Monday, December 27, 2010

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.

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I write here about programming, how to program better, things I think are neat and are related to programming. I might write other things at my personal website.

I am happily employed by the excellent Caktus Group, located in beautiful and friendly Carrboro, NC, where I work with Python, Django, and Javascript.

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