Methods

Create a Method

Methods

Regex: I’m going to call habit/techniques/tools/resources collectively as methods from now on. What this means could be combination of many, or just one. I think when we collect data people should state precisely how they use it, or to create a variant and write it down as that instead. This way we’ll be able to distinguish between the generic and specific versions- there may be a big difference!

Tools

lots of things in the comments of this post!

Ask Me Every Very good at metrics. Can't post publicly, but well superior to 42 goals.

42goals Able to keep track of goals and various metrics. Can't export data without becoming premium, but allows public profiles and the ability to make posts.]

wordpress decent blogging tool

Don’t break the chain: A visual tool to help stick with your goal for as many days in a row as you can. (this happens automatically with 42goals!)

Beeminder - goal tracking software with negative feedback upon failure

Anki - Spaced repition software

Toggl - timer tool used for keeping track of the time spent on each task.

Gantt charts - project management broken into clear steps with a timeline

Getting Things Done - book with a system for personal management of tasks, focus on low level immediate tasks (Regex has simplified notes that need reformatting, and also PDF for this)

Zen To Done - GTD, but simplified and with a focus on higher level stuff such as goals and important tasks (Regex is currently in the process of going through this book and applying it)

Pomodoro - ask the LW study hall how well it works (selection heuristic! Those it didn't work for wouldn't stick around)

general methodology:
Ready, fire, aim

“How to learn anything in 20 hours”

  • “Deconstruct the skill: Break down the parts and find the most important things to practice first. If you were learning to play a musical instrument, for example, knowing just a few chords gives you access to tons of songs. If you want to learn a new language, learn the most common 2,000 words and you'll have 80% text coverage.
  • Self-correct: Use reference materials to learn enough that you know when you make a mistake so you can correct yourself.
  • Remove barriers to learning: Identify and remove anything that distracts you from focusing on the skill you want to learn.
  • Practice at least 20 hours. 20 hours amounts to just 40 minutes a day for a month, so what are you waiting for?”

Data Collection:
We will want measuring to be as painless and productive as possible so that people don’t stop doing them, nor grow to resent wasting time on them each day.

What do people already use to test the effectiveness of things?
Single paragraph summary of the day (failures/successes,
Emotions (akrasia, happiness, subjective productivity)
Objective metrics for output (???, quality of work?, goal completed, tasks completed, tasks incomplete) - should help people keep their plate for the day small enough to actually do stuff. Too easy to think you can do more than you actually can.
‘did you do what you set out to accomplish’ or ‘did you meet your goal’

30 day experiment:
You find a metric you want to improve.
Search for a method with either anecdotal evidence or hard data suggesting it will improve the metric
For the next 30 days apply that method.
If it clearly improves, then keep doing the method, if not, then stop (unless it improved your other metrics?)
If it is unclear, possibly apply statistics to your data and see if there is a trendline.
Publish all your metric data on that method's page (not yet possible)
Look for a new metric you want to improve

free tools:
42goals:
This seems like a good option. You get three graphs, and an arbitrary number of metrics. You can’t export the data unfortunately.
after you log in it is slightly confusing, but if you click ‘goals’ next to ‘upgrade to premium!’ it’ll take you to the area where you can enter data. Click the name of the metric to change it (you have to select ‘numeric’ for it to be non-binary.) if you click your username you can add the graphs. Additionally from the profile you can make posts and set goals for each week. It is suggested that you set your profile to public by clicking the icon next to “your profile is private” on the profile

http://www.joesgoals.com/ haven’t tried

paid tools:

things that looks interesting, but haven’t tried
http://www.goalscape.com/
http://lifetick.com/index.html

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