Last week had probably been the closest to the idealisation of how perfect time use would be like; there were few moments that I had journaled on feeling that my time had been spent on frivolous content consumption. I can feel that the past week was different too - a lot of the minor items that I had put off doing had been done during my lull periods.

There was only a single new thing that I’ve introduced into my workflow - a scrap text file in which I record all the pending TODOs on the top of the file, and a record of a bulleted-list of things I’ve done each day. At the end of each day, I would just do a git commit of whatever I’ve scribbled there.

But it is a little hard to convince myself that doing so was the sole reason for my productivity surge; I had at many times attempted to log work and TODOs before, but the habit didn’t stick, and I didn’t remember that those previous attempts had helped in keeping me away from distractions either.

I have a ‘graveyard’ full of historical notes in Google Keep that had tracked my previous attempts to get on top of things, and to record the things I did, but I had stopped as it got messy, as the TODOs kept being copied around, and the archived daily/weekly notes were never read/or referenced again after archiving.

Maybe having a note taker on the Internet didn’t help. Even though I thought that having something accessible both on the phone and the computer would make it easier, it didn’t seem to be the case. I found it unwieldy to manage notes (or anything that required a lot of typing) on the phone, and it typically leads me to other less productive activities like checking social media feeds, stock tickers, or reading instant messages.

In the past, I had found paper notebooks had been useful for me to jot down my activities and notes, but the only downside I remembered was the inability to search through it. And it’s only useful when I had it in front of me; there were days in which I forgot, or when the notebook ran out of pages, typically leading to the end of the habit.

Moving off from vim and using ‘Visual Studio Code’ as my main text editor might have helped too. Instead of having the context of the screen shared between my terminal commands and vim, VS Code is a permanently on-screen editor on one of my screens, so the focus is always visible, rather than being transient.

Perhaps these changes. Or not.

Whatever the reasons for the increased ‘time not spent on idle consumption’, I didn’t necessarily think it directly translated into a substantial boost to my productivity. Sure, I did more, but they were more little tasks that I had put off for later. It did give me a sense of accomplishment for the week, even though I’m not sure if I had been that much more effective than other weeks.

Well, hope it keeps up, and maybe I’ll have enough data subsequently to know if it’s the case or not!