Some Productivity Experiments

Filed under general on December 06, 2021

This past fortnight, I’ve been trying something to maybe see if I can actually finish another home project. Like I mentioned in a previous blog, I adopted the Zettelkasten method for notetaking, which requires that you break everything down into small, bitesized cards and file them away somewhere sensible. It’s made me more focussed, and quickly able to find information that I know I’ve seen around before.

One problem I’ve continued to have, though, is being able to see my home projects through to the end. One would think that this would be as simple as setting up a kanban board with some cards, but I’ve found I still lose steam after an initial burst of motivation.

I’ve tried a few things suggested around the internet, such as Pomodoro and various mindfulness techniques, but nothing seemed to help. The newest one which seems to be working well for me is to do just one tiny thing a day and closing my tool. Using this in combination with a Trello board seems to be doing the trick.

I’ve been trying to learn how to use the Godot engine, or at least write a somewhat complete game. So far, I’ve done the following with this technique

  • Controllable player character
  • Gravity and acceleration based movement for the above character
  • Tilemap autotiles
  • Collisions with player entity
  • Patrolling enemy

It doesn’t look like a huge amount of work, but since I only spend maybe at most an hour a day figuring out issues it feels a lot less like a grind. Similarly, I’ll open up Reaper, lay down a riff or sequence another drum pattern, and then close it again before I get dragged into the weeds tinkering with a guitar tone or something. I’m not sure if I’ll do a big long editing or coding session any time soon, but I am curious to see how it affects my motivation to get stuff done.

I’ll have to write another blog come end of month to report back on how far I’ve gotten.

Stephen Gream

Written by Stephen Gream who lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. You should follow him on Minds