2018 by

Note: to see how I’ve revised my goals through the year, check out the git revision history for this page

My goal for 2018 is to work for 2,080 poms. This breaks down into 40 poms a week, or 8 poms every weekday.

Each pom I work on in 2018 should be spent to either:

  • #learn something (ex: a new technical skill, a language, a nonfiction book)
  • #build something (ex: an app, a new feature, a blog post, or an Ebomb)
  • #keep on top of administrative tasks (ex: inbox 0, gtd tasks)

For goals to be SMART, they must be measurable, so I made an app to track my pomodoro progress. This has made it way easier to stay on track.


Sunday Review

To keep the wheels greased of this productivity machine, every Sunday I’ll set aside one pom to:

  • update this page with my weekly review
  • identify one bad habit to stop doing
  • identify one distraction to automate
  • identify one task to delegate

Month 01: January

Week 01: set 2018 goals ✅, get current on admin work (email, gtd, groove) ✅, publish outline of Relationships

  1. 2018-01-01: gen.co/2018 (2/2), automate payroll and rent (4/4), inbox 0+gtd (2/2) = 8 ✅
  2. 2018-01-02: automate payroll and rent (1/1), inbox 0+gtd (4/4), Relationships outline (3/3) = 8 ✅
  3. 2018-01-03: inbox 0+gtd (5/5), Relationships outline (0/3) = 5
  4. 2018-01-04: Lola audio project (1/1), inbox 0+gtd (3/4), Relationships outline (0/3) = 4
  5. 2018-01-05: twilio config (2/2), inbox 0+gtd (4/5), investigating family drama, Relationships outline (0/1) = 6
  6. 2018-01-06: investigating family drama, inbox 0+gtd (3/3) = 3
  7. 2018-01-07: gtd (4/4), Relationships outline (2/4) = 6

40 - 8 - 8 - 5 - 4 - 6 - 3 - 6 = 0 ✅

Notes: first week doing my fresh new 2018 productivity system and I did 40 poms! Huge success there, even with two unexpected family emergencies that ate up a lot of time. Next week I’d like to go over 40 poms to bank up some time for the 7-day Denver ski trip I’m taking from the 21st to the 28th. Working 8 poms a day, I could bank up 32 extra poms before the trip and only need to squeeze 8 poms over the entire week (~1/day). My “Relationships” outline is two chapters short of publishing, so I’ll finish that up next week.

Week 02: Apricot Book facebook messenger integration ❌, 10 gtd poms that improve my tools ✅, publish outline of Relationships

  1. 2018-01-08: Relationships outline (3/3), gtd tools (3/3), Apricot Book (2/2) = 8 ✅
  2. 2018-01-09: gtd tools (2/2), Apricot Book (6/6) = 8 ✅
  3. 2018-01-10: gtd tools (2/2), gtd (3/3), Apricot Book (3/3) = 8 ✅
  4. 2018-01-11: gtd tools (2/2), learn redux (6/6) = 8 ✅
  5. 2018-01-12: learn redux (6/6), gtd tools (1/1), gtd (1/1) = 8 ✅
  6. 2018-01-13: learn redux (6/5), gtd (2/3) = 8 ✅
  7. 2018-01-14: gtd (4/4), firestore blog post (4/4) = 8 ✅

40 + 16 - 8 - 8 - 8 - 8 - 8 - 8 - 8 = 0 ✅

Notes: Wow - a perfect week. 16 poms banked for my ski trip! I started this week wanting to push out a feature for an app, but two days in I realized my time would be much better spent going back and learning the fundamentals of the frameworks I wanted to work with: redux and firestore. I pivoted and wrote guides on those technologies instead of building stuff and I think it was a great decision: I have a much better fundamental understanding of what these tools do and how to use them, and I published several guides on them, which satisfies another yearly goal. “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” I like the progress I’m making just learning these technologies at a deeper level, so I’ll continue that next week and delay the Apricot Book improvement.

