Fortnightly 12


The primary issue this fortnight was that even though the things I was actually trying to do were simple, it was difficult to actually remember what they were and apply them.

My goal has shifted from ‘see the effects’ to ‘manage to implement these behaviors to some capacity in the timeframe.’

I find myself repeating the same problems, which means they never really got solved. See: chatting being ‘solved’ previously and now.

This is because I seek low hanging fruit, and usually those do not properly solve the problem. I’ve been trying to do too much at once each fortnight. Thus, I’ll barely get them integrated before the next two weeks start.

I realized that my reviewing of methods each day was too inefficient. The rules allow me to focus specifically on what behavior I am disallowing specifically. To do that requires actively engaging with failure modes.

I’m starting to question if RTTN is actually helpful for fortnightly at all except as a means of structuring my thoughts along the way. Better to skim each and remake the report?

RTTN structure “trying X to get Y effect, Z happened” never worked because I wasn’t operating from the space of proposed solutions, but rather from the space of proposed actions. That is, the ideas weren’t put through filters such as ‘someone else thinks this is possible’ or generated from a search wider than ‘this sounds reasonable.’ Ergo, I should look for other people’s solutions, then try the ones I think will work instead of making shit up and trying it.

Fortnightly needs

  • Associate metric timeframes with TTT’s and circumstances
    • weekend/break/week of school term
    • ehhh maybe circumstances, definitely timeframe
  • expected/actual data driven metrics associated with each TTT
  • Trying fewer things
  • practicing each habit
  • Reasoning for each TTT

I don’t set aside time to practice skills that would make my life easier or better.

Brainstorming idea

  • one person writes up a piece brainstorming something
  • For each section, write an overview of the theme, but not precisely the topic they’ll be talking about.
  • Another person reads it, and branches off as much as possible every time they encounter the theme, and again as they go through the meat of the other’s brainstorm.
  • This should produce a huge amount of ideas to go through. Far more than a usual brainstorm, although probably quite intensive for the second person.


I think my focus is going to turn to the object level of tasks. My initial direction was far too meta, and I think I’ve gotten the majority of the good I am going to get from system manipulating.

Rough idea of what causes burnout:

  • stress
  • Narrow solution space for untrained skills
  • Applying other people’s/rigid abstractions
  • time limit
  • having to do it- or, not being able to not

Failure mode:

  • make supurrious connection
  • google for first thing that seems to fit
  • fail to consider alternatives
  • post to IRC claiming to have figured something out
  • patches?
    • ‘I have experienced data X Y and Z, a quick google search yields ‘W’ what do you guys think?
    • make a bet before making claims
    • ask myself ‘what evidence actually supports this position, and are there any alternatives? How certain am I that there will be no other alternatives?’
    •  ‘does this actually accurately match the thought pattern that is happening in my brain, or is it just a surface level series of words that kind of approximates it?’
    •  ‘Am I trying to get people to discuss this awful reasoning so that I can get a more solid reflection of reality to consider? If so, how can I rephrase it to better capture that desire?’

Burnout may be like flexing my mental muscles until they’re sore and overworked. You don’t get rested by taking a particular action. You get rested by doing nothing for long enough that your body can work again. There is no work I can perform on myself to restore the damage done by doing work. No, I must do nothing.

This is why my control has ‘steep’ and ‘flat’ tasks. Flat tasks are still moving, but require less effort. Unfortunately gravity isn’t a conservative force in this metaphor.

So many of my tasks are just so big. I understand why they’re undone: They require too much time and energy to do, and most of the time it is just unpacking or repacking data. Often I’ll hit a wall where I just don’t know how to compute or refactor it, so the project stalls.

I’m working on a new format for them with a todo on the top that contains an overview of the project.

I don’t feel like my current RTTN/fortnightly structure accurately captures what is going on. It is difficult to reconstruct my thought train for problem->thing->effects->alterations->effects

After stopping going to non-work internet sites, when I ask myself ‘okay time to be unproductive what can I do?’ I only get silence back.

Finally, getting stuff done again. Possible causes:

  • burnout slowly receeding,
  • Ease/desire to complete tasks
  • implementation of the rules
  • reviewing rules twice instead of once
  • Non-work wasn’t nearly as appealing
  • Woke up feeling like making progress each morning



Hypnosis every day for every break

  • Very effective for relaxing, but didn’t seem to actually affect burnout.
  • Made clearer the line between break and not-break. I was either relaxing or still doing stuff.
  • I managed to get very deep very quickly, but any suggestions outside of hypnosis seemed ineffective.
    • numbing/relaxing/feeling good inside hypnosis worked fine, but went away shortly after
    • no commands for wanting to work on schoolwork, nor feeling good while working did anything.
  • Did not affect distractability post-trance. I was just as likely to fall into a time trap than before.

After homework stopped, I started feeling better again. I noticed the less stressed/(burntout?) I become, the more eccentric my behavior becomes. I start talking to myself in public, making weird faces and letting my baseline neurology take over. I become carefree and energetic. I seek to explore and investigate and know.

Do email/inbox/shower after 6 pomos

  • never actually did this at the right time because that is right in the swing of things, or I failed to do that many pomos that day. No inbetween.

Inaccurate task assignment

  • Solved: nearly exactly guessing the number of pomos I will do each day for a week now.

Fortnightly time intensity

  • add to fortnightly every three days
    • It is difficult to say if this reduced the intensity because the method method dramatically ramped up the amount I was writing.

