It’s been a productive week. I had ambitious goals in my last post. Some of them went well, some didn’t, but nothing goes perfectly the first time. Now that I have one data point, a point of reference, I can strive to do a little bit better next week!

Week review

Limiting addictions time wasters

Zero chess! Neither playing, nor watching on Youtube.

As for Youtube, I still haven’t quite figured out a way to measure my time accurately, and I think I quite often go over the 1 hour mark I set for myself each day. But not by too much, so I’m happy with how I did.

Time tracking / planning / review

I don’t yet have an automated system in place, that’s something to work on next. As for the planning and review sessions, I did all of them, but some took place the following morning instead of before bed. I’ll try to be more consistent next week.


I had 2 straightforward goals in mind.

Commitment #1: 50 km of running

Reality: I did it! Even a few kilometers extra! Was very difficult, and required a Sunday session of 25 km that left me knackered. Didn’t help that I barely ran for the first half of the week.

Commitment #2: 2h of exercise per day (including running).

Reality: 10-11 total hours. A few hours short, but it’s close enough that I’m not disappointed.


Commitment: 1h/day.

Reality: Way way more.

I felt the need to read some technical books over the past week:

  • A tour of C++ by the inventor of C++ himself covered modern C++ concepts, how to use them, and what to avoid in the language. This was the first time I read a book on a programming language, and this was a perfect one to start with because I deal with C++ daily and it is difficult to get right without a good understanding its design. I estimate I spent at least 15 hours reading and looking up things for context. I now feel enlightened.
  • I also started Fundamentals of Software Architecture: An Engineering Approach. I listened to it as an audiobook during my run on Sunday, but found it impossible to follow. I don’t recommend it as an audiobook. I’ll see if I have a better experience reading it with my eyes next time.

I also read a pre-release book on ChatGPT, but it didn’t cover anything useful that I didn’t already know. Spent 1 hour on it.

Project work

Commitment: 2h/day on weekdays, 4h/day on weekends.

Reality: 0h/day on many days, and averaged much less than I set out to.

Given how liberal I am with the term “project work” I did abysmally. Something to work on for next week.


Commitment: 1 conversation that I wouldn’t have normally.

Reality: Completed.

I feel like I haven’t thought this category through because I don’t really want to give details about my social life. I will reformulate my goal but this is all the information you’re getting this week. :D

An assessment

For a first week I did quite well, I’m happy. My sports goals were especially ambitious, and I’m glad to have done so well with them.

I’m mostly disappointed by the lack of time spent on working on my projects. Funnily enough, most of the time that should have been spent on project work was spent reading technical books. Not a terrible use of time, but lower down the priority list than project work is.

I also really need a better system to do review sessions. Pen and paper (which I use right now) takes forever and is hard to search through. I’ve looked into over the week and will attempt to make use of it for more structured sessions.

My commitments next week

For starters, I’m moving my weekly update post to Mondays instead of Sundays (as I’ve done with this post). This is out of necessity: I can’t do a good job with the blog post before my weekly review session, but I do my review sessions very late in the evening, possibly even after midnight. Sitting down for another hour or two after that to write up a blog post is not healthy.

Avoiding time wasters

The restrictions on time-wasting activities worked phenomenally, so I’m keeping the same limit for both chess and Youtube. I also started limiting my Hearthstone playtime which is another activity I tend to abuse. Here’s the new list:

  • 1h of Youtube per day.
  • No chess.
  • 1 game on the Hearthstone app per day.


I’m keeping my exercise commitments. I need more exercise in my life (and I need to be prepared for my marathon in a month).

Project work / learning time

I commit to the same number of weekly hours (18) for project work. This is no longer a daily commitment though: I found that it can be easier to focus on few things during a day than context-switch between many.

I drop my commitment for learning. I already do a lot of learning in relation to work and for my projects, so having a learning commitment is superfluous, and I end up using it as a way to procrastinate something more important.


I have a few issues with my commitment from last week:

  • It is too vague, so I don’t have a direction.
  • It is too easy almost to the point of being pointless.
  • It is too personal, so I can’t discuss many details.

To remedy this, each week I will aim to attend an event / location that is completely new to me, and initiate a social interaction. This could be finding someone to talk to during a break, or it could be asking questions during a lecture / talk / discussion. This could also be an event that is social in nature, like a game board night. I will also accept online events.

With this commitment I will be able to focus on the event itself, so it won’t be too personal. I don’t attend random events often, so it won’t be easy to achieve either. And I now have a reason to look out for interesting events that are available to me throughout the week.

Focus areas for this week

The theme of the month is still sports and exercise, so achieving the two commitments in this category will be my top priority.

For project work I’ll have 3 areas of focus:

  • I will be teaching at an upcoming informatics training camp for high school students, so I need to spend some time preparing for it.
  • I want to spend time setting up to use with my review and planning sessions.
  • Any leftover time will be largely spent on writing blog posts and improving the blog.

And obviously, this time I want to actually complete all my committed targets. See you in another week!