room. And in order to get to the dining room you have to walk through the living room. So before this challenge is over my office needs to be usable, and the dining room needs to be usable.

 

Aren't you glad they've switched to 5 weeks challenges? :D Joke apart, great goal! Pretty exhausting but so very useful. Looks like you're going through some big changes in your life and holding up to them.

 

 

3 hours ago, Tobbe said:

I'm not really happy with this metric. Ass-on-chair time is a lousy way to measure performance/productivity. But it's the best I can come up with right now. Any other ideas anyone?

 

Depends what you're meant to do. Ass-on-chair + feeling that the work is progressing looks like a good enough metric to me, it allows for time to think and put your ideas together which is integral to the work itself.

 

 

3 hours ago, Tobbe said:

I went to a 90 min long Tai Chi class.

 

Have you been doing Tai Chi for some time? Will you keep doing it?

Legally bound to hug people in need.

 

Living life as a Druid is about walking with the beasts. It's about being scared, looking your fears in the eyes and going on anyway. Dread doesn't go away, you just learn to know it. It's still a beast, it still has fangs, but you walk among it.

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3 hours ago, Jean said:

I LOVE this challenge! Can't wait to see it unfold, I wish you fun and success on the way.

 

Thank you :)  Nice to have you here :)  

 

3 hours ago, Jean said:

I've fallen completely out of the loop, what is your side hustle related to?

 

I don't think I've actually mentioned it on here. It's kind of random... I went to my car mechanic to have some work done on my car, and he said something along the lines of "you work with computers, don't you?" And I was like "yeah... why?". So now I'm helping them move their web shop from a closed platform to a self-hosted wooCommerce solution. Basically their current web shop has (limited) support for exporting all products. And in wooCommerce you can import products from a text file. But they obviously don't speak the same language, so I'm writing a program to translate from one to the other... And I'm getting $500 for it. Not a lot. But also not terrible. And it's a fun little problem/challenge :)  

 

3 hours ago, Jean said:

great goal! Pretty exhausting but so very useful.

 

Thanks. Yeah, exhausting. But useful indeed. Getting my own office at home will be nice. Also planning for some other toys in there. We'll see... :)  

 

3 hours ago, Jean said:

Have you been doing Tai Chi for some time? Will you keep doing it?

 

This was like the fifth time or so I went. It's not exactly/only Tai Chi. It's a practice based on Tai Chi, but has none of the martial arts elements. It's offered by our healthcare system by the same institute that I go to to see my psychologist. So it's focus is only on calming your mind and body. Connecting you to your body, learning to listen to it and be kind to it. The teachers are all physiotherapists with a special interest in the mind/body connection. We're supposed to be a group doing the tai chi classes. But so far there's only been one other student there one time, and yesterday I learnt that she quit the class. So now it's only me. So every time I go is a private lesson :D 

 

The session yesterday started with 15 minutes of meditation. Then we did some standing work where we focused on finding a straight line through the entire body where we were at most at ease. Where we didn't have to engage almost any muscles to stay in that position. When I had found that line I was challenged to try to keep it during motion. So moving up and down along that line. First slowly, and then faster and faster, working up towards a bounce almost. I tried that exercise my very first session and couldn't do it at all. Today it was much easier, so I've made some kind of progress without even noticing it myself :)  We then did some push/pull breathing exercises. We finished the session by doing something they call "Little Tao".

 

 

 

With all that said, I'm not sure if I'll continue going or not. It's scheduled once a week for the rest of the year. But to be honest I don't feel like it gives me a whole lot of value. I feel like it stresses me out more having to spend that time away from work than it calms me down doing the class... And I don't think it's a practice I will continue on my own.

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I love this challenge! It's definitely something I struggle with too, working from home.

Here to follow and take notes :)

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Doodlie for life, Pancake by choice
Spoiler

 

Challenge 12, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 

Challenges 2017: 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28

Challenges 2018: 29, 30, 31, 32, 3334, 35,

Challenges 2019: 36, 37, 38, 39, 40

 

Challenges 2020: 41, 42, 43, 44, 45

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Decent day today.

 

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6+ productive hours. Both job and side hustle. Lots of red in the morning. I feel the urge to start tweaking things. Changing stuff up to see what happens. But it's too early! I'm just supposed to measure and observer. So I think I'm going to stop looking at that dashboard for a few days, and just let the days pass to see where I end up.

 

This evening I also got some work done in my future office.

 

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Nothing much. Just covered the floor to try to contain all that spackling dust when my wife starts sanding it all smooth this coming weekend.

 

Also put a couple of sheets of drywall up in our future dining room

 

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On 10/23/2019 at 3:24 PM, Tobbe said:

I'm not really happy with this metric. Ass-on-chair time is a lousy way to measure performance/productivity. But it's the best I can come up with right now. Any other ideas anyone?

It's a little tricky, but what about measuring uninterrupted time? A solid 60 min session >>>> 4 x 15 min distracted sessions.

