A change in the Calendar of Goal Tracking letter lineup.

September 21, 2013

Okay, I guess it’s nearly 21 months that I’ve been working on my ‘calendar of goal tracking’ productivity trick. 🙂 Over that time, I’ve added a few new letters, and one multiple-letter code, to record new activities that I’ve been time-slicing, but I’m not sure that I’ve ever completely redefined a letter, until now.

Ever since the ‘Team Ambitious’ critique program started up, I’ve been spending a lot of time working on critiques for my Odyssey friends, and learning a lot from them. However, I think I’ve noticed that I’ve been spending less time and effort on drafting and revising my own pieces because of this, and that really does need to change. One of the places to get that change started, I think, is on the calendar. Somewhere along the way, I told myself that working on somebody’s critique was enough to get me an ‘E’ for the day. That stops as of yesterday. E is only for editing my own stuff, just like W is only for doing my own writing, and so on.

But I wanted to keep tracking the Team Ambitious critiquing stuff, and I fussed over what letter to use. T is already in use for the Thinking Sideways course, and A is for my Art exercises, so I couldn’t use either of them, and trying to use them both together could be really confusing. C is for Cleaning, and so on.

But I’ve made a decision. O was originally for Outlining new story ideas, but I’ve never really used that much, (even though I have some outlining to do soon on the Steampunk Roswell/Area 51 idea!) As of yesterday, O stands for Odyssey stuff instead.

And hopefully that’ll mean a few more Ws on the calendar, and some E’s that actually mean my stories are closer to getting submitted!

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Mis-scanned

February 3, 2013

First off – it feels so weird to be posting something other than a six sentence snippet on Sunday! 😉 I’ve signed up for Skye Warren’s New Proposal, which is actually based on a monthly schedule; you can sign up starting from the first Sunday of the month and post your excerpts on the third. We’ll see how that works out. And I’m interested in a few other possibilities, including Weekend Writing Warriors and the Unaffiliated Six Sentence Sunday Facebook Group. But I didn’t get it together to join either of those for this week.

Instead, I wanted to post today about drawing! I’ve been working through Betty Edward’s “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” for several months on and off now; a few pre-instruction sketches the last week of October, quite a bit of reading and some drawing in December, and an upside-down drawing every day in February. I’ve put this onto my February goals list, that I want to timeslice some drawing stuff six days a week, (either reading from the book or a drawing exercise, or both,) and added a new letter to my Calendar of Goal Tracking for it; A for Art.

So I want to share some of my drawings with you, faithful friends and followers, and I had a flatbed scanner sitting around on a shelf, one that my Mom didn’t want. So after several days of telling myself that this was the day I scanned pictures for the blog, I finally…

Flat scanner Read the rest of this entry »


Calendar of Goal Tracking 2012 wrap-up

December 31, 2012

 

Happy New Year’s Eve!

Since it’s the last day of 2012, I thought I’d take down my Big Bang ‘Calendar of Goal Tracking’ to see how I did. (I took pictures of every page, though, to share with you, though it’s a little hard to make out the letters from the photos.)

Some overall thoughts:

  1. Counting hundreds of little letters from a calendar is hard! I’m sure I’ve made some counting errors, but I’m not worrying about 100% accuracy tonight.
  2. This has really been a good experiment for me, and a great way to motivate myself to do time-slices, especially for things like exercise and cleaning that I have a hard time motivating myself for otherwise.
  3. There were quite a few letters missing that I was able to work out from other evidence, including several R’s, one E in March, a D on a Sunday in November when I know I went to a write-in, and so on.
  4. I’m definitely going to try something of the sort for 2013. Since I’m trying to save money where I can, and I got a decent looking ‘Muscle cars’ calendar free from the oil change shop, I guess that’s my goal tracking calendar for next year!

Details about the goals I tracked:

  • B for Blogging: I marked a B to indicate a day that I posted a new blog post 297 times. This seems low compared to my WordPress.com annual report, even taking into account that I never went back and updated the calendar for the 2 weeks I spent in Kansas (and at Polaris, the weekend after I got back from Kansas.) I suspect that several times, I did a blog post last thing in the evening, went to bed, and never went back and marked my B.
  • C for Cleaning: I got 166 Cs for a timeslice of at least 20 minutes cleaning, tidying, or organizing things around my apartment. Occasionally this was a double C in a single day, if I was feeling exceptionally cleanergetic.
  • D for Driving. 197 days got the letter D for days that I drove, either driving practice before I passed my licence, borrowing a family car, or just driving in Ghost once I’d bought my own car.
  • E for Editing. I have 251 of the letter E marked in the calendar for working on my own editing. 50 of them are in March, where I was using one E to indicate one hour logged for National Novel Editing Month. Otherwise, it’s any significant amount of time, at least 20 minutes or so, one E per day.
  • L for Losing.  Each letter L represents a half-hour time slice of walking around outside or other cardio exercise. Could be double Ls in a day. I got 335.
  • Read the rest of this entry »

There’s a kind of magic in a Holiday eve

December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve is one of those days on the calendar that is defined by a sense of anticipation, of being there to wait for what’s coming. It doesn’t have to be fixed on the calendar, either. I really like the sense of anticipation from the day before I leave on a really great trip, or some other event that I think I’m going to love.

This sense of being almost there has actually taken over Halloween for me. It’s been a while since I’ve dressed up or gone to a theme party, and I don’t get any trick-or-treaters at my apartment. October the 31st is just filled with the knowledge that it’s the day before National Novel Writing Month starts. And every year, I can hardly wait to start.

Merry Christmas to everybody. I hope it’s an occasion worth the wait.