Week 03: Redux and Firebase App Guides ✅, Outline Firebase and React and Redux courses ✅, 10 poms dealing with old laptops and hard drives ❌

  1. 2018-01-15: Firebase guides (4/4), firebase redux classes (4/3), gtd (0/1) = 8 ✅
  2. 2018-01-16: Firebase guides (4/4), gtd (2/2), laptops (2/2) = 8 ✅
  3. 2018-01-17: research offline ski trip work (4/2), pom tracker (4/2), laptops (0/2) = 8 ✅
  4. 2018-01-18: pom tracker (3/3), react udemy (2/2), gtd (3/2), laptops (0/1) = 8 ✅
  5. 2018-01-19: packing (3/3), dropped off laptop = 3
  6. 2018-01-20: react 16 course (8/8), Celeste = 8 ✅
  7. 2018-01-21: Something Rotten!, Denver, react BDD course (2/0) = 2

40 + 8 - 8 - 8 - 8 - 8 - 3 - 8 - 2 = 3 ❌

Notes: Super good week. Banked away an extra 5 poms for the ski trip, and adapted pretty well to not having my laptop for the last three days. iPads are pretty good work tools! Now that I have that set up, it’ll be much easier in the future to transition to only using my iPad. I doubled down this week in learning React from online courses and I’m loving it - it’s giving me a better fundamental understanding of the tools I’m using to build things I love which makes it much easier to build things.

Week 04: ski better

  1. 2018-01-22: ski prep in Denver
  2. 2018-01-23: skiing
  3. 2018-01-24: skiing
  4. 2018-01-25: skiing
  5. 2018-01-26: ski rest day, react BDD course (7/0)
  6. 2018-01-27: skiing, night skiing
  7. 2018-01-28: travel back to Dallas

Notes: I got significantly better at skiing this trip. The technique I learned as a kid is wrong (learning far back and putting 90% of your weight on your downhill foot vs. leaning forward and having your weight 50% on each foot) and I was able to correct a lot of it this trip. It was a freaking blast, but I actually missed working, and should’ve taken a rest day earlier. Three days of skiing in a row is too much. The day after my rest day was the best ski day I had on the trip. Traveling with an iPad is easier than with a laptop (it’s lighter and needs to be charged less frequently) and I learned a lot about being productive on it. It helps that most of my work right now is taking notes on video lectures, though the iPad can’t speed through the videos as fast as my laptop can because of stupid software limitations. It was a blast cooking and doing crosswords in a ski lodge right off the slope with Luke, Tori, Eli, Ben, and Li. I’m happy with the amount of work I got done.

January Notes

Wow! This new productivity system is my best so far. Setting goals at different levels (yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily) is incredibly clarifying and inspiring. I want to get work done to get the monkey points of updating my work log.

I didn’t get three project goals done, but published way more course outlines than I thought I was going to. I think this yearly goal may need to be readjusted for my new focus on sharpening my toolkit.


Month 02: February

Week 05: publish React TDD outline ❌, get current on admin work (email, gtd, taxes, physical inboxes) ❌, React 16 - The Complete Guide outline ❌, start 30x500 ✅

  1. 2018-01-29: gtd (4/4), trigg magic (1/0), email (3/3) = 8 ✅
  2. 2018-01-30: React 16 (4/4), 30x500 (3/3), trigg magic, email (1/1) = 8 ✅
  3. 2018-01-31: 30x500 (4/4), React 16 (2/3), email (0/1) = 6 ❌
  4. 2018-02-01: React 16 (3/3), email (2/1), loan arbitration, 30x500 (0/4) = 5 ❌
  5. 2018-02-02: React 16 (3/3), gtd (2/2), 30x500 (3/3) = 8 ✅
  6. 2018-02-03: React 16 (3/3), gtd (3/3), 30x500 (2/2) = 8 ✅
  7. 2018-02-04: 30x500 (0/4), gtd (0/4) = 0 ❌

