10 – Breaking the System

For the first few months of the Points Project, I gave myself points for spending time on productive things and completing projects, and took away points based on time and money spent on recreation. You know what breaks a system like that? Buying a house.

It broke the points system AND the blog!

But, that’s all said and done now, and I’ll be back blogging again from here on out. I’m already learning things about being a homeowner. For example, I’ve come to appreciate days when I don’t get post, because letters are now a sign of people wanting money. Also, you don’t realise how little furniture you own until you move out of your parents’ house. It was a good 6 weeks before I had sofas, and I still have to sit on the floor to use my “desktop” (hah!) computer.

Needless to say, the house purchase won’t be making an appearance in the points tally, otherwise I’d be in figurative debt for literal decades, but I’ve added “house homing” to my list of creative projects now. It’ll pop up every now and again, sandwiched in between my usual nonsense, though I’m not about to turn this into an interior design blog; my taste is awful and I have no desire to make you vomit from your eyes.

With all of that said, I’m zeroing out the points tally. Time to begin afresh!

Have a productive day.

Points Earned:

Blog post +5

Total Points: 5

Advertisements

09 – An Unexpected Absence

Oops!

I’m saying that for two reasons. The first is that I’ve not posted for a month despite having lots to write about, and the second is that I bought a laptop and have become thoroughly indebted to my own points system. It’s a creativity aid, so it’s not cost me as many points as it did pounds, but it’s still quite a deficit!

The good news is that, although I haven’t posted over the last month, I have been making a lot of progress with various projects. The difficulty is that one of those projects is TOP SECRET. I can reveal what it is in November, once my girlfriend’s birthday has been and gone, but my lips must remain sealed for the time being.

09-an-unexpected-absence2
Not the most exciting picture… but it’s all I can show for now!

Anyway, excuses done, I’m back and will be posting regularly again from now on. You can expect posts covering everything from music, writing, marketing (I’ve just enrolled in a CIM course), and various other topics. Speak soon, and until then…

Have a productive day.

Points Earned:

Recording with Tom +20
Super Secret Project +75
Adding ITBB Compendium Entries +75
Gig at Althorp House +15
Blog Post +2

Total Points – 68

06 – A Productive Partner

Maintaining productivity isn’t easy. Many millions of people struggle with it every day. The easy option is to sit yourself down in front of a television or Youtube (who doesn’t like cat videos?) and switch off for the evening. Productivity is the hard option. It can feel like a chore, especially if you also work full-time. That feeling is exactly why I started working on The Points Project. It directly links productivity and fun, and so far I’ve found that it’s helped me strike a fantastic balance between the two.

I’ve also found something else that’s significantly improved my productivity; having a partner in crime! It’s fantastic to have someone to bounce ideas off, someone to provide constructive criticism, and simply having someone there while you’re working on things can make it a lot more fun. Working with someone, even if you’re not working on the same thing, can prove to be inspiring.

A little over seven months ago I met someone who was very creative and looking to get more productive, and we’ve both made a lot of progress during those seven months. My productivity partner is my girlfriend, and seeing her accomplish things drives me to work harder, and we’re always on hand to help each other out. When she posts a blog, I want to post a blog. When I need something proofread, she’ll do it. When she wants ice cream, I’ve got a spoon.

06 - A Productive Partner2

It’s working incredibly well and I’d urge anyone reading this to give it a try. It doesn’t have to be a romantic partner, close friends or colleagues will no doubt work well too, but you’ll need to find someone with a few key traits. Someone who…

… knows how to give constructive criticism.
… knows how to accept constructive criticism.
… you can work beside without constantly being distracted.
… has a similar level of ambition to you.
… is interested in what you’re trying to achieve.
… is trying to achieve something you’re interested in.

If you find someone like that, you, my friend, will have found the holy grail of productive partners.

Have a productive day.

Points Earned:

Open Mic +15 (x2) (While fun, they’re very time consuming. Hence the points value.)
Cassie’s Housewarming Gig +10 (also time consuming, but being paid reduces the points cost!)
Added entries to the ITBB Compendium +5 (x3)
Wrote a blog post +2

Total Points +81

03 – Shiny Things (Points and Rewards)

The Points Project is simple really. Complete task, receive points, spend points. Easy peasy, but I think it’s time I explained how the points and rewards aspects work! I’ll soon make The Points Project spreadsheet available so you can play along too. Yes, it’s a spreadsheet, stop grimacing. It’s got buttons and everything! First thing’s first… how do I decide the points value of a task?

Allocating Points

Simply put, it’s a mix of time investment, motivation, and importance. As a starting point, I allocate one point for every 10 minutes that it should take to do a task, then adjust the value a bit depending on the importance of the task and how keen I am on doing it.

For example: Restringing my guitar isn’t the most exciting part of my music career but it’s important, so though it only takes about 20 minutes I give it a whole 3 points! By contrast, editing a chapter of my book takes around an hour. It’s also important but I actually enjoy doing it, so I value it at 5 points. The idea of doing things this way is that it’ll encourage me to do the things I would usually put off.

03 - Shiny Things1

It’s not an exact science by any means. If you’re playing along at home, just try and be fair. Figure out what works for you; the system will only work if you let it.

Earning Points

Easy:
Complete task. Get points.

Spending Points (i.e. Choosing Rewards)

Much like allocating points, this isn’t so straightforward to figure out. Again, try to be fair and figure out what works best for you. I spend points in two ways: doing and buying fun things. As with allocating points, one point equals 10 minutes, so if I want to spend an hour playing a video game it’s going to cost me six points. Likewise, I want to buy something fun, the cost is the number of points it’s going to cost me. If I want to buy a DVD for £10, it’s going to cost me 10 points too. Necessities (food, fuel, clothes, etc.) don’t count here, and if the purchase in question will help with future projects or productivity I halve the cost. Ideally, I never want to go into points debt, and it should only happen in the event of a big purchase that will have an immediate impact on my productivity.

03 - Shiny Things2

Both my points and rewards systems are movable feasts; they’ll need tweaking and refining no doubt, but it’s a starting point! Good luck figuring out your own methods. Have a productive day!

Points Earned:

Edited book chapter +5

Blog post +2

Total Points: 26