Captain’s log 10/12/15 – 10/16/15

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I tested the waters with just two intentions this week. Here’s how they appear on my board:

2015-10-16 10_42_17-Ray's World Domination Plan _ Trello

I’ll tackle my reflections on ’em in that order.

My incantation this week was: “The act of choosing simply means we’ve committed ourselves to a set of behaviors greater than the sum of our individual inclinations.” This comes from a larger quote by Leslie Jamison about empathy. She made the point that how empathetic you are isn’t defined by your natural inclination to empathize, but how much you work to be consciously empathetic. I get so fixated on my natural abilities, I don’t work on crystallized intelligence rather than fluid intelligence. This incantation tells me, it’s possible to choose who you are. “Choosing” curiosity or creativity isn’t inferior to being naturally creative.

That said, I don’t know how much or how little it helped. I like it though. I’m going to choose another incantation this Monday, but I plan to keep this one up too. It’s like putting together a spellbook. An Agile Grimoire.

AS FOR THE ACTUAL TASKS…

This week I planned to have a dedicated Task Doing Day, which was the day before the dedicated Reflections Day. I’m going to have to design an alternative approach. First of all, I hoped that I could spend longer than is comfortable focusing intently on each task. I didn’t make this hope explicit, which is probably why it never happened, and I ran around doing a gazillion other things in addition. I usually have completion based goals rather than time based goals (do the dishes until they are done vs. do the dishes for 15 minutes) so I want to experiment with the latter kind. I want to push my boundaries and get bored of my task and work thru some feelings. Next week, I’ll set time based goals.

Second of all, doing things as late as possible is like, the antithesis of Agile. I’m a big fan of iteration, and that requires time. I made the time to follow the instructions I had written out for each task, but did not account for the inevitability of figuring out that there’s a better approach partway through following them. I wrote the instructions so I’d have an easy way to get started, not as a game plan from start to finish. I hoped that, but I didn’t make this hope explicit, so I didn’t act on it. This is probably a lesson I’m going to learn every week. Next week, I’ll set daily goals.

2015-10-16 10_07_31-draw a page of Red Riding Hood comic thumbnails on Ray's World Domination Plan _

I did well with my comics goals on paper, but don’t feel fulfilled. As an illustration to my previous point, I started doing the first three steps, and then…

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I realized this wasn’t working for me. I went to run errands, I had my weekly gaming session with my friends, I doodled, I got frustrated. Eventually I remembered reading about how someone planned out their comics on index cards, and decided I’d do that. And, out of spite to myself (???) I decided to make it as garbage and tonally inappropriate to my intended vision as possible.

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Even before I descended into index card hell, I was thinking “it’s too early in the process for thumbnailing, first I need to do…” AND YET I FORGED ON. There’s a recurring theme of not listening to my instincts here. Had I started working on this at the beginning of the week, I could have gotten stuck on thumbnails, puttered around figuring out what to do, done the prerequisite character designs and concept art, and then done the thumbnails. Next week, I’ll be flexible about the letter of the law.

Which leaves me with a good question: How can I be conscientious about changing intentions? How will I know when it’s a good time?

2015-10-16 10_35_19-find a math camp and sign up for it on Ray's World Domination Plan _ Trello

In contrast, I didn’t do well at all with my other task on paper, but feel super fulfilled with it and ok with my progress. I have strong enough opinions about math that the process of elimination was swift and brutal. I narrowed it down to two choices I feel strongly about: MathILy and Mathcamp. Not much to say. Next week, I’ll investigate these math programs further.

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