Ain’t got nothin’ but time

I’m still up at Larsmont, near Two Harbors, MN (check the ‘Posted from here’ link on the main page for the GPSed location). I’ve been trying to get work done, but without any kind of schedule, or even a framework of a schedule, and outside my normal environs, I’ve had a hard time getting work done.

I ended up trying to get work done all day, but being frequently distracted. This led to me trying to ‘catch up’ in the evenings, or whenever, and caused me to be tired, frustrated, and irritable.

After a discussion with Amanda over my sanity and productivity, I decided to start working a regular schedule. For the past three days, I’ve been working 08:00 – 12:00 and 13:00 – 17:00. This gives me a solid 8-hour work schedule and leaves time for some rest and relaxation in the evenings, as well as a nice, 1-hour lunch break.

This has helped increase my productivity, and more importantly, has done something to save my sanity. However, even within a scheduled work time, it’s easy to be distracted, to let breaks run a bit too long, and so on. In order to keep myself mindful of my time use, I’ve started using a program called KArm. It’s part of the KDE personal information management module, and fortunately runs on Mac OS X as well as various flavors of Linux, BSD, etc… With KArm, I’ve been logging time on a per-project basis, as well as break time, personal logistics (i.e. calling and cancelling my cable service since I don’t have an apartment), and work logistics (i.e. securing access to other labs’ computing resources). It turns out I take a lot of breaks. It’s nice to have it logged, so that I can watch the little minute counter rise as I slack off. I have about 20 minutes left of ‘work time’ today, but here’s where things stand right now (today’s time only):

Task Time
AscendingRamp 2 min
Break 2 hrs 1 min
MagfemVerification 1 hr 19 min
Personal Logistics 1 hr 44 min
Work Logistics 57 min
Regional Ischemia Paper 1 hr

The paper writing is tough. I’m making it a requirement that I do a minimum of 1 hour’s work on the paper every day. Otherwise, it’ll be avoided and procrastinated to oblivion. Note that break time outweighs all other items, with personal logistics coming in at a close second. I’m working on it.

The AscendingRamp time is misleading — I’ve probably spent close to 10 minutes on the project, but that’s mainly swinging over to the cluster at WLU and checking to make sure that the pacing simulation is chugging along. I started it yesterday, and it won’t be done till sometime around noonish tomorrow.

That’s all for now. Just in case you’re wondering, I’m classifying this time as ‘Personal Logistics.’

One thought on “Ain’t got nothin’ but time

  1. Nichole

    That’s pretty interesting … I could never be so brave to find out how much time I’m actually “taking a break” when I should be working.

    How are you recording time when you’re multitasking?

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