October was a pretty full month. First things first, we announced to the company my promotion! I was promoted to Senior Front End Developer, now that I’ve been with the company for two years. A little bit of added responsibility in my day to day work, but other than that not a whole lot has changed from what I’d been doing. It’s been exciting and challenging stepping into the new role, but I’m looking forward to figuring it all out.

Second, as noted briefly in my September review, my girlfriend and I decided that after a couple months of dating more seriously we’re better off trying to be just friends. As all breakups do, it sucked, but given the brevity of the relationship it was pretty okay. I’m not terribly excited to get back to dating, so I’m putting off seriously dating for a little while while I figure out a few other moving pieces of my life right now.

Third, I did a bunch of fun stuff! A trip to Connecticut to see the Spongebob Musical, which was better than I expected it to be. Not one, but two trips to Six Flags in New Jersey - I had bought a 2020 season pass during a flash sale they had that made it 75% off and the pass was good for the rest of the 2019 season. Now that I’ve been twice, I’ve already saved money compared to buying 2 regular tickets. Also rollercoasters are awesome.

I took a week off to visit my old college roommate in Seattle, which was great! Spent the week eating and drinking my way around the city, which was fantastic. Also celebrated my 2-year work anniversary along with the other folks who started when I did. The company took us to Delmonico’s for a really fancy steak lunch and it was excellent. Throw in a few dinners and lunches out with coworkers and all in all I packed in a lot of fun stuff this month.

As a result of all that, October really flew by. It’s hard to believe 2019 is coming to a close but, here we are. With just 2 months to go, I’m ready to set my sights on the holidays and end-of-year festivities. It’s also time to start thinking ahead to next year’s big goals, but more on that after the usual number summaries…

Productivity

Overall productivity pulse is up, which is nice. I also met my productive time goal much more often this month which I’ve very happy about. I had to estimate my average productive time this month, as I used my computer and didn’t pause RescueTime during my vacation so RescueTime’s calculated average was exceptionally low. I could have done the work of actually pulling out the numbers and calculating it, but I’m far too lazy for that so this estimate will do just fine.

  • Productivity pulse of 78 (+3)
  • Met All Productive Time goal 12/17 days
  • Average 5h 15m (+12m) productive time per day

RescueTime Top 5 Categories:

  1. Software Development (37%)
  2. Communication & Scheduling (35%)
  3. Utilities (7%)
  4. Business (5%)
  5. Social Networking (4%)

Correlations:

It’s nice to see that going to yoga does tend to lead to more productive time. It generally helps clear my head, and the classes being in the middle of the day often does help clear my head. Based on the rest of. These correlations, it seems like low sugar Wednesdays (on oof my two yoga classes each week) might be the most productive for me. I’m also considering a third yoga class each week.

  • I’m more productive when I tag “yoga” more (38%) and log more distracting time when I tag “headache” more (32%)
  • I’m more productive on Wednesdays (23%)
  • I’m more productive when I consume less sugar (24%)

Health

Pleasantly surprised that I managed to keep within budget this month given the vacation. I also ordered a new pillow and a Chirp Wheel in a continued effort to control a very stiff back and neck. So far, both have been helping. The uptick in walking is definitely from all the wandering I did in Seattle. A little surprised by the tiny decrease in caffeine, but glad to see it coincide with maintaining my sleep.

  • Average of 9,942 steps / day (+22.4%)
  • Average of 2,431 calories / day (+3.9%)
  • Average of 7 hours 28 minutes of sleep / night (+0.2%)
  • Average weight of 138.5 lbs (+0.9%)
  • Average body fat percentage of 10.4% (+0%)
  • Average of 211mg of caffeine / day (-2.7%)
  • I spent 86.7% of my income1

Correlations:

In October Exist released the ability to do “next day correlations” and a couple interesting ones surfaced here. I’m still trying to figure out how to interpret them… For example, I typically go to yoga on Wednesday. So does that mean I spend more time asleep on Thursday because I don’t tag yoga Thursday and it’s the day after? Or do I spend more time asleep Friday because I don’t tag yoga on Thursday? If anyone out there can better explain how I should interpret this one, please email me.

My calendar mostly has events when I have more meetings at work, and I like to bring fresh coffee to meetings so I think I drink more coffee when I have more meetings. The last correlation is a little easier for me to interpret - if Wednesday isn’t a great day, it seems like I’ll walk it off on Thursday. This is something I’m going to try to pay attention to.

  • I spend more time asleep on days after I don’t tag “yoga” (30%)
  • I consume more caffeine when I have more events (20%)
  • I get more steps on days after I have a worse day (21%)

October’s Focus

My focus goal was to think ahead for next year, and I arrived at one real goal for 2020: I want to spend a couple weeks in Europe by myself. I’ve never been, I’ve only been outside the US once, and I’ve never really taken a trip by myself. Over the next few months I’ll be setting specific goals towards that end, targeting a trip at the end of August / early September 2020. It’s I think overly cliché to say I want to go “backpacking through Europe” but that’s essentially what I plan to do - pack and travel light, and explore a bit.

November’s Focus

I want to do some research on what things I’ll need for my trip so I can add them to my Christmas wishlist. The trip will be expensive, and I often struggle to come up with wishlist ideas anyway, so asking for some travel gear sounds like a nice way kill two birds with one stone.

I also need to start looking for a new apartment more seriously as my current lease ends at the end of January, so towards the end of the month I think I’ll start making some inquiries and maybe visit a few places.


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.