четверг, 2 апреля 2015 г.

What happened this day in your own life?

Tridi, Morille (Round Morel), Germinal

As I have promised, once a decade (just a reminder: note that by saying "decade" I mean ten days but not ten years) I write about... just about something that, I hope, will interest you and will put some thought into your mind.

But before that I would like to thank two of you who read the previous text very attentively and after that pointed some of my mistakes out to me providing their messages with detailed explanations of what I said not in good English and examples of how to express the same idea better. To both of you: please, continue in the same way if it is not boring! To all of the others: feel free to join in! Of course, that refers to commenting the content of the post as well.

Well, it is time to switch to the main subject.

For about a year ago I read a book full of various ideas. Some of them seem absolutely intuitive (after you have already encountered them), though one should not forget that it is a common situation for a lot of really valuable concepts.

The book I am talking about is "Time-Drive" written by Gleb Arkhangelsky. One may recall that is is not the first time I mention it. And I think, not the last time. That book for me is among those bundles of ideas which cannot be thumbed through once and forgotten immediately after that.

And the idea to which I devote that post is about how to determine the most important fields of activity for yourself (believe me, there is nothing strange when you cannot simply answer that question for sure if you are limited to the number of subitems you give). The plan offered by Arkhangelsky is pretty simple: just write down the most valuable event for you each day and also mark off to which field of activity it refers. Each week choose "the event of the week". Once a month pick out "the event of the month". The representation of each sphere of activity will hint you at the desired conclusion.

From the previous spring I have tried to follow the suggested method. I should admit that some days I forgot about new routine duty to write down the "event of the day", but that fact does not matter much because the statistics cover more than 90% of the considered period (and even knowledge of a person who gave up a course in statistics not long ago is enough to understand that I have quite good data sample). Yesterday I summarized my notes and obtained the following distribution:
  1. Programming (excl. hometasks in CSC and in the university) - 20%
  2. Emotions - 12.3%
  3. Chess - 10.8%
  4. Time Management - 10.5%
  5. CSC - 9.8%
  6. French - 8%
  7. Day regimen + Physical Activity - 7.1%
  8. University (excl. English) - 6.8%
  9. English - 4%
  10. Bioinformatics - 3.7%
All of the other fields of activities haven't overpassed 3% barrier and thus were not elected into Duma included into that list.

I suppose that the above data needs some clarifications. To make things clear I should explain that

  • "Programming" includes various competitions, work for Codefights and some other things like Kivy App contest or working upon the implementation of my own ideas.
  • "Emotions" are those events which cannot be referred to any of the other categories but nevertheless were imprinted on my mind more than any other activity that day. These are meetings with my dearest friends whom I don't see often; no matter positive or negative but very important news; some completely new experience, etc. Of course, that doesn't imply that chess, competetive programming, studying languages or something else is devoid of emotions for me if it doesn't fit for that category.
  • "Time Management" consists of well-timed sheduling, dealing with any possible issues beforehand, as well as of addition of some planning techniques to the daily routine.

And here are the conclusions which I can make basing on my year-long experience:

  • The idea proved itself to be very cool! It doesn't take much time but it helps to recall easily "how it was". Just yesterday while reviewing my year-long notes I felt that it was a great year, that I had time to do many different things (and I haven't encoutered any remindings of unachieved goals which is essential if you seek for a source of inspiration but not of distress. The fact that actually there were a lot of unachieved goals does not matter in that case). 
  • It's worth to determine the "event of the day" not before going to bed that specific day and even not the next morning but to wait for a week or so. That will help your mind to filter the tremendous flow of impressions and will leave only the most essential ones. Thus your choice will be more fair than the decision made out of hand. Here more general fact is deserving mention: from time to time let your mind to perform its work out of your control for some time, i.e. just give your mind some knowledge not just before it needs to be applied but in advance. Afterwards, you will perform better than if you don't allow your mind to "digest the food". Actually, you will profit from the most essential part of obtained knowledge but won't be perplexed by tons of unstructured information.   
  • I tried to mark out "events of the week" and "events of the month" but couldn't find out how to make these characteristics meaningful.
  • Maybe, the division of activities into fields should have been better. For instance, it's worh consideration to separate studies using the criterion "what" instead of "where", i.e. to join programming in CSC and in the university but to separate maths in the university from programming in the same place. 
  • Maybe, I shouldn't have allowed myself to include emotions into the list. Now I suppose that I've come up with a better solution. The new concept is to maintain two lists: activity of the day and impression of the day. The first one will answer what is the most important for me or to which field I should turn to because I don't give it enough attention while I am sure that I should do so. The second list will be a shortened version of a personal diary. Here I should stop as I don't want to deepen into the reasoning why it's important to keep your own diary. I just think so.
  • I should repeat the same thing as a year ago: I definitely need some stunning activity somehow connected with English! There were some during the year but they were not enough. Low ranking of that field is caused not by doing almost nothing (it is simply otherwise) but by doing almost nothing exciting. I am sure that efficient language studies should be connected with impressions. That will add some extra ties in your mind which will help you to memorize words, expressions and useful patterns. One should understand that when I have to look for the suitable word in the dictionary again and again while writing that post, although I'm completely sure that I know what it is and just cannot remember it, I don't get the impressions which I want to be accompanied on my way of perfecting.

By the way, this time I looked into the dictionary 19 times to make sure that I'm right and 35 times in the cases when I couldn't come up with the appropriate word. For the whole post I spent 4h15. And the post itself is definitely smaller than the previous one, which is the only good detail. So, no visible progress with writing for now but, of course, one cannot expect it so soon (and cannot expect to notice visible progress at all). For now it means that I should keep practicing only.