40 - 8 - 8 - 6 - 5 - 8 - 8 - 0 = -3 ✅

Review

  • Bad habit: exercise instead of eating when bored or stuck, spend less than 10m on break between poms, do work exclusively in poms
  • Automate distractions: looking for glasses and phone, watching Starcraft videos on Youtube before poms are done, gatd terminal command, morning routine
  • Delegate: identify a cleaning service to use

Notes

This week it became clear that I need to update my yearly goals. Originally, I’d wanted to push forward projects that I felt had been stagnating forever (Apricot Book, Fileinbox, mailto, etc.) by forcing myself to put more development work into them. What I’ve found is that just by coercing myself to sit down and do the work of 40 poms a week, I’ve been gravitating towards filling in gaps in my knowledge in technical and business skills. Retrospectively, I think this is clearly a better use of my time, because by increasing my skillset I can 1) be much more productive in the original technical goals I had, 2) get an obvious next step in the work I’m doing (either the next lesson in a course, or the next course in a topic), and 3) practice digesting the information I take in for others. The last point will, I think, be especially useful for practicing my business skills, since digested information is an easy product to give to a 30x500 audience.

This week I also failed to catch up on administrative tasks. I think this is a great target for further delegation, and I also need to spend more time on it. Taking courses is great work that I enjoy, but it shouldn’t cause me to ignore my weekly goal. I think it would also help if I set clearer administrative goals. “Get current on admin work” isn’t super clear.

Week 06: 10 poms on @30x500 ❌, 10 poms on @react16 ❌, get all 2017 transactions in QuickBooks @taxes ✅

  1. 2018-02-05: @poms (1/1), @react16 (3/3), @30x500 (4/4) = 8 ✅
  2. 2018-02-06: @taxes (3/3), @30x500 (3/3), @react16 (2/2) = 8 ✅
  3. 2018-02-07: Travel to St. Louis, St. Louis with Daisy June
  4. 2018-02-08: St. Louis with Daisy June = 0
  5. 2018-02-09: St. Louis with Daisy June, @payroll (1/1) = 1
  6. 2018-02-10: St. Louis with Daisy June, @email (1/1) = 1
  7. 2018-02-11: St. Louis with Daisy June, @gtd (1/1), @react16 (1/1) = 2

Total: 20 ❌

Notes: Travel once again throws a wrench in my productivity. I got a lot done, just nothing that’s on this list. Things like hanging out with relatives and reading Aladdin to a 4 year old at least thirty times. Being a father is going to be a blast. I also love adapting to other people’s way of life - there’s a lot of little details that you can pick up living with someone that would be impossible to get from them otherwise.

Week 07: 30 poms

  1. 2018-02-12: St. Louis with Daisy June
  2. 2018-02-13: St. Louis with Daisy June
  3. 2018-02-14: Travel back to Dallas, @react16 (2/2) = 2
  4. 2018-02-15: @gtd (3/3), @30x500 (4/4), @react16 (5/3) = 12
  5. 2018-02-16: @react16 (5/4), @30x500 (4/3), @gtd (1/3) = 10
  6. 2018-02-17: @react16 (2/3), @30x500 (0/3), @gtd (0/3) = 2
  7. 2018-02-18: Travel to Mexico, @NodeWithReact (1/0)

30 - 2 - 12 - 10 - 2 = 4 ❌

Notes: Man, travel makes it hard to work. This week had me in three different countries. I did cram out more poms in a single day than I’ve ever done before (12!), so it’s neat to see what my upper capacity could be.

