Weekly review – week ending Aug 1-ish

This week was about mornings. I successfully switched over to an early-morning schedule, waking up at around 6 in order to write. I found that writing was much easier and more enjoyable in the morning, with lots of energy and a fresh mind, and I also appreciated the incidental benefits of being able to have a leisurely breakfast and a non-stressed start to my day. (W-‘s gratitude for early-morning coffee was a nice bonus!)

This early-morning schedule meant that I found myself getting sleepy at 9, though, and I was often in bed by 10. W- expressed some concern that we might end up leading separate lives, so we’ll figure out how to balance that. We could either figure out how to make the most of a late schedule, shift to an early schedule, or make sure we have enough quality time together. If you’re in a wonderful relationship with someone with a different circadian rhythm, how do you make the most of it?

(I’d definitely like to keep my early-morning writing, though. I liked the feeling of that more than I like afternoon or evening writing…)

Result: Lots of Emacs blog posts this week, as I set up my Emacs development environment for PHP!

In other news, the Drupal project I’ve been working on is now live on the production server. Hooray! The project manager asked us last week to estimate how much time it would take to move the system from the quality assurance server to the production server. I plucked a number out of the air based on how long it took to move to the QA server: one hour? My teammate adjusted my estimate to account for finicky things: three hours? The project manager laughed and told us that we had a week to do it. I took care of it yesterday, and it took me almost exactly an hour (including DNS changes). I’ll check later if any bugs have come up.

I was also happy with some of the infrastructure I built and the tests I added at work. Kaizen! Experience++!

Other parts of my life:

  • I’ve achieved the savings target for my gadget fund, which means I _could_ go out and get a Lenovo Thinkpad X61 tablet PC if I _really_ wanted to. I don’t have a compelling need for it, though. I’d like to use it to draw and mindmap, but there are plenty of things to keep me busy in the meantime, so I won’t touch the gadget fund until I know that it’ll give me a lot of extra value.
  • I’m saving up some of my play money so that I can experiment with delegating chores and swapping money for time. I don’t have a good sense yet of whether that’s an efficient long-term tradeoff, but it’s worth exploring. Personal assistant agencies in Toronto tend to charge about $25 / hour.
  • Yoga classes have been cancelled for August, so it’s just going to be krav maga. I’ll continue to do yoga at home.

I’m planning to install Ubuntu today. I need to borrow W-‘s CD drive, as mine seems to be somewhat broken. I’d like to get everything set up over the long weekend.

My goals for next week are:

  • Work out a better schedule with W- so that we have time to keep developing in-jokes and enjoying each other’s company
  • Keep the production server running; begin development on phase 2?
  • Cook beef stroganoff for the first time
  • Get ready for our trip to the Philippines – yay!
  • http://tripplilley.com/resume/ Tripp Lilley

    […] swapping money for time. I don’t have a good sense yet of whether that’s an efficient long-term tradeoff […]”

    I can tell you from personal experience that it is an immensely efficient tradeoff. Do the things you are the best at, and spend your effort on, as you say, “relentless improvement” of those things. Leave all of the things at which you are merely “good enough,” (competent,) to people who are either the best at those things, or at least not themselves held back from doing something greater by doing those things for you.

    If there are things at which you are “good enough,” but they bring you something other than their obvious result (e.g., a zen state when you’re washing dishes, a satisfaction of the glean from a freshly cleaned shower, whatever,) then do them when doing them will give you that satisfaction, not when they merely “have to get done.” That they “have to get done” does not mean that you have to do them.

    It took me forever to figure this out. Aside from having an obsessive need to control too much of my world, I also had a sense of guilt about not doing “my own dirty work,” no matter how draining it was, or how unproductive I was by avoiding it but having its necessity weigh on my subconscious.

    Of course, you may not have the same issues as I do, but the lesson stands apart from the issues: do that at which you are the best, and at which you can only get better with the investment of your time, focus, and energy. It doesn’t matter if the tradeoff in dollars is 1:1, 1:100, or 100:1. It matters that the value to your personal joy is incalculable. There is nothing more satisfying than discovering your talents, how they manifest themselves in your abilities, how to consciously shape them into true strengths, and how to position yourself to draw on them every day.

    That’s what I’ve found, anyway.

    Now, Discover Your Strengths
    Strengths for Life Satisfaction
    When we use our special talents and abilities our lives are happier.