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gnat (29)

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Journal of gnat (29)

Friday February 22, 2002
01:35 AM

The strange psychology of achievement

[ #3028 ]
Normally I work by trying to reduce the size of my INBOX, still swollen (550 at the moment) from the PHP book and biocon.

Today I set myself some goals, written on a piece of paper. I didn't get so caught up on reducing the size of my inbox, and instead just worked on the todo list. I ended the day about where I normally do (ten or so email messages fewer in the inbox than when I started), but with a great sense of achievement. Every time I accomplished something from the list, I checked it off.

Stupid brain. It's just things on a list. You would have done them anyway. You're not actually being more productive. Whatever, for once I feel good about how much I did in a day, instead of disappointed.

William went shopping with his grandparents today. They bought him a very cute raincoast ("tropical climate my cold wet ass!") and a pair of completely impractical huge monster claw slippers. Raley stayed with us, and was extremely cute and gurgly. She scooched her bum way up in the air when we put her on her belly, and we think crawling won't be that far away. Oh man.

The goats in the field outside the kitchen window have a new kid. Very cute to see it frolic, butt heads with the others, and generally be a young goat. I'm really enjoying working from the kitchen table. Although it isn't ergonomically perfect, the view can't be beaten--harbour, goats, huge kauri tree, and a sunset every night. And no bloody snow!


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  • I've found that making a list of all items on the plate at the beginning of the week, and then selecting a subset to try to accomplish for the week, and working to that list, is very rewarding and helps you maintain velocity. I pull up a search of the previous week's email on Monday and check my saved voicemails to construct the list and make sure I don't lose anything.

    J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers