Haven't gotten too much done the last few days. I was in Saigon for three months, so I had to pack up and finish errands there before moving on, and I haven't really gotten settled into Kuala Lumpur yet. I'm not really working on the big expansive projects I've got, I'm doing little odds and ends with my time, including giving in to a fair bit of distraction.
And then I realized - I'm actually doing okay, because I'm not engaging in addictive pastimes. Some pursuits, once sucked in, really grab you and hold you. Things with high levels of stimulation, learning curves that keep you in flow, and social elements are the worst. I've never played World of Warcraft, but I imagine that's why it's so addictive. Heck, I used to spend quite a lot of hours on Conquer Club each day, which is an online version of Risk. Part of it was, you'd get into team games, and if you dropped out you'd hose your team.
So the last few days, not much has really happened... but that's okay, I've been screwing off and wasting time on Hacker News, Quora, Less Wrong, and various blogs in my RSS Reader. That's not good, but it's not so terrible. It's easy to let those fall off and get back onto track.
This was part of a conscious shift I made a while ago - get off anything that's a consistent presence in my life that's not producing good things. It took a while, but I cleared out a lot of that stuff. How about you? Got any addictive pastimes? Could you, perhaps, swap them for less addictive pastimes? The latter paves the way to dropping out of pastimes that don't serve you in favor of activities that really do.
One of the things I've gotten tremendous amounts of mileage out of it is tracking my time, habits, and life each day.
To put it simply - I now realize it's impossible to understand how your life is going without some careful observation. There's a lot of time each day, and knowing where that time goes, what you ate, what you did and didn't do... it's almost impossible to get a good picture of your life without some kind of measuring.
I'm going to you my newest tracking template, and then I'll give some analysis. Before I start though, I'd like to share a quote -
“A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over, beginning with a working simple system.” -John Gall
Thus, if you want to track your time, please do not attempt to track 20 things at once, because it's unlikely to work. I started very simply, as I described in "The Evolution of My Time/Habit/Life Tracking" - I'd recommend you read that post if you want to do something like this.
Is it Monday? No, it's Wednesday. It seems like I just went to bed Sunday night. Open up Twitter, refresh... Haha that's funny... Okay, open up Facebook here, let's see what's going on. Just like every other day...
I've gotten up way earlier than I normally do the past two days, in time to see watch the light of the rising sun reflect red off the mountains. As I write here, it's already bright enough that the mountains have regained their usual brown and green, and the treetops outside my window are their vibrant yellows and greens, made more so by the angle of the sun.
Being able to watch the sun rise and the world lighten just clicked something in my head.