Getting back into Good Habits

It’s quite easy to break good habits. By that I mean all the good stuff you are supposed to do, like work hard and look after you health, eat right etc. It’s REALLY easy not to do that stuff, because it is hard. It is hard to get up, day in and day out, and work, or exercise, or eat healthy because there are so many different things you can do that are lot’s more fun.

Image by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Essentially, that is what has happened to me lately, I’ve been doing things that are fun in the moment, rather than some of the other things I get more out of, like this blog and my side projects. So, it is time to refocus and reschedule my time again. The most productive I have been with my non-work activities was while I was doing University. During this period I blocked out very specific times to work on specific units or projects and this worked very well. I was also public about what I was doing, which helped in keeping myself motivated. So I’m going to adopt this style of organising my time again.

What I am doing

There are three things I want to focus on with work I do outside of my regular job. They are:

  • Better, more consistent writing: Blog Posts, Articles and some external work
  • More consistent, regular progress on my side projects that I have had in my mind for a long time
  • Learning new technologies, particularly as I don’t work on technology day to day, and reading more

To facilitate this one of the first things I will be working on is cleaning up and expanding this website. Essentially the site will be reworked and expanded to include the following areas:

Blog: The blog section will be split in two. The blog section will remain and will be turned into smaller posts discussing things I have done, read or learned over the period of a week. I’m aiming for a small post, about 500 words long, once a week to be a targeted on a very specific subject that I have been involved with recently. This should allow me to consistently write blog posts each week.

Articles: The articles section will be the second part of the split. Articles will be the longer form writing, generally technical guides on how to do something, such as my post on [creating a Microsoft Flow for SharePoint version control] or the [series of posts] that I [am currently writing] on [developing a Discord bot using a microservices architecture]. Articles take significantly more time to develop and write so they are not something I can produce on a regular schedule.

Projects: The projects section will contain a running work log on the progression, similar to a change log. Where I can (based on my feelings around the project) I also plan to make as many of my projects open sourced in [my GitHub repository]. I am planning to use a lot of my projects to learn new technologies etc. that I can also write both Blog posts and Articles about.

Readings: Similar to projects, the readings section is a running Change log documenting my thoughts and learning about the readings I have been doing. I need to do a lot more reading, and I have many books (both electronic and traditionally) that I need to make more of an effort to read. Hopefully this will become a bit of an interesting take on the concept of a book review.

Image by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

How am I going to do this

So thats a lot of stuff, but how am I actually going to get that done and still have some fun / downtime ? Most of my nights are free after 8pm and I can sneak certain activities in when I transit to and from work. Bearing that in mind, I’ve come up with the following schedule that I am going to work to:

Monday

  • Morning Commute: Workup tasks for the week, pick subject to write a blog post about and develop rough writing guide
  • Afternoon Commute: Read / Learn
  • Night: Write weekly blog post and schedule it for publication

Tuesday

  • Morning Commute: Read / Learn
  • Afternoon Commute: Read / Learn
  • Night: Break Night / Time off

Wednesday

  • Morning Commute: Develop notes and tasks on the current Article
  • Afternoon Commute: Develop notes and tasks on the current Article
  • Night: Progress writing current article

Thursday

  • Morning Commute: Develop notes and tasks on the current Project
  • Afternoon Commute: Develop notes and tasks on the current Project
  • Night: Progress current project

Friday

  • Morning Commute: Read / Learn
  • Afternoon Commute: Read / Learn
  • Night: Break Night / Time off

Saturday

  • Day Free Time (<=1hr): Develop notes and tasks on the current Project
  • Night: Progress current project

Sunday

  • Day Free Time (<=1hr): Develop notes and tasks on the current Project
  • Night: Progress current project

Tracking Progress

To give you a rough idea on what the priorities are at this stage:

  1. Rework this website and improve my use of Hugo for generating and managing content.
  2. Finish off my Article series on Writing a Discord Bot
  3. Work on developing a full discord bot, basically expanding upon the Article series

Rather than tracking them through my site, I am going to publicly maintain my task list on Trello and my daily activities on Habitica. This gives you an idea on the items I am working on, what you can expect to see from me, how I am tracking with the schedule, as well as providing me with the motivation to get them done.


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