Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Productivity Tracking

I read a story today of how John Carmack, author of Quake, was a super productive guy. He had a clever way of measuring his productivity by playing music in the background when he was working and then pausing it when he wasn't. This included pausing his music when he went to the bathroom. At the end of the day he could figure out how productive he was by how far along his playlist he was.

Productivity is important for all of us, and possibly the most important metric. I suppose for salaried workers, who aren't necessarily directly incentivised to be productive (some people delaying working to their potential because they would just get another task if the finished sooner, they didn't feel like they would gain for being productive so they didn't care and did just enough to not get fired), there's probably not a huge incentive to track time being productive. But for an indie hacker working on his own projects (like myself currently), this is really really important. If I click over to YouTube or Facebook and spend all my time there, then I get nothing done and there is noone else to pull me forward.

I'll add in a reminder that Four Hour Work Week gives a warning about "being busy" being a form of procrastination. Avoiding the important (which are probably the hard things) that need to be done like getting  on the phone with people. But there are times where you need to put fingers to keyboard and just grind and get things done.

Just like you would track your expenses if you wanted to fix your finances, or track your food and exercise if you wanted to get healthier, you should track your productivity. I still do the first two and have been for quite some time. Okay, I'm inspired now to give productivity tracking a shot.