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16 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

Turning off all notifications while you're working helps a lot

 

That's definitely something I'm going to experiment with. Facebook and email is easy. But I'm not sure how to handle the work chat (Slack). Most notifications from the chat could most definitely wait an hour. But sometimes there's a bug that needs to be solved ASAP... I'll probably play around with trying to turn off notifications from specific channels if that's possible.

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Yesterday was a productive day. Haven't looked at the numbers from ResqueTime, but it felt good. Sure, I got distracted, but not for long. Sometimes I get stuck in the YouTube black hole for hours, or just scroll through facebook forever. Or end up collecting underpants in some random subject. But nothing like that yesterday. I wrote some quality code, and I learnt new stuff that'll help us at work. Thumbs Up

 

In the evening my kids went to a Halloween party and my wife was out of town meeting friends. So I was home alone. So I bought a bag of pick-and-mix candy and cuddled up with my computer and code editor. Ended up coding until 2 am. Oops :P 

 

DigitalOcean and dev.to runs Hacktoberfest during October. Make four pull requests to open source projects on GitHub and you've completed the challenge. 

 

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I've made 12 PRs :D 

 

So yeah, I wrote a lot of code yesterday. But that obviously came at the expense of not getting anything done on my office or any of the other rooms. And while I did produce stuff at work I do feel a little bad about what I chose to spend my time on. I really had more important things I really should be working on. But that was more boring, so I didn't sped any time on that at all :( Ohh well. At least I pretty much finished what I was working on, so on Monday I can go back to doing what I'm supposed to be doing :) 

 

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Today I got more done on the house, and less on the computer.

 

These are the same two windows I showed earlier this week, but now with more gypsum board around them.

 

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Continue turning to the left and you can see that the entire wall is done :) 

 

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The plan is to have three walls done tomorrow and finish the last wall early next week.

 

I really didn't feel like going out there doing any work today. I wanted to spend more time on the computer. But my wife talked me in to at least try to get something done, and when I started working it wasn't too bad. All in all I worked from about 12 to 6 pm. And now I'm happy that I did :)  Feels like I made some solid progress!

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10 hours ago, Tobbe said:

I've made 12 PRs :D 

Impressive!

 

10 hours ago, Tobbe said:

So yeah, I wrote a lot of code yesterday. But that obviously came at the expense of not getting anything done on my office or any of the other rooms. And while I did produce stuff at work I do feel a little bad about what I chose to spend my time on. I really had more important things I really should be working on. But that was more boring, so I didn't sped any time on that at all :( Ohh well. At least I pretty much finished what I was working on, so on Monday I can go back to doing what I'm supposed to be doing :) 

I fail to see anything wrong with this! You say you have more important things, but I'd say doing things you enjoy is extremely important. Life wouldn't be very fun if you only did the things you "should" be doing as opposed to things you "want" to be doing.

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+1 on everything Mad Hatter wrote: doing the things that are fun has a high importance level in my view. Doing things that further the work AND are fun is certainly a win in my book, no matter how much further the work could be if you had done the things that make you feel miserable instead (going for emphasis here but you get the meaning :)).

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Legally bound to hug people in need.

 

Living life as a Druid is about walking with the beasts. It's about being scared, looking your fears in the eyes and going on anyway. Dread doesn't go away, you just learn to know it. It's still a beast, it still has fangs, but you walk among it.

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12 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

I fail to see anything wrong with this! You say you have more important things, but I'd say doing things you enjoy is extremely important. Life wouldn't be very fun if you only did the things you "should" be doing as opposed to things you "want" to be doing.

 

10 hours ago, Jean said:

+1 on everything Mad Hatter wrote: doing the things that are fun has a high importance level in my view.

 

Thanks both of you! And none of my colleagues have been complaining, so I guess it's all good :) Actually what I was working on was an internal tool, so it'll benefit my coworkers too when it's done!

 

10 hours ago, Jean said:

going for emphasis here but you get the meaning

 

Totally get you :)  Thanks for sharing your view on it Thumbs Up

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Started the day off today with realizing we have been running our vacuum cleaner without a bag for all the dirt. Crap! Poo So I had to do some HLR on the poor machine to try to get it running properly again. Took a good hour to get all the dirt out from everywhere, replace the filters and put a new bag in... But at least it works again, although with a new sound/noise that doesn't sound too good...

 

After the vacuum mishap I could get started with more drywalling. I've now (almost) finished three out of four walls. I hope to do the last wall tomorrow evening. The last wall is pretty easy with no windows (just one door) and no electrical outlets or light switches to cut out holes for.

 

This evening I've spent a couple of hours on my side hustle. For the amount of money I'm getting for it I'm spending way too much time. But I enjoy doing it because it's challenging in a different way compared to what I do for work :) 

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So today wasn't a very good day.

 

As I already mentioned, I didn't start working until after 10. And I got super distracted by a 1000 things all day. 

 

One example:

Sweden In Sweden we celebrate Father's Day on the second Sunday of November, which is Sunday next week. So I probably spent a good three hours online looking for and researching what I was going to get for my dad. 

