My monthly reviews are taking a new format this year. I’ve decided to organize them into topic sections: Productivity, Health and Goals. As I adjust to the new format and rethink what’s helpful I may adjust the sections, but now they’ll be more topic-oriented.

Productivity

My productivity pulse now refers strictly to work hours (9am - 6pm, Monday through Friday). I decided to focus more on productivity during work hours than in general, as I’m not likely to do “work” outside those hours any more. As a student work time was much less predictable.

From June - December 2016, my average productivity pulse at work was 65, so anything better than that I’ll call an improvement. The improvement margin will also be noted relative to last year’s average, rather than relative to the prior month. The more important metric with each review will be the number of times I reached my productive time goal in RescueTime (see goals section).

  • Productivity pulse of 70 (+5)
  • Average of 1 completed task per day
  • Met All Productive Time goal 17/22 days

Top 5 RescueTime Categories:

  • Software Development (43%)
  • Communication & Scheduling (23%)
  • Social Networking (13%)
  • Business (5%)
  • News & Opinion (5%)

Correlations:

  • I log more neutral time when I complete more tasks (35%)
  • I complete more tasks when it’s Thursday (21%) but I’m more productive on Mondays (34%) and Tuesdays (28%)

Health

The health section will focus on activity, food, sleep, weight, and finances. I previously always tracked weight, but excluded it from my published reviews. I’ve decided it’s not a big deal for me to share it, so weight and body fat percentage will just be included.

  • Average of 4,390 steps / day
  • Average of 2,230 calories / day
  • Average of 7h 9minutes of sleep / night
  • Average weight of 139.45lbs
  • Average body fat percentage of 11.22%
  • I spent 101.8% of my income in January

Accidentally lost money this month. I spent more on entertainment and eating out than I should have, but the thing that put me in the red was I had to pay 2 months of cell phone bill. I accidentally let it go unpaid a month because I thought I'd setup auto pay, but I hadn't. Auto pay is now setup. If that hadn't happened, I spent 98.4% of my income. Still too much, but at least I still came out ahead in that scenario.

Correlations:

  • I have more bad days when I spend less time asleep (24%)
  • I consume more calories when I spend more time asleep (14%)
  • I have more good days when I’m not tweeting (31%)

Main Goal Progress

As described in my Year in Review, I created a Trello board for tracking my goals. This month I decided I’d get started on my goal of improving focus at work. The goal started with 4 action steps, two of which I’ve completed:

  • Setup Work-Hour Reports in RescueTime (DONE!)
  • Identify Baseline Work-Hour Productivity (DONE!)
  • Make regular use of FocusTime sessions
  • Increase typical productive time to 5.5 hours a day

My time reports and all-productive time goal now are filtered for 9am-6pm. I’ve also established my baseline productivity as a productivity pulse of 65. What I still need to do it is remember to use FocusTime sessions to block distractions, and work on increasing my all productive time to 5.5 hours a day. I’ll consider that “typical” when I achieve that at least 3 days a week. Right now, I have RescueTime notify me when I reach 4.5 hours of all productive time as a sort of motivator. Once that becomes commonplace, I’ll increase the time a little. The hope is that I’ll want to get that “achievement” of being notified each day.

Main Goal Next Month

While my productivity goal will always be ongoing, February will mark the beginning of working towards my goal of financial security. The goal has 5 action steps:

  • Have $5,000 in Savings
  • Get Non-Savings Monthly Expenses Below $2,500
  • No Shopping for 3 Months
  • Pay off credit card in full
  • (Stretch) Pay off 1 student loan

I always set some money aside in savings from every pay check, so building that up will be ongoing. Reworking my budget to cut expenses will be really difficult, and I’m not tackling it just yet. This month I’m getting serious about paying off my credit card and I’m beginning my shopping freeze.

As of this review being published, no more unnecessary shopping for at least 3 months. I did cheat, and bought myself a sweatshirt after the Patriots won the Super Bowl, but after that - no shopping! Necessities and birthday gifts for others only for at least 3 months. Since I’ve gotten a steady budget together, I’ve tended to be a little impulsive with my disposable income and I’m hoping to break that habit.


I think it’ll take a little while to get good at this new format, but overall I like how it feels more structured. I’m always open to feedback. If you have anything to share, feel free to drop me a line.

Until next month!