Well, it’s been a hot minute since I’ve completed a review. I was going to plow through all the months I missed, but the seeming enormity of that task I think is what kept be back from actually completing them, so instead I’ll just skip most of them. There also aren’t many highlights to share month to month these days since, well, I basically don’t leave my apartment. The highlights below should cover from April through July.

The Highlights

  • My birthday was in April, still early days of quarantine times. Celebrated with some games online with my friends and coworkers. It was a pretty good birthday, the situation considered.
  • I’ve made a couple investments in my home desk setup since I’ve been working from home for almost 5 months now - I purchased a nice standing desk (Fully Jarvis ), and a monitor arm to get my monitor at a nice adjustable height and free up some desk space. I also purchased a nice microphone now that video / voice calls are such a regular occurrence (I got the Blue Yeti Nano).
  • Through June and July I had a concerning-looking mole removed which involved a few rounds of stitches. It’s healing well, and I’m still negotiating the medical bills, how exciting.
  • The pandemic has led lots of organizations to seek out new communication options using video, which has put ThankView in a really good position to help. In fact, we’ve been growing quite rapidly over the past few months and as of today (08/09/20) we’re still hiring. The growth has been exciting, if hectic.
  • In recognition of how hard we’ve had to work and how well the company is doing, ThankView gave out some mid-year raises. So I got a nice raise in the middle of July! I’ve increased my 401k contribution from 4% to 5% as a result.
  • The company also organized an afternoon trip to Governors Island for some masked, outdoor drinking at the end of July, which I decided to go to - my first time out of my apartment for a non-necessity in over 4 months. NYC has been pretty safe for a while now as long as everyone wears masks, so an outdoor activity felt okay. It was still weird going out, and I was definitely a bit paranoid for a few days after. I don’t expect to go out like that again for quite a while, but it was a nice break from my apartment.
  • Like many, I’ve very excited about Taylor Swift’s new album /folklore/, which I’ve listened to over a dozen times already. It almost makes up for the fact I was supposed to see her live on July 31st - an event now scheduled for next summer. Please don’t ask me to pick my favorite tracks, it’s still too soon.

Productivity

These and other stats are just summaries, no month over month comparisons since I haven’t done this since March. Overall I’ve found my productivity hasn’t kept up. Some days I’m horribly distracted, other days I can managed a strong 3 uninterrupted hours of focus. It’s very day by day lately. We’ve also been doing a lot of hiring, and I’ve been doing most of the first round interviews for the front-end developers we’re hiring, which has majorly cut into my time spent writing code.

  • Productivity pulse of 67
  • Met All Productive Time goal 10/22 days
  • Average 5h 5m productive time per day

RescueTime Top 5 Categories:

  1. Communication & Scheduling (48%)
  2. Software Development (13%)
  3. Utilities (12%)
  4. Social Networking (9%)
  5. Business (5%)

Health

Health wise, 5 straight months being at home is starting to take a toll. I definitely don’t walk as much (though the standing desk has helped keep me from sitting non-stop), but I have started going for walks around the neighborhood on nice days now that NYC is mostly under control. The fact that it’s safer to go to the grocery store more than once every 3 weeks has also made it easier to get more fresh food, though my motivation to cook nice meals has significantly diminished. And my sleep schedule is a little absurd - bed time is typically around 2am these days.

  • Average of 4,201 steps / day
  • Average of 2,069 calories / day
  • Average of 7 hours 7 minutes of sleep / night
  • Average weight of 139.4 lbs (-0.7%)
  • Average body fat percentage of 10.1%
  • Average of 213mg of caffeine / day
  • I spent 71.2% of my income1

Interesting Correlations

Some interesting correlations from Exist. Most of them now shaped by the long time I’ve spent in quarantine. I started tagging days where I experience a high level of anxiety, which has occurred enough that some correlations are starting to appear. In response to that anxiety, I started trying CBD gummies. It’s unclear if they’re actually helping my anxiety, but they do appear to help me sleep. I also seem to have better days when I eat more, so I may try upping my snacking habits, which would also appear to make me less irritable.

  • I tag days as “anxious” when I get less sleep (16%)
  • I get more sleep on days after I tag “CBD” (31%)
  • I have a better day when I consume more calories (20%)
  • I tag days as “irritable” when I consume less calories (21%)

Goal Updates

  1. Healthy Habits
    Average daily fiber: 14.8g / 24g
    I started out quarantine really well with this goal. But after a couple months oatmeal and apples get old. I’m looking to start focusing on this again in August. The other healthy habit I want to pick up is getting to bed a bit earlier. Before 1:30 seems like a reasonable goal given how fucked my current sleep schedule is.

  2. Read 20 Books
    /Resilient Management/ by Lara Hogan (2/20)
    This is only the second book of the year I’ve finished so 20 books seems unlikely, but I’m going to keep the goal that high as a bit of a stretch goal for the year. While I’m not technically a manager, I’m currently the only senior member of my team and this was a very helpful book. I read it with one of my coworkers, one chapter a week and then we’d discuss the chapter. The book-club style thing was motivating for me to finish it.

Related to this, my company is starting a book club and we’re reading our first book starting this month. We’re starting with /Where the Crawdads Sing/ by Delia Owens. I’m looking forward it!

  1. Non-work code projects
    Motivation for this comes in fits and starts. I’ve actually turned down multiple offers for some freelance work over the past few months because of it. I did spin up a new project I’ve been sitting on for a while and I’d like to have a prototype version for myself by the end of the year. I also started learning Vue at work, and spun up a quick project to play with it myself so I guess that counts. Neither of these are finished to even a prototype stage so I’m not counting them just yet towards my goal of 3 non-work code projects for the year.

While there won’t be much to “report” month to month as long as we remain in quarantine, I do want to get back to looking at these numbers and correlations month to month again to start nudging myself towards better day to day outcomes.


1Monthly spending is calculated as expenses, divided by income, minus 5%. The 5% reflects my 401k savings, which never arrives as income in Mint. This is to help me better estimate what my overall savings rate is.

Blog/Monthly Review