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My 2009 In Review

I've given up on doing my yearly or bi-yearly goals. Why? I don't actually do them, and I don't actually care. I like having a somewhat chaotic life, changing my priorities and focus as I go along. Most of the time when I look back at my previous incomplete goals I'm glad I didn't complete them, or at least I'm glad I sacrificed them for other goals. When I do actually complete a yearly goal, it tends to be because it remained important to me, not because I was constantly referring back to my goal list.

This year I'm going to try something a little bit different. I'm going to cover what I did this year and what I could have done better.

Here's what I did that I'm happy about:

A Strange Pattern I've Noticed in Productivity

On SEBASTIAN MARSHALL

I do some time tracking every day. The latest version, v5, is here.

Believe it or not, it's not actually a lot of work. Periodically through the day, I mark down what tasks I've been working on. At the end of the day, it takes me around 5-10 minutes to tally up how I spent my time (along with some other things - what I ate, how much I spent, appointments I had, general habits I completed or didn't). Again though - this looks like a lot of work, but it's not. It takes work to set up and habituate, but then it's pretty automatic.

Over time, I've broken down how I spend time into four general categories - Excellent, Good, Okay, Bad. "Excellent" includes things like exercising and working on big expansive things. That's really excellent time.

"Good" includes reading and general maintenance-type work that keeps things how things going the way they were. Now, note that "Good" really is good. When I have a day with lots of time in the Good category, I'm happy.

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