I wanted to get him a cellphone mount for his bike. So I started by messaging a guy I had ridden with once who had a good mount on his bike, to ask what make and model it was. It was the RAM X-Grip

Bildresultat för ram x-grip Bildresultat för ram x-grip

 

But that's just the cellphone end of it all. You also need a piece that you attach to your bike. And there are lots of options.

The Claw

RAP-B-400U

U-Bolt bases of different kinds (different amount of u-bolts, different u-bolt sizes...

RAM-235U

Fork Stem base

RAM-B-342U

Ball with threaded base

RAP-B-379U-252025

 

And the list goes on and on...

 

Now you have the cellphone end of things, and the motorcycle end of things. Now you need to connect the two. And for that you need an "arm"

RAM-B-201U

 

It comes in at least six different lengths, if not more.

 

Lots of options to research! And when you have decided what you want and add it all to your chopping cart you end up with a total at around $70. Not that I can't afford it. But still felt like a lot of money for what you're getting.

 

So. I started to look around for alternatives. Found a kit on ebay for $18, free shipping. And it even included a USB port for charging your phone. Sweet!

 

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But it was shipped from China, and I wouldn't get it in time for Fathers's day :(  

 

So the search continued.

 

Found another option on amazon in Germany

 

61gN-K7HqiL._AC_SX679_.jpg

 

Again very similar. And the price was reasonable at $21 + $6 or so for shipping. So this was what I ended up getting for him. Shipping from Germany means no import fees, no extra tax, and I'll have it before Father's day Thumbs Up 

 

But it is a bit of a gamble. It's not the authentic RAM stuff. So I don't know how the quality/fit/durability is going to be. And if you notice the bike mount end of things is just a thin angled metal bracket. I'm a bit worried it's going to be too flimsy. But $21 vs $70 was just too much of a difference. Plus I wouldn't have gotten the USB charging port.

 

But anyway. That was easily three hours spent on things that wasn't work related. And all of a sudden it was time for lunch and I hadn't gotten much, if any, actual work done.

 

So now it's past midnight and I just recently decided to stop working. Haven't checked RescueTime, but it feels like I at least got five ours of work in. Maybe six.

 

Working all evening/night (except for making dinner for the family and watching an episode of a TV series with my wife) means I didn't get to put up any more drywall. And that contributes to making this a not very good day :(  But it's not entirely fair to say I haven't been productive at all with the house renovation/extension. Another thing, apart from the Father's Day gift, that distracted me was measuring the rooms and ordering more insulation. We've been looking for a specific kind of insulation made out of wood fibers or old recycled news papers. (Instead of the regular fiberglass or rock wool insulation). And it has proven very hard to find locally. But today we finally decided to order it online, and pay $65 in shipping... After having called around to local suppliers we just had to give up on finding it anywhere near to where we live.  I've also been to a local Home Depot kind of store and ordered wooden tongue and groove ceiling paneling. We're ordering quite a bit of it, so we got a good deal on the price :) Also going to get door and window molding from the same place, so had to measure out that as well. And floor and ceiling trim... 

 

This is what the ceiling will look like

 

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Each board is 4.7 inches wide and 15.8 ft long! Will be a challenge to transport it home, and to store it until we can nail it to the ceiling :) 

They said it would be ready for us to pick up late this week, or early next week. And then we have to store it indoors for a week to acclimatize before we cut it to size and mount it.

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I don't know, seems pretty productive to me! Sometimes these things just take time. Maybe it's worth figuring out what exactly you're trying to get out of this challenge? If you're expecting to turn into a productivity machine overnight, or create more than 24 hours in a day, well, you might want to reconsider. ;) Besides, wasn't the point of these first weeks to observe and measure, and not judge? :) 

 

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18 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

I don't know, seems pretty productive to me!

 

Thanks 

 

17 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

Maybe it's worth figuring out what exactly you're trying to get out of this challenge?

 

I'm trying to figure out what I need to do to get more productive, and to stay more productive. So any changes I make should be things I can see myself sticking to even after this challenge is over. If I can figure out why I'm so easily distracted and/or why the changes I'll make works that'll be a bonus

 

18 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

Besides, wasn't the point of these first weeks to observe and measure, and not judge? :) 

 

No, judging is fine!  ;) Just couldn't do any changes before I had some data points to compare to  :) 

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Hypothesis: Working from home makes me less productive compared to working at an office because it's easier to get distracted by chores around the house, or because no one can see if I'm on youtube for an hour instead of working, or because family members interrupts me all the time.

 

Reality: I worked from our office down-town today. We had meetings, I had to spend time commuting, there were lots of discussions going on all the time that I listened in to, we had a long lunch...

 

So, time not spent working is spent on different things when I'm at home compared to when I'm at the office. But actual hours/minutes I spend working are about the same I'd say.

 

After work today the entire office went to a climbing gym for an hour and a half. Great fun! :) Strong

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