My daily work-script from last summer when Matt Ritter and I lived together and periodically did productivity-related lifehacking because we're both super-easily distractable. It... still isn't a bad one.

  1. Look at today's big rocks, todo list; shuffle undones if needed.
  2. Look at today's calendar, done list. Update today's done list, noting readjustment to time estimates for the future.
  3. Dump tasks into todo list.
  4. Look at calendar and block out time to be in each context
  5. Print calendar, big rocks, and to-do-tomorrow list.

However, it works better if you can resist the temptation to try to have too many big rocks (our word for "the really important stuff") - if you mark everything as important, nothing's important at all. So I think it may be time for me to prioritize my projects for the fall semester (yep, still trying to stay in sync with a school schedule - I am going back to academia someday) and make some tough decisions to take lots and lots and lots of cookies (the term Matt coined for "responsibly turning down and/or getting rid of a project," so named because he began bribing himself to do so by getting a cookie every time he did).

I could work on...

  1. Finances/startup with Matt
  2. SoaS (various aspects thereof, but mostly attempting to streamline and document processes so the entire release team becomes redundant and can move on to other roles as people take over what we're currently doing)
  3. Sugar Activity development and maintenance (IRC)
  4. Fedora Marketing: upstream marketing
  5. Fedora Insight: getting the dang thing up
  6. Trac plugin development and maintenance (TracBacks)
  7. Playing guitar (and other instruments, yeah, but focusing on one instrument at a time) with a good measurable goal being "start to record pieces, even if you sound awful"
  8. Getting back in shape so I can do martial arts again - some sort of consistent and reflective way of getting exercise (consistent in occurrence, not necessarily activity).
  9. Fedora on ARM (which likely implies BEAGLEBOARD HURRAH!!)
  10. Computer configuration/tweaking/sysadmin-fu, with the express goals of (a) getting my RHCE and (b) setting up and maintaining a number of servers and services for small projects I care about.
  11. Etherpad
  12. Relearning C (working through K&R)
  13. Relearning physics (working through Penrose)
  14. Relearning Python (building Django webapps and integrating then with Trac and supybot is the specific thing I'd like to get good at; I know it's weirdly specific, but it makes sense to me.)
  15. National Novel Writing Month
  16. Improving my dancing (blues, specifically)
  17. Studying a foreign language (I also learned my lesson several years ago about only trying to learn one at a time, and a good goal here that I like is reading books and poems and being able to have text chat conversations in whatever language I pick.)
  18. Grad school - my application, reading journals and books and starting to write notes to researchers and whatnot.
  19. Learning to cook. Well. Specifically, what to do with farmers' market produce. Possibly a focus on either Italian or Indian foods. Possibly trying to learn what the heck to do with an oven.
  20. Studying business - I actually want to start by trying to grok accounting and finance, and being able to understand Red Hat's quarterly reports (which read to me now like "This is Red Hat! We... made money and stuff! Look, numbers and a lot of words you do not know!") I'm pretty sure I'll pick up a lot of marketing and brand things along the way because that's where my interest lies, though. And legal, because there are some things one just has to know.
  21. Getting and understanding my medical history records, and specifically my (a) audiology stuff and (b) what, specifically, happened during my long bout with pneumonia when I was 2.
  22. Bike maintenance and extended biking explorations of the city I live in (Raleigh) - whether I'll be around enough to do it is another question.
  23. Car maintenance. I'd like to learn it. Alex listed out the tools I'd need, there aren't too many... that plus a shop manual should get me started if I tackle this. Also, driving - rally racing and whatnot, or... "the car stuff that Alex Maier does."
  24. Matt Jadud's awesome parallel-programming arduino project and the testing thereof
  25. Olin's GCSP program, specifically (yet more) poking about transparency and infrastructure of participation from the alumni side (gosh darn it people let us help you).
  26. Fixing my terribly terribly terribly out of date website.
  27. Getting my files digitized, versioned, backed up, and accessible. (Searchable, streamable, secure, everything.)

...okay, I'm... I'm going to... stop now. Clearly, clearly cookies must be taken. I cannot keep trying to do this all (for most - some of them are still in the "considering (re)starting" category and I should just not do them.) Or rather, I need to decide what's important to me now - doesn't mean I can't work on the other stuff but they should be extras rather than goals. It's like cognitive housekeeping - and my brain moves so hyperactively that it kicks up a giant cloud of dust and chaos and leaves books and clothes strewn around my mental room, so I should... sweep more often.

Focus. It is hard. Opportunity overload: I still deal poorly with it. Even after years of having more opportunities than I can take, I still have this sense of panic that oh my god maybe I will never get this chance again - part of my brain does not quite trust that all this abundance of Cool Stuff I'm Actually Able To Do won't be taken away from me at some point, or that I'll need to fight harder or for more of it (I fight for some of it already) and combine that with my ability to easily be distracted and excited by shiny things and you end up with chronically overloaded Mel.

Happy Mel, though. I don't think I would be happy if I were not busy.