Bi-monthly method #9





  • when a trigger occurs, do the response
  • setting up the following to start with
  • Most of these were never really ‘triggered’ so much as half-remembered halfway through the task
  • I don’t think I set them up properly
  • tried to do too many at once
  • too abstract/not actually grounded in reality
  • need to assign a very clear signal, or at least have a strong territory-action correlation. For that, I would need to first train my brain to notice states which are abstractly represented, and then apply a trigger-habit ontop of that. You cannot perform a territory transformation if you don’t know which territories to transform in the first place.


(this formatting made the most sense)

trigger action result of this trigger-action
sit down at computer set 30 min break timer Even though it was the most concrete, I haven’t quite gotten it down.

Additionally, on weekends I don’t feel like working until about two hours have passed. Sometimes I get

Notice a problem write it down in RTTN It didn’t really work as a trigger/action, but as a daily reminder to look for problems it provided me with a ton of things to look over and correct.
this is what RTTN needs to actually be useful. Constantly asking “Are there negative outcomes I can change?” and “What can I do differently” and then actually trying something different.


This really, really helped me generate new content to try.


notice being distracted stop interacting

remove distraction

get back to work

Another rather difficult one to implement. I don’t usually get distracted in easy to remove ways. I entrench it with things that require work to undo. Creating an activation energy hump to get back to work.
notice moving to play workspace don’t look at anything

return to work

This turned out harder to implement in practice even though it is so straight forward.


Almost always it was responding to a skype message.

small inbox task batch it Barely sorted my inbox, this went unused.
about to set, start, or confirm a task > 5 min [lost the data for this one, but it was dumb] Took far too much thinking, turned it into a concrete method:


confirm tasks method

  • imagine outcome
  • identify resolving steps
  • skim over materials
  • review last time taken
  • estimate time required


notice fuzzy category note it and unfuzz later Ironically, too abstract to be useful as a trigger/action
feel “I should do X” do X, or bullet point it Too abstract to be useful, couldn’t actually ‘do X’ because I was either on break or already doing something important




  • Go down daily method list rather than going off of my memory and ideas of what to do next.
    • This returned sanity to my workflow because this is the basis of my workflow, and I’d forgotten that.


anime/whatever/RPing breaks

  • kinda sorta did this, but it didn’t work out very well, and I think it is a significant contributer to the burnout I am now feeling.
  • Back to nature breaks, I think.


‘do x once a day’ seem to be my most effective form of creativity inducing habit. It means I am doing something every single day, but I don’t have to care about quality or quantity. I can work in my constraints from there.


Between 7.5 and 8 hours of sleep seems to be what I need to get to function. Getting less than 7.5 yields suffering, but getting between 7.5 and 8 seems mostly okay.


pomos taken to do tasks


EF hw 1 – 5 pomos
EF hw 2 – 11

EF lab report: 7


engr hw #1 – 7 pomos

programming ass #1: 7

programming ass 2: 9

2 dynamics problems: 6



dynamics ch1: 1 -5 pomos

EF ch12: 3 – 5 pmos

mth ch 1:2 – 4 pomos

K&R ch 5 : 4


weekly: 2
daily problems: 5





Remembering what RTTN are supposed to be:


Establish a baseline. Keep everything else the same while trying a particular thing. Write down the outcome while doing the task, noticing any discrepencies or alternative things that could be tried for greater effect. Repeat whichever you like best.


The problem is that there is often no baseline and a whole bunch of new things happen at once possibly because of an unnoticed failure more. So I’d get all this data, but can’t connect it to anything because it seems like a one-off from one strange set of thoughts I had, or I forget to write anything down, or I try something off the wall for no reason without thinking about it.



At each biweekly I should reduce the pomo notes down such that I know the length of each type of assignment, and then base time estimates on those pomo lengths. I can look at my expected pomo amounts per day for a more accurate assessment of what will get done.



New Methods:


problems being solved:

  • Burnout
  • Task prediction is abysmal
  • Lack of fiber
  • 11am lunch, bad.
  • weekend drowsiness in morning
  • RP madness
  • Pomos requiring headphones always on
  • Uncomfortable postures
  • Forgetting to set initial break pomo
  • Proper RTTN needs problem recognition




Notice a problem write it down in RTTN
sit down at computer set 30 min break timer



  • Keep feet on floor when at computer
  • No chair spinning at computer
  • proper nature breaks (removes burnout?)
  • pomo structure: 25 min work, 5 min skype/IRC, 10 min break
  • weekends – 2 hour break timer upon waking
  • pomo notes again to better predict tasks
  • delta pomo prediction metric (completed over/under predictions)
  • pomo box (arduino with lights and a button- superior to noise?)
  • eat oatmeal on MWF after school
  • 2pm lunch always
  • do daily problems/study
    • ENGRanother class too
  • notice things that don’t pay rent (anything that takes attention, gives no value.)
    • IRC channels
    • physical items
    • webpages
    • activities
    • behaviors
    • things that hang around unused
    • files
    • text

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