Experiment Motivation

The End of The Month

So, end of March. This was supposed to be Unbroken Promise Month, a thirty-one day period over which I resolve my outstanding debts for favours I’ve promised and never fulfilled. As I hinted earlier, this didn’t exactly go according to (my admittedly wildly ambitious) plan.

I have novelty issues.

The idea sounded so incredible in my mind. For at least a week and a half, I was sure I would make it. I was working so hard! Things were getting done! Then it all kind of stopped.

At first I wasn’t really sure what went wrong. I didn’t burn out. I didn’t want to “get things done” any less. It felt like the motivation just sort of evaporated. Slowly, and reluctantly, I realized that the novelty of tackling a daunting list of todos (on a deadline! with a plan!) wasn’t enough to carry me through the entire month.

Ultimately, you can’t will a UI update into existence, and a series of blog posts doesn’t just appear out of thin air.

Next steps.

It wasn’t all failure. I did learn a few new tricks to keep myself on-task, and I feel much more capable of tackling side-projects than I did at the end of February. I simply tried to do too much at once.

Most importantly, this month has forced me to take a hard look at my colourful HiTask dashboard, and decide which projects I’m really committed to finishing going forward.

And now, a little wiser, I’ve a better chance of seeing them through.


Unbroken Promise Month

I have a lot of interests. This can be really useful, because it ensures that I always have something fun to work on, but sometimes it can really bite me in the ass. In particular, when left to my own devices, I tend to take on more personal projects than I can handle.

That’s been happening a lot lately, and I’m sick of it. So I’ve decided March will be Unbroken Promise Month, where I take all of the projects I’ve promised people I would do or help out with, and just get. them. done.

I have a few tricks planned to help maximize my productivity, which you’ll hear about as we go along. One thing I might experiment with is changing when and how often I post, so for the month of March, I probably won’t update every Monday. The good news is I’ll probably update more often overall, because I’ll have a lot to talk about.

Finally, I know I don’t say this enough, but I really do appreciate you taking time out of your day to read my posts. It’s hard to explain, but it’s a warm, fuzzy feeling when you leave me a comment, send me an email, or talk to me in person to discuss something I’ve written.

So keep it up! Your continued support boosts my motivation, and encourages me to keep doing things that I love to do.

And if I promised you I would do something weeks, months, or even a year ago, I’m ready to live up to my word.


The Karma Experiment

I read a lot of blogs (probably too many). I try to interact with at least some of them, but usually the most I can do is muster the occasional comment on the latest post. I don’t really feel like I’m generally giving back to those blogs from which I learn so much. So this month, I’m going to try to change that. Here’s the plan:

Every weekday during the month of December, I’m going to email a blogger that I read regularly.

The idea is that I really want to make an effort to let the authors that I really care about know how much I appreciate them. Worst case this is just some junk email that will get ignored, but hopefully it will at least help brighten someone’s day during the often-stressful holiday season.

Obvious question the first: Which bloggers?

The hand-wavy algorithm I used to choose which bloggers to email is “if {blogger} retired from blogging tomorrow, would that totally ruin my day?” If the answer was yes, email! Otherwise, I considered why I still read that particular blog; apparently this test can also help prune your RSS list.

I’m not going to say who specifically, but my list runs a veritable gamut of talent and renown. I’ve hit everything from blogs that are as (un)popular as mine to some of the biggest names in blogging, and most of the recipients fall somewhere in between. Part of the fun will be seeing whether any of the big names actually reply to fan-mail, while hopefully at least some of the lesser-knowns might appreciate and acknowledge my kind words.

Obvious question the second: What will I say?

Something heartfelt. I really, seriously appreciate each and every one of these people and I will have no trouble coming up with sincere things to say about them.

I’ve always found it kind of strange how when you read someone’s blog long enough you really feel like you know that person pretty well. Then you realize that they don’t know you at all and you feel kind of like a stalker. Anyway, I’ll try not to be too creepy.

Obvious question the third: Why every weekday?

Two reasons:

First, when I came up with my list of bloggers that I considered must-writes, I had exactly 23 names. I debated adding a bit of fluff to round it out to 31, or at least 31-minus-holidays, but I decided that that wasn’t in the true spirit of this endeavour. Then I noticed that December has exactly 23 weekdays.

Second, this works out well for holidays as Christmas Day is on a Saturday, and I really don’t want to hassle anyone on Christmas Day. I’m still going to hit Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve (and you know my thoughts on New Year’s Eve) but those are working days anyway, so I feel some justification, however slight it may be.

I’m not expecting this to lead to anything.

It’s not a movement, it’s not me marketing myself, and I’m not asking for anything in return. I’m just trying to let the bloggers I care about know that they matter, and that I love what they do. But with that said, it will be interesting to see what kind of conversations or realizations this leads to. I’ll be sure to post an update if I catch anything interesting.

Stay tuned!