Tag Archive: Updates

How did I do yesterday?

Woke up very late (11am)… because I had trouble sleeping.  Oops.
Chose to skip breakfast, as lunch is at noon.

First thing: Turned on RescueTime blocker for the AM (1 hr), and then did some daily planning in my agenda-book.
This earned my 1.5 points on my bribery scheme: 1 point for using RescueTime and 0.5 point for starting my day with organization activities including goal setting for the day.

Then until lunch: I worked on this blog, writing a review of the RescueTime software.

Lunch was a longer break: I watched my unscheduled tv show while eating lunch, and I also did a couple errands and some housework.  I also did my emailing, and checked my social networking sites (which are blocked during the rest of the day, so can only check at lunch and in the evening).

Afternoon: This started at about 2:30pm, after my longer lunch.  I turned on RescueTime for 240min (2 more points earned).  But I didn’t do any work on my paper, even though I had included it in my list of tasks for the day.
It was an afternoon of “productive procrastination” – I did many many tasks that were useful, but none as important as the task I was avoiding…

Evening: I had a sports practice unscheduled, which was great.

Later Evening: I ate dinner, with 1 serving of red wine.   I managed to get to sleep earlier than the night before, which is great because I was very worried that I had switched into the wrong timezone with my trouble sleeping the night before.  I think the exercise and red wine helped me get to sleep.

What did I think of the day?
Mixed feelings.  I really wish I’d gotten some work done on my paper (it would have earned me an extra 2 points) .
But at the same time, I did achieve some things: limiting my TV time, and using RescueTime…
The best thing is that I think my bribery scheme is helping me to create a routine for myself.  It’s just been a week, but already it’s becoming more automatic that my day starts with turning on RescueTime and then opening my agenda book for a big of daily planning.  Now I just need to get the paper writing included in this routine, and I’d be flying!

Total Points Earned: 5.5  (3 total for RescueTime, 0.5 for daily planning, 2 points for only watching 1 hour of TV.)


Update: 4th day of Bribery…

Day 1 (Sunday) – Earned 1 point, for running outside (5k, as a walk-run).

Day 2 (Monday) – Earned nothing, ended up watching TV all day.

Changed the rules at the end of Monday, to add new points: 1 point for turning on Rescuetime’s distraction-blocker for the morning, and then another 2 points if I turn it on again in the afternoon.

Day 3 (Tuesday) – Earned 6.5 points total (3 for using Rescuetime in AM & PM; 1 for working on my paper <4hr; 0.5 for starting with organization).   I did a lot of “productive procrastination,” doing some housework and playing around with an idea that I have for a hobby.  Obviously, using rescuetime doesn’t automatically translate into getting work done on my paper.  But “productive procrastination” is better than watching TV online.

Day 4 (Wednesday) – So far I’ve earned 1.5 points: turning on Rescuetime in the morning and starting with organization. My goal for today is to earn the extra 2 points for rescuetime, and to earn the 5 points for 4 hours of work on my paper.   I really want to watch 2 hours of tv, and I think I’m going to let myself do that – but I’m really focusing my willpower to make it *only* the 2 shows, no more.  Unfortunately, that means I don’t get any points for avoiding tv.


This system is working for me.  I think it will take a little while for me to settle on a reward system, but that’s ok.  I am giving myself a week to adjust the system as needed, and then I will stick with it until I earn my first reward.  After each reward, I can tweak the system to better match my goals and abilities.


The plan was simple: do work every day at 10am.

At first I was both discouraged and encouraged about how the system was working.

And now…  I am pulling the plug!

This tiny system didn’t work for me, full stop.  I didn’t have the will power to follow through with it on a daily basis, and then I just felt guilty.  So this plan is over.  And I’m going back to the drawing board.

Two weeks ago I gave myself a plan: at 10am each morning, I would open word and start working on one of three projects that I need to do.  The idea behind this was to start creating a routine for myself.


At first I thought that this was a total failure.  I just couldn’t get myself to do it.  And then I felt guilty and stupid for setting myself up.

But on the Friday of the first week, I changed my definition of “work”.  I let myself count emails as work – specifically: productive emails.  At first I was a bit annoyed at myself for this: it seemed like cheating.  But then I decided that it was an ok change.  After writing productive emails, I found it easier to start working on my actual work.  So yes, emails aren’t as productive as my actual work, but they were like a ramp for me: making it easier to be productive.

So this last week I’ve been playing by the new rules.  I just need to be doing work at 10am.  It doesn’t matter what type of work.  But after doing easier work, I then need to open word and do work on one of the three projects that I have outstanding.

This is a system that I can do.  And I think that this is system that I can build on.  If this is my wall push-up, then I think that after I while I could turn it into a knee push-up: making it a little harder.  But first, I will focus on the wall push-ups.