Category Archives: review

Weekly review: Week ending December 5, 2014

A combination of being mostly asleep and feeling out of sorts meant that I ended up writing this review on Tuesday instead of Sunday, but I’m backdating it so that it falls into its rightful place in the endless march of posts.

It was a good week, though! I had a great Emacs chat with Karl Voit, picking up lots of ideas for Org Mode and knowledge management. I sketchnoted a book and experimented with colour schemes. I learned more about network analysis and visualization. I helped people on my consulting gig. I made Japanese curry from scratch (I think I’ve pretty much gotten the hang of that recipe). I finished reading the Minna no Nihongo I textbook out loud, and am now looking for a good source for the second set of books.

One of my personal projects fizzled out, but oh well. C’est la vie. Can’t learn unless you take risks. Anyway, the next few weeks should have better momentum!

Blog posts

Sketches

Link round-up

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (24.6h – 14%)
    • Earn (6.8h – 27% of Business)
      • Prepare invoice for E1
      • Earn: E1: 1-2 days of consulting
    • Build (15.0h – 60% of Business)
      • Drawing (10.6h)
        • Collect and catalogue different colour techniques
        • Try different approaches for colouring sketchnotes
          • Accent text
          • Background
          • Flood
          • Decorations
          • Toned text
          • Form an opinion about colour techniques
        • Colour “Inner Game of Work” sketchnote
      • Delegation (0.0h)
      • Packaging (0.0h)
      • Paperwork (1.4h)
        • Actually submit tax return
        • Revisit accounting changes
        • Review CRA message
      • Quantified Awesome
        • Investigate library renewal error
        • Review pull request simplifying Quantified Awesome setup
        • Add deletes back
        • Doublecheck that I can add note fields to a record category
      • Blog
        • Add Javascript for locating a blog post in my outline
        • Modify WordPress theme so that TOC links use permalinks but still permit efficient scrolling
        • Draw Sketchnote Army Interview response
        • Figure out how to reimport comments into Disqus
        • Fix HTTP upload error on my blog
    • Connect (2.8h – 11% of Business)
  • Relationships (1.4h – 0%)
    • Make gift
  • Discretionary – Productive (22.3h – 13%)
    • Emacs (3.1h – 1% of all)
      • Emacs Chat: Karl Voit
      • Learn about edebugging macros
      • Revise transcript for Emacs Chat: Karl Voit
    • Japanese
      • Work through Minna no Nihongo I
      • Minna no Nihongo Chapter 21
      • Minna no Nihongo Chapter 22
      • Minna no Nihongo Chapter 23
      • Minna no Nihongo Chapter 24
      • Minna no Nihongo Chapter 25
    • Writing
      • Revise post about prioritization based on Alan’s feedback
      • Sketch idea for blog link graph
      • Thinking about how to make better use of Yasnippet in my Emacs workflow
      • Visualize the connected components in my blog
    • Writing (12.6h)
  • Discretionary – Play (15.1h – 8%)
  • Personal routines (28.1h – 16%)
  • Unpaid work (12.2h – 7%)
  • Sleep (64.3h – 38% – average of 9.2 per day)

Monthly review: November 2014

I wrote last month that in November, I planned to:

  • Get team members up to speed with prototype designs and reporting tips
  • Experiment with Emacs hangouts and learn more about functionality
  • File my corporate tax returns
  • Dust off my delegation processes

I’m glad I invested time in writing things down, building standardized reports, and coaching team members, since I ended up spending November mostly working from home (whenever I wasn’t asleep).

We experimented with casual Emacs Hangouts and those were awesome. I hosted the first one and Cameron Desautels hosted the second one. Great way to pick up tips and hang out with folks. I’m looking forward to doing more of them in December and in 2015.

I filed my corporate tax returns, yay! This year, I learned how to file HST using the quick method (which isn’t really all that quick), and I also found a bookkeeper who could help me answer some of my tax questions. Nice to get the paperwork out of the way.

Delegation-wise, I continue to be really bad at assigning tasks to my virtual assistants. On my consulting engagement, though, I’m getting better at asking team members to do stuff (providing notes and help along the way) instead of giving in to the temptation to have fun doing things myself.

I also learned more about building flexible reports using Tableau and PostgreSQL, wireframing before implementing, testing. I picked up Minna no Nihongo and started working my way through it. I learned how to make a really simple LEGO ball contraption. I mentored a young developer. I dealt with fuzzy brain, squirrel brain, and other challenges, and I figured out a few things that work well for me. (Getting things ready for good-brain time, for example.)

Also, having a process journal is great! I updated each entry by summarizing it in the headline, and now I can look at my date outline and get a quick sense of how the month went. =) Pretty well, actually, despite having lower energy than usual.

