Starting a productivity journal for "future me"

Starting a productivity journal for "future me"
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(Wilson Ng) #1

As @justindirose mentioned in another post, it’s hard to find an accountability partner in the beginning.

I’ve taken the first steps into this “accountability” waters by dipping my toe in. Finding an accountability partner is like speed dating. It’s always scary and you never know what to expect.

Being on an island makes it a challenge to find an accountability partner in my vicinity. The only other way is to reach out to an online community and hope to find someone that will match your desire to be held accountable. Some will start off strong and then taper off after a few weeks. The magic of the accountability partner fades away.

In the meantime, I’ve actually been doing a lot of journal using the Day One app. I would write up some nugget or take a picture of something that might inspire me later. I’m basically talking to “future me” about some event or idea that flashed in my head. Not every new idea gets captured into my OmniFocus someday/maybe list. Some ideas need to get recorded into my journal. It gives me context about why I captured a thought and wanted to see it for later.

I tag the journal entry with some keywords such as #love , #vacationidea , #marriage , #kids , or something descriptive.

At the end of the month, I like to review the previous 4 weeks and look for ideas that I may have forgotten about. Reviewing the journal helps me to become accountable to myself. I know. It’s not the same as finding an accountability partner. but sometimes “today me” is looking at the “previous past me” to find something that irritated me or inspired me. “Today me” is looking for some gem to dig out of my journal entries and finding a way to polish it to help “future me.”

I think I’ve seen some accountability partners in the iOS app “Habitca”. That might be a way to find like-minded people. It is a productivity app that helps you find fellow adventurers in a Dungeons & Dragons styled game. Gain experience points (XP) by completing tasks. Help others by being accountable for each other. That might be the way to go.

Another app I’ve seen is coach.me
I haven’t used it much myself but that might be another avenue to cheer each other on.

But for now, Day One has been a way to keep myself accountable until I feel like sticking more than a toe into the accountability waters.


(Joe Buhlig) #2

Random question (and sometimes a bit scary), have you reached out to anyone online that’s in this space but close to you? @shouit did that to me and it’s been awesome… so far. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


(Wilson Ng) #3

No, I haven’t done that yet. Yes, scary.

Right now, I have an accountability partner… It’s my wife :open_mouth:

She keeps me on my toes and follows up on a lot of things that are on my Honey-Do List. Then there’s the weekly family planning meetings and the pillow talk where we’re still navigating through life and course correcting when necessary.

I also have a small group that I meet once a month. Two of the guys are roughly my age and one is about a decade older. This is my other accountability group that seems similar in flavor to your Theoretical Accountability podcast. We grouse and try to work out some of our issues together… Marriage, death, taxes, and family are just a few of the topics we talk about over dinner and beer. We’re from different industries so it helps to get different viewpoints. So we hold each other’s feet to the fire while egging each other on about whatever dilemma we’re currently experiencing.

When it comes to productivity accountability, I think I’m not too worried about the amount of stuff I get done. It’s more about the quality of the stuff i get done. I don’t want to be a busybody and get a whole bunch of low priority items done. I still may need to do them but I’m getting better about delegating to others and not doing it all myself. I’m seeing that others around me will feel important if they see that they are doing something and contributing instead of waiting for/expecting me to do it all.

Maybe that’s why coach.me and Habitica are trying to latch on to people who are worried that they aren’t getting things done? Maybe it’s not the number of tasks that are done that is important? Maybe it’s more about the quality of tasks that are done that’s more important? I’m coming around to the idea that I can get all that small stuff (admin work, daily life interruptions) done but I should be making sure I make time for my Big Rock projects that actually improve my life?

I have found it curious when some OmniFocus users and users of other apps love statistics and numerical data (number of tasks completed, average time to finish, number of projects or tasks remaining, percentage completed).

I’m rarely looking at my completed tasks perspective unless it’s to remember if I actually completed something. I’m still busy looking ahead to the next task and have fallen out of love of looking at something like the Todoist karma score.

I don’t know. I can’t consider it a victory when i completed “get milk”, “refill paper tray in printer”, and other menial tasks as “winning.” Victory for me is “finishing the master bathroom renovations”, “completing my master’s degree”, or “Gain certification in FileMaker 15 training”. These are bigger things that improves my life and opens up opportunities.

Maybe I’m just trying to figure out what my definition of “accountability” is. I think I’m just trying to find that balance between getting all the admin stuff done so that I can get my pet Big Rock projects done.

Being out here in Guam, I’m in GMT+10 time zone. Connecting to others is a little difficult. I’m sure I’ll find my @shouit. Maybe what I have with my 3 close friends and my wife are all i really needed?