My Point System – Joe’s Goals

Joe's Goals

My score diagram for this year on Joe’s Goals – showing clearly that slowly my productivity has been improving over recent times. There’s break on April-May due to me being in Malaysia.

I’m gonna take a soft landing to work mode today and slam in a blog post first before doing anything else.

So yesterday was first day going with my new schedule. It went pretty well. The schedule has 8 hours of time designated for work mode, and I ended up working 5½ hours effectively. This might sound that I botched it up, but you have to remember that there is always losses of time. For first two cycles of work mode I followed the schedule exactly, if not by minute. My breakfast ran a little long but other than that I was just on time.

As for last work cycle… Well I eased my conditions and made that more or less optional. I couldn’t pull myself as effectively in the work mode as during other cycles, but I still practiced butt-in-chair and didn’t start dilly-dallying, so I’m happy even with that. What I’m not happy is staying up so late that I’m effectively sleep deprived now.

In any case, yesterday was only second time in my life where I breached 100 points in my point system.

My Point System

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. “What the hell is that?” Well, I measure my productivity via site called Joe’s Goals. It’s a simple site where you can set all kind of tasks and track how you do with them. I started using the site in a simple way in 2010, but as always when I do something, the system expanded like a cancer and soon there was a lot different tasks and variables to track. I ended up refining the system and now I have found a set way of using it, that’s tracking my productivity effectively, without taking too much time or demanding me to stay on top of too many things – it has stayed unchanged during 2012.

I refer to this system simply as “my point system”. Every action I want to include in my days have a set amount of points you get from doing them. Most valuable for me is writing and doing creative work. I’m not gonna go through how all the tasks return points, but just to give you an idea, writing, the most valuable thing, is worth 7 points / 30 minutes.

Now of course things that are hard to measure in terms of usefulness, like meditation, also earn me points. In theory, I could score a massive load of points without even providing any value, simply by doing things like working out, meditating, stretching, reading… All useful, but perhaps not productive in traditional sense.

So calling this a productivity tracking system isn’t completely correct – more correct way is to call it a system for measuring how much my days look like how I want them to look. I want to create a lot of value, I want to keep myself healthy and fit, and I want to educate myself and develop my mind – my point system reflects that by valuing all those actions via points.

Ultimate Goal – Transcending Joe’s Goals

Of course, ultimately this is just a motivational tool. I enjoy numbers. For some reason I like statistics & competing, and so reducing my life into a simply weekly score that I try to beat just motivates me.

But I know there’s more to life than just numbers. The point system is just a way to spur me into right direction, to slowly cultivating the daily habits that consistently develop me as a person and slowly shift me from the lazy slug I am now into a vibrant value-provider I hope to be in few years. Any tool I can use to make that shift happen, I welcome.

At some point I hope to transcend the point system – reach such level that it makes no sense to track things like that any more. Or perhaps then I recognize other habits have become priority in my life than the ones that are rewarded now. In any case, I might just keep doing it cause I enjoy it. You might think that tracking numerous things like my point system tracks is tedious and time-consuming, but I enjoy it for whatever reason, and it has integrated into my life by now to such extent that it is effortless. It probably takes only a few minutes out of my day.

I’m not saying you should do it, but I know sites like Joe’s Goals and other similar tools spur people forward. Use whatever you can. I just like bragging with things like “I’ve stretched 25 minutes a day for 121 days in a row now”, and as Joe’s Goals tracks streaks as well, it fits my needs perfectly.

Yesterday in Points

So like I told you I surpassed hundred points only second time yesterday – I scored 109 points in my own system, with my record being 114. That gives me a clue that the current schedule is at least more functional than any other I have had before. To give you a perspective to how lazy I’m in general: my weekly record is 400 (though I’m certainly gonna crush that record this week).

I will keep you updated on how my life is going under a strict schedule of giving value. I also edited the previous post a bit, adding alternate schedule for weekends and giving myself a bit of a leeway on the night’s 2 hours of work mode.

2 Responses to “My Point System – Joe’s Goals”

  1. Walter December 5, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

    i use joesgoals for tracking habits too, and for other tasks i can recomend google calendar + wunderlist

    • Jarkko Helenius December 5, 2012 at 10:40 pm #

      Thanks Walter. Gotta check them out. I’m really poor using calendars and should definitely learn some system before my life blows apart with tasks and commitments.

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