Rescue Time inaccurately measures productive time

“new virtual desktop setup

  • #1 misc
  • #2 work (current task)
  • #3 break (nature)
  • #4 control (one note)
  • #5 chats”

new virtual desktop setup

  • At first felt like too many any that I didn’t know what windows went where, but after making 2-4 work-break, and 1 & 5 non-work break it became easier.
  • I can banish any unwanted windows to #1 and not have to deal with them, thus increasing work productivity.



  • no GG/imgur ever
  • no buying/eating treats
    • added ‘except when directly offered, then its okay’
  • limited to desktops 2,3 & 4 during work
  • no non-work internet before work is done
  • writing down distractions in inbox instead of doing them
    • for knowing facts or doing an unprepared task
  • copy-dump links when pomo ends, then focus down whichever were most relevant
  • cannot check chats even if messaged
  • shower first thing
  • 2 hr break on weekends”


  • By laying these out clearly in one big block reviewing became easier.
  • Especially writing down distractions and disallowing non-work internet reduced unneeded interruptions. It was another action other than ‘do’ which had become my default
  • I didn’t actually follow the cannot-check-chats rule most of the time
  • No buying/eating treats was easy. I’ve really found joy in most treats, but I kept looking anyway. Better to not.
  • reviewing rules once after starting daily, and again right before pomos has caught a few errors and forced my to reevaluate.
  • A heck of a lot easier to deal with than methods. What used to take up a big giant chunk of my focus now only takes up a little corner.
    • This may be part of the reason why I on one hand I feel like the things I assign are reasonable, but when I go to do them it feels like memorizing a textbook.

“Methods method

  • Write up
    • current status
    • Problems expected or experienced
    • midweek TTT to over come them or to improve the status otherwise
      • how should I have acted when?
      • What actions taken now will make me do what next time that’ll yield which outcome?”

Method Method

  • The status is unimportant
  • produces too much worthless text
  • problems expected is silly
  • problems experience is all we care about in truth
  • midweek TTT
    • questions silly
    • I never defined how to actually implement this as separate from my midweekly additions I do anyway

“pre daily (no school)

  • get food first thing
  • until 8:30am, literally anything other than GG and imgur
  • at 8:30 do daily method.”

pre daily

  • strangely, I found myself wanting to be productive most mornings instead of the usual not-wanting-to-work. I blame school for the usual feeling.


  • I appear to be allergic to slightly ripe fruit. I’ve confirmed oranges, strawberries, and especially bananas. Uncertain as to the melons, but it goes bad after four days and becomes inedible anyway.
  • I kind of sort of knew before that I was allergic to fruit sometimes, but I hadn’t bought enough of it until recently to really work out the pattern before now.
  • ethylene glycol?
  • amines?

study/hw roaster

  • didn’t really help for finals, especially with burnout

Woke earlier from a dream and immediately was productive.

  • Is waking at the same time not ideal?
  • Should I wake up earlier or later?

In my last hours of studying I finally figure out how for dynamics:

  • try a bunch of problems/one problem until you’ve exhausted all possible routes
  • go through solution and write down all of the calculations
  • abstract away the steps with equations and qualitative information
  • highlight the things you didn’t know or think to do or struggled with
  • you now have a page of notes on how to do that particular problem AND your particular bugs along with it

Googling ‘how to fix burnout’

  • I found this which gave me a very solid foundation for things to try/investigate. I think this is precisely the kind of thing I should base my TTT off of. Proposed solutions/things to investigate rather than my own ramblings or stuff I happen to come across. Academic literature applied to my own life, basically.

brainstack dump just before break

  • eases getting back into it
  • kind of like a mini-inbox for that particular task
  • ensures I don’t forget anything important when I break

‘relax’ command as soon as break starts

  • Increases amount of daydreaming significantly
  • makes breaks feel longer

Pomonotes are silly and a waste of time. At least, trying to collect data this way is. Maybe if it was automated.

Problems & Methods:

I’ll leave burnout untouched for now. Hard to figure it out without homework.

I’m going to continue focusing down my current rules to ingrain them more thoroughly, with a few additions.

Problems being solved:

  • being distracted by non-work. Sometimes an idea to google something, often tabs being left open.
  • reviewing methods is ineffective
  • Lack of knowledge of object-level problems
    • aka looking for where my tasks go wrong or could be better/faster/easier

Old rules needing extra focus to ingrain:

until done with work (min: 6 pomo, (3hw/3study))

no non-work activities

desktops 2-4

distractions: write up, or move to #1

linkdump post-pomo, choose during pomo

new methods:

  • rule review
  • if not following rule apply:
  • failure of:
    • rule
  • problem:
    • behavior
  • solution:
    • ideas for midweek TTT
  • alter rules with solution
  • our goal is to implement the rule.
  • Only write up surprises in RTTN:
    • following rule, unexpected effect.
    • not following rule, don’t care
  • project todo structure:
    • grand plan
      • subgoal 1
      • subgoal 2
    • subgoal 1
      • action
    • subgoal 2
      • action
    • everything else on a new page. By making clear what needs doing I should be able to make faster progress.
  • pomo pondering
    • After each pomo during yellow, reflect.
    • in as few words as possible
      • What is my task’s goal?
      • How does the task suck?
      • What can I change to reach the goal with less sucking?

new method rules:

  • During post-red-yellow: do pomo pondering.
  • keep active projects in grand plan structure.
  • do rule review every 3 hours.
  • Brief chat allowed during yellow.

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