In December, I plan to:

  • Continue helping my consulting client with prototyping and analytics
  • Dive into Emacs improvement
  • Help out with family projects
  • Do a calendar-year annual review

Blog posts:

Sketches:

Time:

% Avg h per week Avg h per day
Sleep 41.3 69.4 9.9
Personal care 14.4 24.2 3.5
Business 14.3 24.0 3.4
Discretionary – Play 9.0 15.1 2.2
Discretionary – Productive 9.4 15.8 2.3
Discretionary – Family 6.5 10.9 1.6
Unpaid work 5.0 8.4 1.2

I’m trying a new thing in this review – I’m also using it to mark items for follow-up, like sketches that haven’t been blogged yet (0% this month, yay!) or actions to take. We’ll see if this helps me build momentum and connect the threads!

 

Weekly review: Week ending November 28, 2014

Okay! My brain is slowly returning to normal, I think. =) I might even be able to drop by my consulting clients again, go to meetings, and do other things like that. We’ll see.

Lots of writing time, a fair bit of coding (both for work and for personal projects), and family time too. Some geeking around with W-. It felt like I got a lot done even though I still spent about 40% of the week asleep (average of 10 hours). Yay!

Blog posts

Sketches

Link round-up

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (22.0h – 13%)
    • Earn (14.7h – 66% of Business)
      • Earn: E1: 1-2 days of consulting
      • Earn: E1: 1-2 days of consulting
    • Build (4.0h – 18% of Business)
      • Drawing (2.5h)
      • Delegation (0.0h)
      • Packaging (0.0h)
      • Paperwork (0.0h)
      • Quantified Awesome
        • Add deletes back
        • Deploy kitchen branch
        • Doublecheck that I can add note fields to a record category
        • Fix bug in saving notes
        • Investigate library renewal error
        • Fix Quantified Awesome registration process
      • Upgrade WordPress to 4.0.1
    • Connect (3.3h – 14% of Business)
      • Emacs Chat: Karl Voit
  • Relationships (5.3h – 3%)
    • Work on E
    • Set up file sharing on router
    • Go to Hacklab general meeting?
  • Discretionary – Productive (18.7h – 11%)
    • Emacs (0.0h – 0% of all)
      • Learn about edebugging macros
    • Writing (17.8h)
  • Discretionary – Play (26.1h – 15%)
  • Personal routines (20.2h – 12%)
  • Unpaid work (4.1h – 2%)
  • Sleep (71.6h – 42% – average of 10.2 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending November 21, 2014

Wow, did I ever get a lot of sleep last week. Fortunately, I’ve been able to turn over all my responsibilities, and I’ve given myself permission to take it easy. I’m rarely under the weather like this, and it’s an interesting learning opportunity for dealing with variable energy and short attention spans. The blog has been coasting thanks to the posts that I wrote a week or two ago, but since I still do manage to learn something here and there, I’ll see how many posts I can squeeze in to remind me of stuff that I may want to think about later or that other people might find useful. =)

I still managed to do a little bit of consulting here and there, thanks to the wonders of working from home. =) This week, I discovered that recursive queries in PostgreSQL (WITH RECURSIVE) are actually a pretty fast way of traversing an organizational chart described as an adjacency list. I also wireframed a prototype so that one of the other developers can work on it, but she’ll probably need a little more help before she’s ready to take that on. I’m getting better at asking people to do things instead of giving into the temptation to have all the fun myself!

We’ll keep things loose. I’ll try to take notes along the way. =)

Blog posts

Link round-up

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (14.4h – 8%)
    • E1: Plan how I can work from home for the next few weeks
    • Read AngularJS documentation
    • Review bookkeeper feedback for tax return
    • Earn: E1: 1-2 days of consulting
    • Earn (6.8h – 46% of Business)
    • Build (7.6h – 53% of Business)
      • Drawing (2.3h)
      • Delegation (0.0h)
      • Packaging (0.0h)
      • Paperwork (2.4h)
    • Connect (0.0h – 0% of Business)
  • Relationships (20.2h – 12%)
    • Work on E
    • Follow up on insurance paperwork
    • Work on E
  • Discretionary – Productive (2.6h – 1%)
    • Emacs (0.0h – 0% of all)
    • Writing (0.0h)
  • Discretionary – Play (15.6h – 9%)
  • Personal routines (26.8h – 15%)
  • Unpaid work (4.8h – 2%)
  • Sleep (83.6h – 50% – average of 11.9 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending November 14, 2014

I’m going to be out of commission for the next little while, probably resurfacing sometime late December. I’ve scheduled lots of posts in advance (I learned a lot over the past two weeks!), so you’ll still keep reading stuff, but I might be even slower to respond to things and I’ll probably stay close to home. Nothing to worry about, just something I have to take care of. Good thing there’s enough slack in my life for stuff like this.

