Each evening I post to Twitter ‘On a scale of 1 to 10, today has been X productive and Y% fail’. It’s a simple daily ritual which allows me to quantify both how much I’ve got done and how frustrating it was doing it. At some point I plan to write a script to log and graph this data, but that’s not as important as recording it in the first place.
@glennhalstead asked ‘@semanticist tell me… how can a day have a high productive score AND a high fail score?’
The answer is really a bit more involved than I could squeeze into 140 characters.
The fail score (which is arbitrarily a percentage, much like the productivity score is arbitrarily from 1 to 10) represents the frustrations of the day. Every time something goes wrong, or someone breaks something, or a customer does something mental, it’s a little bit of extra fail. Getting a lot done can result in a high fail score simply because doing a lot exposes you to more opportunities for fail, and the more fail you fix the more productive you are (at least if your job involves fixing things, as mine does).
I think keeping a record of how productive I am each day helps to get me doing things. Keeping a record of the daily fail is more a small way to express frustration (the other being swearing on Twitter) and to continually remind myself that I need a healthy balance between being productive and avoiding frustration and stress.
Improving my ability to actually produce things and work around my own apathy requires an approach from multiple directions. This is a minor thing, but it’s part of my overall plan to improve myself and my life.