Week 08

  1. 2018-02-19: El Potrero Climbing
  2. 2018-02-20: El Potrero Climbing, @NodeWithReact (1/0) = 1
  3. 2018-02-21: El Potrero Climbing
  4. 2018-02-22: El Potrero Climbing
  5. 2018-02-23: El Potrero Climbing
  6. 2018-02-24: El Potrero Climbing
  7. 2018-02-25: Travel back to Dallas, @NodeWithReact (2/0) = 2

Note: This week was spent entirely in El Potrero Chico climbing, and holy cow was it fun. Lack of internet and a rammed schedule made it difficult to get work done, even with the offline content on my iPad. I think to be productive in a new place I need to spend at least a month there to establish boredom with the new environment.

I filmed a lot of video of my trip, which has only increased my film backlog. I need to figure out how to justify editing these together: either spending less time on it, or extracting more value from it so I can justify spending more time on it. Right now video editing is on the very bottom of my list of priorities so it’s not getting done.


Month 03: March

I’ll be spending a week in Portland this month, and possibly another week in China. I’d like to do 60 poms a week (8.6/day) that I’m in Dallas, which is 3*60 = 180 poms if I don’t go to china and 2*60 = 120 poms if I do.

These poms should be spent on @30x500, @react16 (or building React projects), and @admin.

For the year, I’m currently behind by 320 - 241 = 79 poms. My yearly goal is to do 8 poms per weekday, which would usually be 5*4*8 = 160 poms in a month. If I do 180 poms this month, I’ll gain 20 poms and only be behind by 59 poms.

Week 09: 60 poms ❌

  1. 2018-02-26: @poms (1/1), @react uta calculator (1/1), @admin (5/6), Crepes = 7 ❌
  2. 2018-02-27: @30x500 (4/4), @react (3/3), @admin (3/3) = 10 ✅
  3. 2018-02-28: @30x500 (4/4), @react (3/3), @admin (3/3), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead = 10 ✅
  4. 2018-03-01: @30x500 (4/4), @admin taxes and groove (3/3), @react (3/3), Midieval Times 5:30pm = 10 ✅
  5. 2018-03-02: @30x500 (4/4), @react (3/3), @admin (1/3) = 8 ✅
  6. 2018-03-03: @admin (6/6), @react (2/2), Brunch with Kayla = 8 ✅
  7. 2018-03-04: @30x500 (3/4), @react (1/4), Black Panther 5:15pm = 4

60 - 7 - 10 - 10 - 10 - 8 - 8 - 4 = 3

Week 10: 63 poms ❌

Portland is next week!

  1. 2018-03-05: @react trigg (6/6), @30x500 (1/4), PS Alumni Dinner 6:30pm = 7
  2. 2018-03-06: @react trigg (8/8), @admin (2/2) = 10 ✅
  3. 2018-03-07: @vlog (4/0), @react trigg (5/6), @admin (0/1), Swing Dancing = 9 ✅
  4. 2018-03-08: @admin (1/1), @react trigg (3/4) = 4
  5. 2018-03-09: @react (1/3), @30x500 (0/4), @admin (0/1), Trigg/Hoit Lunch 3pm = 1
  6. 2018-03-10: @admin (3/3), @react (3/3), @30x500 (0/3), Alyse Coffee 2pm, Magic and Wine 9:30pm = 6
  7. 2018-03-11: @react (3/0), @admin (2/0), travel to Portland = 5

63 - 7 - 10 - 9 - 4 - 1 - 6 - 5 = 21

Week 11

99 poms so far this month. 8 poms/weekday = 40 poms/week = 160 poms/month, so next week I’d like to get done at least 60/7 = 8.6 poms/day to tred water.

