From the beginning of November, I tried to instil in myself a habit of posting something on my blog every Sunday. Unfortunately, various events in December meant I couldn’t keep this commitment. Now we’re into the New Year it’s time to review the habit and see how it’s going.
“Don’t break the chain”
For a while now, I’ve been interested in various productivity methods. One that stood out was the “Seinfield method”, outlined in an article I read on keeping habits on Lifehacker. The maxim behind this method is not to “break the chain”.
Seinfeld’s advice apparently is to get a calendar and put an X in everyday you manage to achieve activity to which you are committed. It could be something as simple as doing ten push-ups a day, for those who struggle to do exercise. Every day you succeed you put an ‘X’ in the box for the day. After a few days, you’ll have a chain of ‘X’s. If you don’t break the chain you succeed in creating a habit and thereby achieve success.
Once a week
I’d hoped to do the same on a weekly basis. Specifically I wanted a chain of Sundays running down my calendar. This would give me ample to investigate and prepare posts.
I’d already managed to successfully create habits around running using a Google Sheet on a similar basis (but also recording details of distance and time) and language learning using DuoLingo for Italian. Regular daily practice.
With this in mind, I told myself I would post once a week because it seemed realistic and achieveable and would be enough to get my blog going.
Ironically, I find myself posting on this topic this week because I’ve been worried I was going to break the chain!
December did not go well (one post in the whole month) and I’ve been determined not to miss a Sunday in 2015, as much as I can help it. This afternoon, however, I’ve been doing some investigation and preparatory notes for a post on image hosting to move my blogging workflow forward and allow for more than text-only posts. After an afternoon spent trying to get some authentication to work, I realised I might miss my chance to post something this Sunday if I didn’t write something else in the meantime.
So I thought I’d write about the commitment itself. I hope to post details of this afternoon’s struggle soon (if not next week).
Hopes for 2015
Here’s a modest list of hopes and potential projects for the New Year:
- Find a way to integrate image-handling into my blogging workflow.
- Contribute to some other projects.
- Look more at user stories (their advantages and their shortcomings) as a way of recording and working to requirements.
- Document some of the processes I’ve introduced at work (particularly around gamification).
- Start on some design work with CSS.
- Outline some ideas I’ve been having around games and tools.
I also hope to get better at summing up at the end of each month what I’ve achieved and what I set out to do next week.
Hopefully, this post sets the tone for future habits!