Posted on Fri 08 May 2015

Monthly Review: April 2015

Bank sunrise

At the start of each month I do a review in my journal of my goals, habits, and experiments from the past month. In January 2015 I started publishing my monthly reviews on my blog instead of keeping them private. You can see them all in my monthly reviews category.

WHAT DID I COMPLETE THAT I AM PROUD OF IN APRIL?

  • Finished my first release candidate version of my Exist iOS app.
  • Made solid improvements to my Pinboard read later app.

WHAT GOALS DID I ATTEMPT IN APRIL?

  • Draft all the chapters in another section of my writing course: Yes! I'm unsure of continuing with this work, but I did get a good chunk of it drafted.
  • Send out a new beta version of my iOS app for testing: Yep! It's actually ready for an App Store release now!
  • Finish learning to recite the Tarantella poem by Edith Sitwell while I'm on holidays from acting class: Not quite. I got about halfway through.

WHAT 1 HABIT DID I FOCUS ON FOR APRIL? (HOW DID THAT GO?)

Planning for tomorrow: every night I wanted to take a minute to plan what I'd work on the next day and check what appointments I had coming up so I would be better prepared for each day.

I did this 23/30 days in April. I'll keep tracking my progress on it in the future, as it's a really useful habit to have. I've been working on getting through two big tasks every day to help me prioritise and stay productive in the mornings, and planning these the night before makes it easier to avoid wasting time the following day.

WHAT EXPERIMENTS DID I TRY?

  • Planning just two big tasks to get done each day. When I did get them done, this made my day really productive. I usually picked things like drafting, editing, or polishing content which takes the most of my time and thus tends to be what I procrastinate on.
  • Working through emails and admin/small fiddly tasks first thing. Emails tend to nag at me during the day if they're sitting in my inbox so I tried working through them first thing to avoid this feeling. After my inbox is empty (or as close as I can get it) I move on to admin tasks, and by the time I get around to "real" work, I can focus easier knowing all those little things are taken care of.

WHAT BOOKS DID I READ?

  • Building a Character, Konstantin Stanislavski
  • The Nether: A Play, Jennifer Haley
  • The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams

HOW MUCH MONEY DID I SPEND?

$2,709

Biggest chunks: $1293 for rent, $583 for business expenses (software, a new office chair, and some iOS programming books), $367 on shopping (mostly clothes and a new pair of headphones).

Goals for May

I WANT TO COMPLETE:

  • Release Exist iOS app in the App Store.
  • Get ToRead app ready for beta testing.

I WANT TO FOCUS ON THIS 1 HABIT:

  • Getting up early. I keep struggling with this over and over, but if I don't get up early I end up procrastinating more and getting less work done. I'm aiming for an 8am deadline of getting out of bed each day.

Last month's review

Image credit: Dave Meier

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