Spotlight on Chris: Seven things that often cross my mind

March 24, 2012

You might know the drill by now…

So, seven things that often cross my mind:

‘Hang those who talk of less!’ (Whenever I wonder about if I need more or would like more of something-or-other.)

Did I remember to take my pills?

How’s my calendar doing for the day – what letters have I got? What can I still get?

That’s a good idea – I should remember to write that.

Did I lock the door?

Oooh – she’s really cute!

Did I remember to bring my ______? (Usually about some kind of small digital gizmo.)


Nanoedmo update – week 2

March 14, 2012

Well, it looks like the NaNoEdMo forums are back up, and hours logging should be online soon. As for myself, I’ve been plowing along pretty well, counting my time for the Holly Lisle course work and any other editing that I’ve done. I’m up at 23 hours now, which is pretty good for day 14.

One trick that has really helped has been my calendar. For March, I decided to do something a little bit different to keep track of EdMo stuff – I write an E on teh calendar whenever the hours tracker ‘ticks over’ to a new hour, and try to mark at least one E every day. Sometimes that isn’t a full hour per day – I had some odd minutes heading into Comicon weekend that I used up, because I didn’t take a netbook with me on the bus to Toronto and didn’t have that much time to edit after I got home.

But it’s been great to see multiple Es on some days, including the first weekend, and Wednesday a week ago, when I went to the Monastery.

Aside from the Holly Lisle stuff, I’ve been working on chapter 1 of The Scroll, on a revision of The Storm Mirror, and some of my old Roswell fanfics, which I just wanted to polish up a little before posting on fanfiction.net — that makes them ideal for when I don’t want to work on editing anything that I feel might be high pressure.

Are there any other EdMo’s out there among my followers? How’s it going? If not, what’s been keeping you busy in March?


The Calendar pressure is getting to me.

January 31, 2012

I think that I might be taking the ‘Calendar of goal tracking’ a bit too seriously. I’ve been ignoring great television queuing up on my DVR, and getting to bed later and later so that I can scratch out just one more letter on the calendar. Seems like it’s time to take a break.

I did mark a few letters today, (including keeping up my consistent Reader’s chain!) but I haven’t pushed myself on it; caught up on some television, and hopefully I’ll make it to bed early. And I spent some time working on something that won’t be on the calendar: trying to get a user’s manual sorted out for a word counting program I wrote for the Alphasmart Dana!

Tomorrow, the February goals and projects will begin…


My calendar of goal tracking is in trouble!

January 25, 2012

Because it can’t stay on the wall. 😦

I think it was on Sunday that the calendar fell for the first time, while I was across the room. I let it sit for a while, then figured that maybe that first adhesive hook had run out of life, and that since it stayed stuck for about three weeks, maybe I should just keep going through the rest of the pack of nine, and it could last me for another six months or so.

Read the rest of this entry »


Calendar goal tracking update!

January 21, 2012

So, I’m not sure how many of them you can make out, but I’ve written in one hundred and twenty-five letters onto my calendar for the first 21 days of the year. That’s nearly 6 goals achieved per day. Whoo-hoo for me, I think that’s pretty darn good work.

I’ve also added one letter to the ones that I was originally tracking. Since practicing for my next driving test is something that I want to make time for, I’m giving myself a D for every day that I go driving, and I’ve written that in retro-actively for every day that I’m completely certain that I had a driving session. (Including the day of the road test.)

The calendar proudly proves that I am over 20 days for my writing and reading chains, (well over, actually, since I’m continuing chains from 2011,) and I just hit 20 days for a chain of posting a comment to at least one other blog every day, since I started on January 2nd. 🙂

One other item of note is that I haven’t gotten an ‘O for outlining yet.’ I’ve been procrastinating on my goal of brainstorming ideas for a new short story, and ‘The scroll’ has been ticking along pretty well based on the plans I drew up in December. But the O’s time shall come, mistake me not!

(And once again, I can only write in the B for today’s post after taking the picture.)

How are your new year’s goals doing after three weeks?


My new calendar of chain tracking!

January 3, 2012

To a certain extent, this calendar isn’t technically ‘new’, as I picked it up several weeks ago, at least, when I was just getting started on Christmas shopping. I opened it, saw how incredibly tiny the 2011 months were crammed onto their page, (16-month calendar, indeed!) and decided that there wasn’t much point in even thinking about hanging it until the New Year. And then I was distracted by other things, and wasn’t quite sure how to best hang up a calendar on my apartment walls, and so on.

But this evening, I bused on over to the Dollar Giant, picked up twelve colorful plastic clothes hangers and a package of nine self-adhesive hooks, so my Big Bang Theory calendar is up and in business! What business, you might very well ask?

Since I’ve been talking about the Seinfeld chain for several months now, and talking with Elizabeth Twist about her psychology of stickers, I wanted to have an actual calendar up on the wall to keep track of my various day-to-day accomplishments. I’m not as big of a sticker fiend as Elizabeth is, so I figured I could just write big letters in pen to reward myself for doing things:

W – for writing that day. (200 words or more.)
R – for reading a book or published story, 15 minutes at least.
E – Editing or Holly Lisle course stuff, 20 minutes or more.
O – Outlining or otherwise planning a story, 20 minutes or more.
B – Blog update!
C – Cleaning my apartment, 20 minutes or more.
L – Losing weight, ie exercising for 30 minutes at least. (I couldn’t use W for working out or E for exercise, because those letters were already taken!)
P – Posting comments on somebody else’s blog.

I’m looking forward to seeing just how crowded with letters I can get this calendar! Tomorrow should be interesting, as there’s a big ol’ historical note about the future of the universe that’s commemorated on January 4th.

Off to write a B for Blog on January the 3rd!


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