Weeknotes 2023 W09:
Goal cards

February 27​–​March 5, 2023
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Picking up new skills to work on in my spare time is weird. My brain keeps telling me “you’re not good at it and it would be better to simply stop.” It’s frustrating, but I’m fighting it.

I’m trying out different things, knowing full well that they won’t be easy. But things that are easy are rarely rewarding.

I think I simply need to keep going for a while, to the point where I can truly see the progress I have made. It’s going to take a while and it’ll be tough, but skills never come for free.

Having a voice coach is pretty amazing. While I’ve never been quite happy with my voice, I’m now starting to understand why I haven’t been happy with it. I’m beginning to understand why my voice sounds the way it does, and how to improve it. I found out I have the tendency to pronounce B and P as W, which is pretty terrible. Wretty terriwle.

Over the last few months, I’ve come to realise that I don’t really want to have tech-related hobbies anymore. But this raises problems: while I am absolutely able to pick up new hobbies, I don’t have a sense of community. At least not yet.

That’s very much not helping combat the loneliness I’ve been feeling.

I like having a clean home, but I find it tough to spent time and energy to keep it clean. I’m experimenting with a new approach to keeping my home in a state that I want it to be in. Here’s how it works:

I now have a stack of index cards, and on each index card I wrote a desirable end state, such as “kitchen is clean” and “paper trash taken out.” I shuffle those cards and put them face down, and draw three cards from the top. Then I do my best to achieve the goals written on those cards.

On Saturday, I drew the cards “compostable trash taken out,” “paper trash taken out” and “no clothes lying around”. Then I achieved all those things.

Does this look silly? Perhaps. But it’s effective: this approach entirely bypasses paralysis analysis, and allows me to make progress, which is much more valuable than being overwhelmed and giving up.

It’s stochastic cleanliness, as a friend described it.

See the Clean home index card goals list for the list of goals that I have. That list will almost certainly evolve over time.

What is written on an index card needs to follow a few rules:

There are some concerns with this approach which I haven’t worked out yet:

I’ll have to see how this works out!

Still haven’t caught COVID-19. It’s remarkable, really, given how I was so prone to falling sick before the pandemic.

The irony.

Let’s talk about work and bonus programs! I’ve had interesting conversations on this topic, with thoughts I believe are worth sharing.

Employer bonus programs generally provide rewards for personal goals as well as company goals. The personal goals I find particularly interesting, and especially the question how much it makes sense to go the extra mile to get a better bonus.

Imagine you earn € 80 000 per year (gross), with a bonus of 15% (€ 12 000 gross) for outstanding work, and a bonus of 10% (€ 8000 gross) for meeting expectation. That means going the extra mile, meaning from 10% to 15%, would yield an extra € 4000 (gross).

Is it worth putting in the extra effort to get € 4000 (gross) extra? It depends! That bonus is not guaranteed. If the bonus also depends on the company performance, going the extra mile might be even less effective.

This is just an example calculation of course, so you’d have to adjust it for your own situation, if your employer has a bonus program of course. If nothing else, it’s interesting to think about.