Goals for 2011

Mon 17 January 2011

I don't think I published or set many goals for 2010, but it was a pretty good year. I landed a new job with KSU as a Java Developer, dramatically increased my savings rate, improved my homepage and completed watching MIT's EE introduction course. Turns out Electical Engineering is a lot simpler when you don't have to do homework!

Since we're working on annual evaluations and goals at work, I thought it might be a good idea to think about and publish personal not-work goals. My todo-list has 36 items on it for 2011, so I'll share a few themes instead of boring you (more than usual).

Goals for 2011

  1. Keep my website easily findable on the web, by remaining the top Google result for my name.

  2. Develop a second source of income to cover hosting expenses, by self hosting my blog again. Analyze traffic and revenue to determine which topics I should cover in greater detail, and develop them to where the majority of google traffic comes from search terms other than #1.

  3. Reinvigorate K-SLUG student involvement, by establishing events that cater to student wants and needs.

  4. Impress managers and developers by being great my new job.

  5. Overcome learned helplessness and start documenting and spending 15 minutes a day removing small annoyances in my life.

Number 5 is off to a great start; I've started using CalDAV to document stuff and schedule one thing a day to cross off the list. I've already fixed my SSHFS automount, added google analytics to my photo gallery, fixed my old tmpfs mount, and set up a cronjob to import ticker data into GNUCash.

I find that setting deadlines is much more effective than just sorting by priorities. Partially because many high priority tasks also have starting dates that evolution won't let me filter by. But also because it keeps me honest about how much work a line item really is, which helps me out a lot because anxiety increases a lot on poorly specified work, which doesn't get done.

There is a new kind of anxiety from never being "finished", but even though there's more, smaller tasks this way, it's weaker and continues to wane as the minor boosts in productivity add up. I suppose that's the trick to management: imposing artificial deadlines in a world that's frequently missing them.

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