I had heard a while ago that the ideal holiday was one in which you had a fairly bad start to it, but with a peak experience close to the end of the holiday. The rationale is that we tend to base our judgement of the holiday on the range of our trough-to-peak experiences. The larger the spread between the trough and the peak, with the peak occurring towards the end of the experience, the better we perceive the experience to be.
I’ve been reading the “Beyond Scarcity” series on FTAlphaville recently, and it’s made some very interesting points. The posts argue that the current economic environment is deflationary with regard to goods. I think that is true, and one of the reasons is because of technology. Firstly technology is constantly making everything more efficient and because of global competition this is both reducing the production costs and making goods cheaper. Secondly technology is causing structural unemployment, which means less people have money to spend and there is less money flowing around the economy. Other factors causing deflation are the tight monetary conditions, the aging population, and potentially the effects of quantitative easing.
So I was thinking about being older today, and I saw this Louis CK clip about how older people are smarter – “Older people are smarter, and if you get into an argument with someone who’s older, you should listen. It doesn’t mean they’re always right; but even if they’re wrong, their wrongness is rooted in more experience.”
Sometimes I think the best way to get things done is just to allocate space in the day in order to achieve them. For example; I find it hard to write blog posts. Left to my own devices, my blog would resemble a desolate wasteland. But all I need to do is allocate 10 minutes out of my day in order to write something, and I can get something written that I can upload to my blog.
This is the beauty of time-boxing, of the Pomodoro technique: It forces you to allocate a fixed section of time in which to achieve something. If you just make a space in time it’s amazing what you can do.
I just watched a very interesting TED talk given by Kasper Bormans about his PhD research into using the Method of Loci (or Memory Palace technique) to help Alzheimer patients retain their memories of other people for longer.
I’ve been studying for another Maths exam. This time it’s the Open University M343 “Applications of Probability” course. It’s exam time so I’ve been making flash-cards to study with.
Not a terribly productive day today. I alternated between studying for my Open University M343 statistics exam and working on Judga Property – my latest iOS app. I also went to the gym, which is that big break in the middle of the day.
I have created the following bit of Emacs Lisp that generates my daily productivity graph and displays it in it’s very own emacs buffer. You can kill the buffer by pressing the ‘q’ key.
Today I worked out how to use Things as a Kanban system. The trick is to use the “Focus” top-level item on the sidebar properly. A lot of my tasks had built up in the “Next” folder. I moved all those tasks from “Next” into the “Someday” folder. Then I only move into the “Next” folder the stuff I’m planning to work on that day. The task I’m currently working on I move into the “Today” folder.
Not a hugely productive day today, unfortunately. Although since I have been monitoring my productivity hourly, I have been way more productive than normal, which is interesting.
This morning I was planning to write a cron job to save my daily productivity totals to a database, but I realised that I actually have all the information in my Mac OS/X calendar anyway, and can just retrieve the data there.