Today I made the first use of my expanded tasks in Task Coach, where I track what I do at work. It forced me to change some of my behaviors. I often switch back and forth between different tasks. I’ll be working on task A, answer a fresh email on task B, go back to task A, have an idea and run off to talk to someone about task C. Now when I get that email about task B I have to ask myself, do I really need to deal with this right now? Sometimes I do, sometimes I do. But instead of mentally shifting gears I also have to physically shift gears by going over to Task Coach and shifting what it is tracking. I think it’s bringing more focus to my work, which is probably good.
It is causing some drag though. Yesterday, before putting this into action, I recorded six efforts. Today I recorded 40. I did some eyeballing of the time it takes to shift gears, and it looks to be about 30 seconds. Once I get accustomed to using it regularly I can collect some real data for a better estimate. But if it’s 30 seconds and I recorded 34 extra tasks, that’s 17 extra minutes of my work day spent on tracking tasks. That’s a fair bit. If could get the shift down to 15 seconds, that would only be 8.5 minutes, which sounds more reasonable.
There are other benefits to this. Recording things today I found that stopping to record what I was doing made me more mindful of what I was doing. It helped keep my head in the here and now. I also started tracking my moods today, good and bad. It made things easier to let go of. I would get frustrated with something, stop to record that I was frustrated with something, and that action stopped me from feeding the frustration and made it easier to let go of. Data collection seems to be rather Zen.
Sort of. When the train to take me home rolled into the station I was so caught up in adding more things to my data tracking software that I forgot to track that I had gotten on the train. I decided not to worry about it. Instead I just took it as a sign to stop data coding for the day and just chill. This is not the priority right now.