I’m in 3rd grade now. Prealgebra is rolling along. I got through three chapters (whole numbers, the language of algebra, and integers), which means I’ve finally gotten past whole number arithmetic in my relearning attempts. This week I’m aiming for the next four chapters (fractions, decimals, percents, and the properties of real numbers), and then I’ll be ready for algebra.
It’s time to step back and assess my productivity situation. I listened to Atomic Habits by James Clear, which comes up a lot in the productivitysphere. It had a slow and wordy start with insights that felt obvious to me, but eventually it became much more helpful, and I recommend it. But listening to yet another self-help book reminded me that I need to pause soon and lay out what I’ve gleaned from these books and plan how to put it into practice.
After that I listened to The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande, which has come up in several of the other books. My current job has taught me the value of checklists and procedures, and the book gave me some extra ideas, such as the need to experiment with a checklist to pare it down to the essentials–the easy tasks that are both important and easy to forget when distracted.
Over the past few weeks my productivity has gradually slowed down from my initial excitement over my new methods, especially last week, so for the weekend I decided to take a break from all the recordkeeping and striving. I need to regroup and assess how these methods are going and what I need to keep and discard so they’ll still work when I’m less energetic and motivated.
I also realized I have too many side projects to expect them to just happen in a well-ordered manner, and I need to manage them like regular projects.
Organizing my cooking efforts. My first managed side project is cooking. I started putting together my grocery shopping system: (1) cataloging the ingredients of my first set of dinner recipes, which I’m taking from Good and Cheap; (2) prioritizing them based on frequency; (3) bookmarking the Instacart pages of those and other items, organized by whether I’ll buy them regularly or occasionally and from which store; and (4) starting to add ingredients from the general list in the book’s intro, plus my previous orders and household items I know I’ll need, partly drawn from the book Clean My Space. Instacart organizes its site by store, and I’m starting with the cheap one, Aldi. After cataloging the recipe ingredients, I decided that was overkill, but it was nice to gauge what kinds of ingredients the author emphasized (garlic and butter).
I’m basically marching through Good and Cheap‘s dinner section, and the next two recipes are Peanut Chicken and Broccoli with Coconut Rice and Beef Stroganoff.
Background music for my online shopping. While shopping I’ve been listening to vibraphone jazz, which makes me feel like I’m in a 1950s/60s grocery store.