August marked a real embrace of summer. After spending the first half of the summer not embracing summer Fridays at work, we picked it up a lot in August. In short, Fridays became more like half days all throughout the month. This led to an increase in going out and generally put me in a mood to spend a bit more money. Overall I’m not thrilled with my budget for August, but a celebratory end to summer was fun. Celebrations aside, I also took on two side projects - both web development projects that I hope to be able to share soon.

I also had a little bit of medical scares in August. I dealt with some weird chest pain and cramping that ultimately turned out to be not much of anything. Still, being on the hook for a few hundred dollars in medical bills was no fun. Basically, doctor said I actually have to eat things like bananas to be healthy. Who knew? By the end of the month the pain in my chest / shoulder started to sort itself out, and it’s just something to manage at this point as there aren’t any real signs of ongoing issues. I think I stretched a little too hard in yoga and just upset a muscle.

I’ve also been dating someone pretty seriously since the end of July, and it’s being going pretty well so far. That is to say: I have a new girlfriend and that’s been pretty exciting. We met in June, and after about 2 months decided that things were going well enough that we wanted to commit to something a little more serious and decided to give it a shot. We celebrated her birthday this month by going to see Betrayal on Broadway - a nice dramatic play that I enjoyed, though not quite as much as her.

I also went to 2 Mets games - I wouldn’t call myself a baseball fan, but going to a baseball game is always fun, and the Mets play not far from my apartment, so it’s an easy and fun night out usually. I also treated myself to some nice wireless headphones, finally replacing my wired headphones with bluetooth receiver setup. The headphones were starting to die, being real finicky about how the wire was placed, and I felt ready to take the dive into something nice. I chose the Beats Wireless Pro headphones for their wraparound design, the easy pairing with Apple devices (of which I have many), and solid sound quality. Overall I’m happy with them, though I wish they had a better isolation to keep out a bit more subway noise on my commute.

In summary: August has been a celebration of summer. A nice way to close out the season that, medical woes aside, has been a whole lotta fun. And now, on to the numbers and such…

Productivity

August saw a big, big drop in average productive time. I chalk a lot of this up to the return of summer Fridays at my office, where we often stopped work by 3:30 (on a couple occasions, much, much earlier) on Friday afternoons. For this reason, I’m not concerned about the decrease, as I expect it will rebound in September.

  • Productivity pulse of 77 (-3)
  • Met All Productive Time goal 12/22 days
  • Average 4h 46m (-1hr 38m) productive time per day

RescueTime Top 5 Categories:

  1. Communication & Scheduling (36%)
  2. Software Development (29%)
  3. Business (9%)
  4. Utilities (6%)
  5. Design & Composition (5%)

Correlations:

My most productive day of the week has shifted to Wednesdays, but edged out Monday by only a tiny margin. It’s interesting to see that when I’m more tired I look at Twitter more. That tracks – when I’m tired I am more easily distracted and Twitter is my go-to distraction.

  • I use Tweetbot more when I spend less time asleep (25%)
  • I’m more productive on Wednesdays (20%)
  • I log more distracting time when I receive more emails (16%)

Health

Nice to see a big increase in sleep here, and unsurprisingly also seeing a decrease in caffeine. My spending was quite high this month. Accounting for my 401k contribution, I actually spent 0.1% more than I made this month, effectively not saving at all. I had a big planned expense though: I booked a flight to Seattle for October! September’s spending should be better.

  • Average of 8,937 steps / day (-3.2%)
  • Average of 2,287 calories / day (+2%)
  • Average of 7 hours 32 minutes of sleep / night (+14.2%)
  • Average weight of 139.1 lbs (+0.4%)
  • Average body fat percentage of 11% (+3.8%)
  • Average of 226mg of caffeine / day (-10%)
  • I spent 98.1% of my income1

Correlations:

This first correlation here suggests that working out helps me focus more - a strong signal that I should keep going to the fitness classes at my office, and should probably get back into running. Monday is still my biggest caffeine day, so if I wanted to reign that in I should get to bed earlier on Sunday. I also seem to still have a better day when I don’t go to yoga, though that correlation isn’t as strong as before. I do enjoy yoga, and I think this correlation may just be because I only go to yoga on days I go to work, which I tend to rate lower than weekends for more obvious reasons.

  • I log more distracting time when I spend less time working out (18%)
  • I consume more caffeine on Mondays (21%) and when I spend less time asleep (19%)
  • I have a better day when I don’t tag “yoga” (29%)

August’s Focus

  1. Read another book
    Nope, didn’t happen. Oh well.

  2. Build my new website
    I do have a very rough build of my site, but it’s not complete so I’m also not marking it as complete. A couple other side projects were brought to me at the end of the month - hopefully I’ll have something to share in next month’s review!

September’s Focus

I’ve decided to not set any focus goals this month. I’ve been terrible at hitting them this year, and at a minimum need a month to take some time to “reset”. I may set some for October, but based on my current track record my approach to choosing them doesn’t seem right, so I’m going to take some time to reconsider what is a priority.


1Monthly spending is calculated as expenses, divided by income, minus 2%. The 2% reflects my 401k savings, which never arrives as income in Mint. This is to help me better estimate what my overall savings rate is.