This is more a personal recording of thoughts than my normal posts that are aimed at an audience.
I’ve begun exercising. I read somewhere that you shouldn’t post/talk about starting exercising much until you’ve actually started and are a few days/weeks in. I am now 3 weeks into biking for training, and I’ve started walking and even jogged a bit yesterday.
I fell short of my 2 of my 3 goals last year. I was able to complete a 100mi ride, while it was very hard it was also easier than I expected. My other 2 goals, jogging 30min straight and swimming a mile straight were over reaching in some ways. The jogging was thwarted by injuring my joints. I didn’t start into jogging softly enough. The swimming was defeated by my lack of ability to swim very well.
My biking goal this summer is to hit, exceed and maintain 160km per week. I may bump this up as I am already at 100km in a week without much negative impact on my body. I have started, and intend to continue hiking, aiming for a 8km+ hike each week. Running, I want to get to the point that I am doing 5km runs twice a week. And finally I want to reach 750m swimming per week.
This is a lot of goals, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to reach them all, but they culminate in being able to do the Portland Triathlon. I hope to have a page of my training vs my goals and where I am for each thing. Swimming will be waiting until I have a job and can start at a gym again, the rest are started and I hope to continue kicking ass at them.
So I keep trying all these various systems for tracking and getting things done and I keep falling out of all of them. Here is my latest stab at a system. This one has been working pretty effectively for me for about 3 weeks now.
I’m using Google Tasks after my friend Hauss suggested to me to try GoTask on iOS. I keep two lists in it. The first of which is an obvious one, shopping. Most everyone has made a shopping list so this part isn’t the interesting part. It is my other list, which is titled ‘Today’ that is more interesting. I don’t have any lofty goals, long term todos, anything like that. What I do have is a set of things I can achieve today.
How do I use it? Well I wake up in the morning, get breakfast, browse the web while eating then once I am done I go to my Today list. First thing I do is hit the clear completed button. This leaves me with the todos I didn’t get done the day before. I can quickly reflect on those that are left behind and determine if they were too far reaching for my time, blocked by external factors, or I procrastinated too much.
I then delete any that aren’t relevant anymore, and start tossing in things that I want to get done that day. Often this is a couple of project items for whatever project I find interesting, one or two exercise items, and any chores like laundry or dishes I need to get done.
The nice thing about this is the list is never very big. 20 items I think is the biggest it got so far and most of that was a bunch of small tasks on a project I needed to get done. This lets me rapid scan my list for chores before I leave my house to go hack at a cafe. Also it gives me a quick way to gauge if I am on task and how many tasks I have to go. Finally I get a chance to reflect each morning and get a feel for either how awesome I was the day before, or how much harder I need to work.
I’ll see how well this pans out when I start working again but for now my simple task list has been making my life better. I highly recommend if you have a system you’ve been struggling with, simplify it. If you don’t have a system, this one is pretty easy and low risk, you should try it.