  1. 2018-03-12: Portland with DR
  2. 2018-03-13: Portland with DR
  3. 2018-03-14: Portland with DR
  4. 2018-03-15: Portland with DR
  5. 2018-03-16: Portland with DR
  6. 2018-03-17: Travel to Dallas, Groove catchup
  7. 2018-03-18: @poms (1/1), @admin (4/4), @make (2/3)

Week 12: 60 poms = 9/day

  1. 2018-03-19: @admin (3/3), @make (3/3), @graphql (3/3) = 9 ✅
  2. 2018-03-20: @graphql (9/9) = 9 ✅
  3. 2018-03-21: @graphql (9/10) = 9 ✅
  4. 2018-03-22: @graphql (6/6), @admin (3/3) = 9 ✅
  5. 2018-03-23: @graphql (5/6), @admin (2/3) = 8
  6. 2018-03-24: @gatsby (3/4), @graphql (0/3), @admin (0/2) = 3
  7. 2018-03-25: hung out at home, tacos

60 - 9 - 9 - 9 - 9 - 8 - 3 = 13


Month 04: Aprilish

30 days to microconf, or ~4 days after the end of this “month”.

In preparation, I’d like:

  • a working personal CRM system to keep track of ways I can help people
  • to have finished 30x500
  • to have an audience of >50 people in a convertkit list

I’m behind for the year on number of poms. At the start of last week I was behind by 440-346 = 94. At the start of this week I’m only behind 479-394 = 85. I gained 9 poms! At this rate it would take 9 more weeks to catch up. I also wouldn’t consider it outrageous to give myself two weeks “paid vacation”, which would be an 80 pom forgiveness, so I could be “caught up” this week, but I’ll be taking off ~4 more weeks this year for Microconf, Connor’s wedding, WDS, and the Utah Shkespeae Festival, which is another ~160 poms I need to make up over the next 280 days. Without the two weeks of forgiveness, I’d need 280*40/7 = 1600 poms baseline, plus the extra would be (1600 + 160 + 85)/(280-28) = 7.3 poms for every day I’m not on vacation. If I want a day off every week, I’d need to work 7.3 * 7/6 = 8.5 poms per day.

Week 13

  1. 2018-03-26: @poms (1/1), @30x500 (9/4), @admin (1/3) = 11
  2. 2018-03-27: @crm (4/4), @graphql (3/3), @admin (2/2) = 9
  3. 2018-03-28: @email (2/2), @graphql (6/6), @spencer (1/1) = 9
  4. 2018-03-29: @graphql (5/5), @admin (0/2), @spencer (0/2) = 5
  5. 2018-03-30: @graphql (1/5)
  6. 2018-03-31: @admin (1/2), @vlog (1/1)
  7. 2018-04-01: @admin (2/2)

40 - 11 - 9 - 9 - 5 - 1 - 2 - 2 = 1

I started the week strong, but finished it poorly. Family events took up a lot of mental energy that made me less productive than I needed to be. I still got a solid 39 poms done though! Next week I need to really focus on getting an MVP of Apricot Book ready for Microconf.

Week 14

  1. 2018-04-02: @admin (5/5), @spencer (2/2) = 7
  2. 2018-04-03: @spencer (3/3), @apricotbook (4/4), @timeline (2/2) = 9
  3. 2018-04-04: @timeline (7/7), @admin (0/2) = 7
  4. 2018-04-05: @apricotbook (3/3), @30x500 (2/3), @admin (2/2) = 4
  5. 2018-04-06: @admin (2/0), SMU climbing trip = 2
  6. 2018-04-07: SMU climbing trip
  7. 2018-04-08: SMU climbing trip

7+9+7+4+2 = 29

  • identify one bad habit to stop doing: scratching my ankle; eating when bored
  • identify one distraction to automate: paying Trigg rent; opening email window
  • identify one task to delegate: insurance car/bike/moped swap with geico

Week 15

  1. 2018-04-09: @admin (3/3), @apricotbook (5/5), @tracingducks (0/1)
  2. 2018-04-10: @prisma (0/6), @admin (0/2)
  3. 2018-04-11:
  4. 2018-04-12:
  5. 2018-04-13:
  6. 2018-04-14:
  7. 2018-04-15:

Week 16

  1. 2018-04-16:
  2. 2018-04-17:
  3. 2018-04-18:
  4. 2018-04-19:
  5. 2018-04-20:
  6. 2018-04-21:
  7. 2018-04-22:

❌✅