Last year, I decided to try having month-by-month goals instead of trying to do new years resolutions.
Nov was NaNoWriMo which was what gave me the idea. That was a big commitment, which I think averaged out to about 2h per day, with some "thinking time" on top. Dec was to recover. Feb will be "start new job".
Jan was "learn some rust, if possible contribute to rust compiler". That was a bit speculative, I wasn't sure how big a goal was reasonable. But it turned out fairly well. I think I got a reasonable handle on the basic syntax, and the borrow checker concepts which most people find a hurdle to getting to know it. I build a couple of "hello world" programs to be sure I understood the building and packaging system.
And I built the compiler from source, and submitted a pull request to fix one of the "easy" documentation issues from the issue tracker, and learned how the project was organised. Which is now accepted!
So I think on balance that was about the right amount and specificity of goal. And I count it as mostly a success.
I reckoned the time spent stacked up something like 1 week of work, minus overhead faff, was about the equivalent of an intense weekend hackathon, or a not-very-intense project over a month. Nanowrimo was about twice that (more on some days likely). And some projects lend themselves to a brief burst of activity and others to a longer steady progress.
I'm simultaneously pleased that I *can* expect to focus energy on some projects and actually get somewhere with them. But also depressed that there's only so many months and each lets me achieve comparatively little.
I have lots of ideas of what I might do, but not sure what is most worthwhile to spend that effort on. Some coding projects. Some self-improvement projects. Some social things.
I shifted my daily todos a bit incorporating some ideas from bullet journals (as linked by ghoti).
I started keeping my daily todo-list IN my diary, and when I've done an item, changing the "-" bullet point to an "x" and moving it down to the bottom of the list. So what I'm GOING to do naturally becomes a diary.
I also started, instead of having subheadings, having a few different types. "=" bullet point for largish task. "-" for anything small but needs to be today. "s" for social-type task. (todo and social get postponed in different circumstances and consume energy in different ways.)
It feels easier to plan what I WANT to do, without feeling like I've failed if I don't do all of it.
I also started keeping my actual diary in multiple bullet points with a different bullet, instead of strung together. I'll see how that goes.
I feel like I'm slowly re-evolving a system lots of people already recommended to me. But I couldn't just *do* it, it depends on having confidence that putting things in a list actually works, and I've only slowly acquired that.
Likewise, maybe I don't need to record so much. But doing so was a step in the process of not worrying about it so much. And what's useful I keep, and what I don't need I've got better at just deleting, and not thinking "but I might need that one day".
Similarly, I keep a parallel diary I call my therapy diary for rants where I know they won't seem as persuasive in future but I have to make them. "WHY WHY WHY can't I just do X without screwing it up" "why does y keep going wrong". "this happened and now I feel really bad about it". The idea was, I'd think through the things later and come to terms with them. But actually just writing them down helped a lot. Now I've ranted in it much less often that I did to start with.
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