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Quarterly report

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According to my arbitrary division of the year, the summer quarter is now over, which means that it was three months ago I wrote a sketchy plan of what I would like to focus on from July to September. Rather than discussing the outcome first, I’ll deal with the details of the individual goals first and then try to come up with some thoughts on the subject.

Creativity

Finish writing and testing Magneter och mirakelSuccess! The text will still me commented by others and I will make changes according to the feedback I receive, but the text itself is finished.
Write next version of Nostalgi with Martin
Fail! Focusing on Magneter och mirakel before I left Sweden, there wasn’t time to rewrite Nostalgi. It will be done, however, hopefully this year.
Contribute to next version of Haragada – Fail! Same reason as above. Since I’m not alone either in writing this game or not having written very much, I’m not that worried. I do have a lot of ideas, so as soon as things settle down, I’ll get started.

Physical
Planche progressionUndecided? I feel that I’m not moving forward at all, which is of course the start of a vicious circle, the more I feel that I’m not developing, the less likely I am to invest the necessary amount of time or energy to actually move forward.
One-arm chin-up progressionUndecided? Same as above.
Handstand – Success! I have learnt a lot during the summer, but haven’t had much time since I went back to Taiwan. I’ve especially made progress with straddle down from handstand, which I can do with full control, at least some times.
Hand-walking (final goal is 100 metres) – Undecided? I have made progress, I think. My goas is to reach 10 minutes wall run in one go. My current record is to do it in four times two and a half minute, which is okay, but not good. I’ll need to work harder on this and formulate a more specific goal.
Increase side split and pike flexibility – Fail! I’m hereby giving up the attempt at stretching permanently. I don’t have the self-discipline to do it. If I’m going to improve in this area, it has to be within the framework of something else.

Education
Maintain revision queue at zeroSuccess!
Finish Practical Audio-Visual Chinese 5 – Fail! I have other things to study. If I would have had this text book now, it would have been okay. Still, I did have time during the summer, but failed to start in time.
Finish Far Eastern Everyday Chinese 3 – Success!
Prepare necessary documents for next year in TaiwanSuccess!
Read 1000 pages in Chinese – Fail! See explanation for PAVC 5 above.

Professional
Work at least 150 hours – Success! I worked 264 hours, which might go quite a long way towards explaining why I didn’t study as much as I thought I would.

Online
Publish new version of this website – Success! Lo and behold!
Make sure XP and Ubuntu both run smoothly on my laptopSuccess! Working fine, even though I’ve noticed that I really don’t like using Windows. This is not due to some Linux snobbism, but simply because I have things better arranged in Ubuntu.

Evaluation

In all, I think the summer was quite good. It was very nice to work to such an extent that I did, because it makes it easier to relax here in Taiwan. I should perhaps have started studying earlier, but on the other hand, taking some time off was valuable too. As for the physical activities, they worked out fine the first two months, but everything has sort of broken down since moving to Taiwan. I’m not sure yet what to do, but some basic maintenance and reduction of goals seems reasonable.

I also managed to do some things I didn’t write on the list in the first place, such as solving Rubik’s Cube in less than one minute (current record is 40 seconds), solving the same cube blindfolded, reading 20 books, update my Chinese section and lots of other things too minor to mention here.

Still, I feel that I have settled down enough here now to be able to focus my energy on some creative projects. Exactly what that entails I will reveal in my preview of autumn 2009, which will be published tomorrow!

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Summer 2009 preview

For a number of reasons, I’ve decided to change my system for getting things done again. For a year and a half, I’ve been using a monthly update of goals and subsequent evaluation of progress towards these goals. The result is good, but not good enough. Setting a goal makes me think about what I want to achieve and even though I haven’t always succeeded entirely, I have at least tried and done something most of the time, and, to be honest, it’s this progress that counts, not accomplishing or not accomplishing rather arbitrarily set goals.

However, I think there is a better way of doing this. I’ve noticed that I commonly have two kinds of things I want to do, one kind for which a time scale of one month is too long, and another kind where one month is too short a time. The first kind would be creative and physical output (especially the former, though). Setting a goal at the beginning of the month simply doesn’t make me focused enough for the first couple of weeks, although I sometimes rise to the challenge towards the end of the month. Thus, I want to shorten the time span for these goals to one week, with proportionally smaller steps to coplete. Since I don’t want to write about this once every week in a new post (and I doubt anyone would like to read it), this will be the function of my old project page (which I’ve sadly neglected to update for quite a while), which will be updated later this week.

The other kind concerns large scales projects, which can never be completed in one month, let alone the new one-week interval I suggest in the above paragraph. I think a quarterly assessment of these goals will be enough, since that is a sufficiently long time to make real progress, without being too long and thus making the future hard to predict (this is one of the main drawbacks with projects such as the 101-in-1001 list, 1001 days is such a long time that it’s virtually impossible to predict if the goals will even be desirable after two and a half years). Still, some projects will be even bigger, but these will be broken down into quarterly parts, and then into weekly goals.

Will this work or is this endless quest for the “perfect” system just a waste of time? To be honest, I don’t know, but the trial and error development of my way of doing things enables me to learn a lot about how I work and how I can improve whatever I want to improve. There probably is no such thing as a system so good that I will not feel the need to change again, but again, this might be an intrinsic feature of the process, necessary and even good.

During this summer, I’ll focus on the following things:

Creativity
Finish writing and testing Magneter och mirakel
Write next version of Nostalgi with Martin
Contribute to next version of Haragada

Physical
Planche progression
One-arm chin-up progression
Handstand
Hand-walking (final goal is 100 metres)
Increase side split and pike flexibility

Education
Maintain revision queue at zero
Finish Practical Audio-Visual Chinese 5
Finish Far Eastern Everyday Chinese 3
Prepare necessary documents for next year in Taiwan
Read 1000 pages in Chinese

Professional
Work at least 150 hours

Online
Publish new version of this website
Make sure XP and Ubuntu both run smoothly on my laptop

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