Thursday, October 1, 2009

September in Review

Another month, another audit of the Seinfeld Chain Calendar (really should come up with a better name for it)!

So this month I applied the documentations mentioned last month where I drew lines through days for a quicker visual representation of my chains and the days they broke.

I attempted 6 chains this month which may be overdoing it. While it was good to try, it can be hard to devote roughly an hour a day every day for 6 different activities (although Animation is a bit longer and calling my girls is shorter than an hour). I think I may be entering the point of diminishing returns by spreading myself so thin over that many activities. But overall, it was a good month. The beginning of the month I soul-searched on how to improve my work (which led to this blog) so unfortunately I had no chains on those days. I had a few days which broke a some of the 6 chains due to outside influences. But considering the activities that prevented me from completing all my chains were important and fulfilling (such as flying to Arkansas to visit my girls) I'm not as worried about it as I would be if I broke the chain to do something pointless (like wasting time online).

On of the additions I incorporated into the calendar this month was "partial" or "rollover" chains. A chain that is normally solid will become dashed if only partially completed (such as calling the girls but never reaching them, which only happened twice this month) or if I rolled over the excess actions the previous day (animation and reading). A few days I far exceeded my reading requirements for the day so the next day I would read less and "roll over" the previous days requirements to focus on the activities that needed the most attention. This took the pressure of doing every activity every day (some days you just can't) but still allowed to reach every goal I set for the week. I did impose a rule that you can only roll over for one day (either the day before or after), otherwise I would be procrastinating every day with the intention of "making it up" on the weekend (I never would) and that mentality is what got me into trouble in the first place.


Animate: 22/30 - 73% (Not perfect, but the only 2 non-travel days I didn't animate were due to outside circumstances, I just didn't make them up like I should have)
Children: 30/30 - 100% (2 days I called but never received an answer)
Exercise:19/30 - 63%
Read: 24/30 - 80%
Music: 27/30 - 90%
Blog/Pictures: 27/30 - 100% (I added this rule on the 4th so I literally completed this every day after adding it)

How to Improve:
  1. Find ways to rollover animation before trips. I can animate on the airplane, I didn't this time :( , but this month showed that it can be hard to find time to animate while visiting the children
  2. Call children earlier. By waiting to the end of the day I risk not reaching them before they go to bed. It only happened twice this month, lets try for none next month.
  3. Exercise is the first to go when I go over time on other projects. Considering how quick and easy it is to do a few push ups/sit ups over the course of the day there is no reason I can't have partials on days I didn't do a full workout routine. Remember, no pain, no gain!
  4. Read - Like animation, it can be hard to find time to read while visiting the kids (although reading on the plane is easy). Maybe add audio books while doing chores as the children nap... Any free time I do have will likely be prioritized for animation over reading.
  5. Music - Not much to add, picking up the guitar is an easy side project to add during my passive work requirements for my job. Having time for music while visiting the children may be difficult. Animation is more important.
  6. Blog - Keep it up! Writing extra posts on days when I have more free time lets me post a backup on a day that I am too busy to actually writing something.

Overall, I definitely see improvements in all 6 activities over this time last month! Gotta keep on going!

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