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (23.2h – 13%)
    • Earn (9.3h – 39% of Business)
      • E1: Plan how I can work from home for the next few weeks
      • Earn: E1: 1-2 days of consulting
    • Build (8.4h – 36% of Business)
      • Set up faster searching with ace-jump, isearch, helm-swoop
      • Drawing (1.4h)
      • Delegation (0.0h)
      • Packaging (0.0h)
      • Paperwork (1.5h)
        • Review bookkeeper feedback for tax return
    • Connect (5.5h – 23% of Business)
      • Coach Lucas on programming
  • Relationships (16.4h – 9%)
    • Follow up on insurance paperwork
  • Discretionary – Productive (15.9h – 9%)
    • Emacs (0.3h – 0% of all)
    • Quantified Awesome
      • Add want interface for groceries
      • Fix edit screen
      • I can restore an item
      • I can clear all crossed-off items
      • I can see when it was last synchronized
      • Our lists are synchronized
    • ER for I2
    • Cancel GICs
    • File insurance claims
    • Find a Japanese plain past tense practice tool
    • Find a Tableau e-book and put it on my laptop/tablet
    • Find an e-book for learning Japanese and put it on my laptop & tablet
    • Go through a Jasmine tutorial
    • Go through a QUnit tutorial
    • Minna no Nihongo Chapter 13-16
    • Move my dentist appointment
    • Set up folder synchronization for my tablet
    • Write about beginner steps for testing
    • Writing (7.5h)
  • Discretionary – Play (12.9h – 7%)
  • Personal routines (24.5h – 14%)
  • Unpaid work (4.5h – 2%)
  • Sleep (70.7h – 42% – average of 10.1 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending November 7, 2014

This week was about getting back into the swing of several projects: Emacs, Japanese, Quantified Awesome and one of the personal projects I’m working on. Also, we picked up the LEGO Movie videogame, which is turning out to be lots of fun. =) I’m taking it pretty easy at the moment because there’s lots of stuff on the go.

… Oh. Now that I look at all the things I’ve crossed off, it deosn’t seem like I’ve been taking it easy. Funny how that works. Thank goodness for TODO lists!

Blog posts

Sketches

Link round-up

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (38.5h – 22%)
    • Earn (15.3h – 39% of Business)
      • E1: Brainstorm prototypes I want to propose
      • Earn: E1: 2.5-3.5 days of consulting
    • Build (20.5h – 53% of Business)
      • Drawing (0.9h)
      • Delegation (0.0h)
      • Packaging (0.0h)
      • Paperwork (2.8h)
        • Apply updates from bookkeeper
        • Send trial balance and general ledger to accountant
        • Sort out invoice/deposit thing
      • Plan business and delegation for this phase
      • Set up Guard again
      • Set up Skewer
    • Connect (2.8h – 7% of Business)
      • Plan for office hours
      • Process Quantified Self videos
  • Relationships (3.9h – 2%)
    • File insurance paperwork
    • Coach Lucas on programming
  • Discretionary – Productive (23.4h – 13%)
    • Emacs (5.6h – 3% of all)
      • Figure out how Michael’s smartparens is showing rainbow colours for the blocks
      • Get the hang of smartparens
      • Log editing inefficiencies, keep track of annoyances. Then you can go through them when you have time.
      • Organize Emacs Hangout
      • Pick a different keychord instead of hs for seeking to seconds, or maybe turn it on only when transcribing
      • Quick clocking in on a task, or jumping and clocking task
      • Quick way to capture little thing to experiment with in Emacs
      • Rebind other-window
      • Set up and get the hang of Skewer
      • Set up and get the hang of autocompletion
      • expand-region
    • Japanese
      • Added counters to my Anki decks
      • Find a good resources for learning about Japanese counters
      • Minna no Nihongo Chapter 10
      • Minna no Nihongo Chapter 11: Counters
      • Minna no Nihongo Chapter 12
      • Minna no Nihongo Chapter 13
    • Quantified Awesome
      • Fix login form
      • Fix pagination
      • Fix sparklines
      • I can give someone access to my grocery list
      • Make list entry closer to my design
      • Update to Rails 4.1
      • Upgrade localhost to next version of Ubuntu
      • Wireframe design for groceries
      • Work on Angular interface for grocery list
    • Other
      • Organize a journal section in my notes
      • Trim my organizer.org file
      • Split up book notes into individual files
    • Apply for passport
    • Ask two guarantors for passport
    • Get passport pictures
    • Move my dentist appointment
    • Pick up cultural access pass from Front and Parliament
    • Writing (6.8h)
  • Discretionary – Play (9.7h – 5%)
  • Personal routines (24.1h – 14%)
  • Unpaid work (15.7h – 9%)
  • Sleep (53.9h – 32% – average of 7.7 per day)