Another month has passed. Last time I waited two weeks and published my review of May on June 15th, but this really doesn't make sense if one wants to make the monthly review the kick-off for a better next month. Today is July 4th and here we go with the review of June.
Regarding CloudObjects the only visible accomplishment was a single blog post about Content Marketing which I published on June 23rd. But there was work going on in the background and I'm looking forward to share the first results during the course of the month of July. There has also been progress on "InstaJobs" from the Startup Weekend and other projects but nothing to announce yet.
The highlights of this month were totally unrelated to my work. There was the annual gathering of the family from my father's side so I got to see my aunts, uncles and cousins again. I also attended a friend's birthday party where I met a lot of the classmates from my university days and new interesting people. My "Legends of Andor" boardgame group met twice and we finally completed the last mission from the original game. We've also attended another local boardgame-related event and got to try a few new games. In more gaming-related news I organized a "Werewolf" game event where we met to play this classic game of deception outside on a beautiful summer day. Finally I attended a coding night meetup, tried an escape room and went to see a theatre play. So from this perspective I certainly had a great month.
With all the enjoyment mentioned in the highlights let's not forget productivity. My top activities in June, according to RescueTime, were:
- 25% Social Networking (up from 22% last month)
- 15% Software Development (down from 26% last month)
- 10% Business
- 10% Communication & Scheduling
- 9% Uncategorized
I'm actually quite shocked that Social Networking has taken the first place this month and that I have spent so little time coding this month. The productivity pulse that RescueTime calculates is down by 15% to 52. The number of Focus Booster sessions is also down from 225 in May to 143, however this can be explained by work that was not Pomodoro-tracked.
There are always ups and downs in life and not every month can be productive, so I won't beat me up for this. Some of it can probably be blamed on the weather with some unbearably hot days where I didn't feel comfortable. However the thing that concerns me most is the correlation between the low productivity scores and the number of "extracurricular" highlights I wrote about above. I've been told to enjoy myself more and do fun activities and that this might actually help me get more relaxed and consequently more productive in my work, but if June is any indication the opposite is true. I'm not willing to jump to conclusions yet but this is something I need to observe further.
I'll leave you with the weekday productivity graph which looks much more "spiky" compared to last month:
On many days when the weather allowed it I've taken my bicycle out for spin for around an hour in the early evening when it's no longer too hot. This is something I enjoy a lot and would love to continue to get a bit of physical exercise in contrast to my typically desk-bound work.
Every night at 21:00 Exist asks me to rate my mood for this day on a scale between 1 and 5. I often find it difficult to rate my mood on any given day as it changes throughout the day but nevertheless I track this information. Unfortunately the Exist dashboard doesn't provide a simple way to get the average mood for a month (they only have this information for weekdays) so I downloaded the raw data from their system and ran it through a script I wrote. Result: My average mood in May was 3.73 and my average Mood in Jun was 3.47.
Let's have a look at the distribution of my productive and distracted times throughout the day for last month:
A few things stand out. One is that the biggest red blob is at 10:00 even though this should be one of the most productive morning hours. The biggest blue blobs are at 15:00 and 18:00. The last one surprises me the most because this is my typical cycling time but apparently on those days where I wasn't outside I was really productive.
As I've written in the last review previous attempts to change my schedule to become more of a morning person have not been successful. I have the privilege of a flexible work schedule so probably I should rather design the schedule around what is allegedly my own circadian rhythm.
So one idea would be to not even try to be productive before 11:00. However, instead of struggling with the urge to mindlessly browse Facebook and Twitter, I'll schedule an exercise session at this hour. I work from home but I can make this a "fake commute" where I leave the house and then return at the same place but now consider it the office. It's worth a try.
I totally missed my goal of keeping the Social Networking time under 20%, so this goal still stands for next month. Just now I've configured RescueTime to block distracting sites automatically to give me a little nudge.
For CloudObjects I want to ship two significant features and at least three blog posts in July.
It's really hard to publish this because it's in some way admitting failure, but without accepting your own problems you can never solve them. This tweet has motivated me to still hit the publish button.
Analyzing the last month and writing this post took me 6 pomodoro sessions.