Skip to main content

How To Push Your Habit Building Onto Technology

I use desktop alerts to keep myself organized through the day, in various ways. There are things i want to do repeatedly and I don't have a good track record with keeping good habits, so I have found some ways to make tools fill in the gaps for me. There are some specific examples i can give. I have been using the great site 750words.com for almost a year, and I love it. I write nearly every day, and I'm getting better at that habit all nthe time. usaully I only miss it when something interrupts me. I remember with something better than an email reminder or a note on my calendar each day, which both i can build a habit to ignore. I use an alert program, which is KAlert in my case, but any alert program should work the same. Every morning at 5AM, it spawns a google chrome window opening the 750words.com write page, and so I wake up and sit down to my computer every morning to find the page already open with a blank page and a blinking cursor, and I start writing. I don't have to remember, and I don't have an alert I can easily ignore. I just find myself sitting in front of exactly what I need to do, every morning.

It works nice, give it a try. I use a similar alert to prompt me for hourly journal entries for mood tracking, and work start/stop times, among other things. If I can represent it as a URL, I don't need to remember it, because my computer is an supplement of my brain.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why I Switched From Git to Microsoft OneDrive

I made the unexpected move with a string of recent projects to drop Git to sync between my different computers in favor of OneDrive, the file sync offering from Microsoft. Its like Dropbox, but "enterprise."

Feeling a little ashamed at what I previously would have scoffed at should I hear of it from another developer, I felt a little write up of the why and the experience could be a good idea. Now, I should emphasize that I'm not dropping Git for all my projects, just specific kinds of projects. I've been making this change in habit for projects that are just for me, not shared with anyone else. It has been especially helpful in projects I work on sporadically. More on why a little later.

So, what drove me away from Git, exactly?

On the smallest projects, like game jam hacks, I just wanted to code. I didn't want to think about revisions and commit messages. I didn't need branching or merges. I didn't even need to rollback to another version, ever. I just …

CARDIAC: The Cardboard Computer

I am just so excited about this.


CARDIAC. The Cardboard Computer. How cool is that? This piece of history is amazing and better than that: it is extremely accessible. This fantastic design was built in 1969 by David Hagelbarger at Bell Labs to explain what computers were to those who would otherwise have no exposure to them. Miraculously, the CARDIAC (CARDboard Interactive Aid to Computation) was able to actually function as a slow and rudimentary computer. 
One of the most fascinating aspects of this gem is that at the time of its publication the scope it was able to demonstrate was actually useful in explaining what a computer was. Could you imagine trying to explain computers today with anything close to the CARDIAC?

It had 100 memory locations and only ten instructions. The memory held signed 3-digit numbers (-999 through 999) and instructions could be encoded such that the first digit was the instruction and the second two digits were the address of memory to operate on. The only re…

On Pruning Your Passions

We live in a hobby-rich world. There is no shortage of pastimes to grow a passion for. There is a shortage of one thing: time to indulge those passions. If you're someone who pours your heart into that one thing that makes your life worthwhile, that's a great deal. But, what if you've got no shortage of interests that draw your attention and you realize you will never have the time for all of them?

If I look at all the things I'd love to do with my life as a rose bush I'm tending, I realize that careful pruning is essential for the best outcome. This is a hard lesson to learn, because it can mean cutting beautiful flowers and watching the petals fall to the ground to wither. It has to be done.

I have a full time job that takes a lot of my mental energy. I have a wife and a son and family time is very important in my house. I try to read more, and I want to keep up with new developments in my career, and I'm trying to make time for simple, intentional relaxing t…