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Blog // Thoughts
April 30, 2010

Daily Patterns

My big, simple goal this year is to be more productive. That doesn’t just mean doing more stuff, it also means putting more stuff out there; music, photos and words. Consequently, I’ve become more attentive to my daily patterns of activity. One way of doing this is using Daytum, a website that allows you to […]

My big, simple goal this year is to be more productive. That doesn’t just mean doing more stuff, it also means putting more stuff out there; music, photos and words. Consequently, I’ve become more attentive to my daily patterns of activity. One way of doing this is using Daytum, a website that allows you to track pretty much anything that interests you.

With Daytum you can collect data and organise categories to track patterns in your life and work. One thing that interested me was to see exactly how my days pan out between my three main activities – music, photography and writing.

This graph made me realise a few of things. Whilst I tend to think of the blog as my only regular writing platform, things like developing a new business and pitching for new work means I spend a lot more time writing that I had previously thought. Second, although I think of photography as a side-interest, doing shoots and field assignments takes far more time than I had initially imagined and going forward I need to allow for that.

Finally, I decided up front not to include guitar practice and work on my album in the music hours. Unfortunately, that skews the figures. You could interpret those numbers to suggest I work about eight hours a day, five days a week. The truth is that I work closer to nine hours a day, seven days a week. From next month I will restart that data set to get a more accurate measure.

Daytum is also great for facing brutal truths, like how much time I (don’t) spend practicing guitar everyday.

That number is not too bad, given that I don’t count every minute spent playing and recording in that measure, only dedicated and focussed practice time. Still, my goal is to practice seventy five minutes a day, seven days a week and I’m a long way short of that.

Part of being more productive, for me, is a commitment to be healthier. I see cooking healthy meals at home as playing a big role in that.

Depending on where you live, that contrast might not seem all that impressive. But, remember that here in Hong Kong a lot of people hardly ever eat home cooked meals (or don’t cook for themselves) and that my kitchen is a mere 2.5mx1.8m.

So, although I don’t at home as often as I would like, I do get to enjoy a diverse range of cuisines.

Finally, it’s fun to just track something random, like shoe colours worn.

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