This is day two for my

Found at: sdf.org:70/users/ratfactor/phlog/2018-08-10-The-Logging-Habit

= The Logging Habit =

This is day two for my gopher phlogging. Like any new habit, it's
exciting and fun for the first couple days.  But what about the
long term as days turn to weeks and weeks to months?

Well, I can't predict the future.  But I do believe in the general
concept of habits and my ability to form them.  I didn't used to.  

Until 2011, I'd tried and failed to keep journal since childhood.
n my late twenties.  The duration remained my personal record for
a long time. Nothing came of the journal.

* It's a place to keep track of ideas
* It helps you think/organize
* You can use them as therapy
* Keep track of how you use time and progress you've made
* Plan your life
* Use it as a commonplace book (a personal scrapbook of text)
* Learn to be grateful (see therapy above)

thinkers were well-known journal-keepers.  Also, I liked the idea
of creating something personal slowly over time.

  While certainly not role-model material, I was always
  fascinated with the imagery of the huge collection of journals
  created by the fictional character John Doe in the 1995 film

	  Well, there are at least five thousand
	  notebooks in this room, and near as I can
	  tell, each notebook contains two hundred
	  and fifty pages.

			-- the Seven film script

  The journals (consistantly "notebooks" in the script) turn out
  to be not very helpful: "No dates indicated, placed on the shelves
  in no discernible order.  It's just his mind poured out on paper.
  I don't think it's going to give us any specifics."

  But the _imagery_ and the _idea_ of that volume of personal
  writing. That stuck in my head.

The Plan:
So in 2011 I was really starting to feel that time was slipping
away from me.  I had all these plans and I didn't seem to have
enough focus or willpower or grit or whatever to make any progress
on them.

After wasting an inordinate amount of time on "productivity porn,"
time-tracking experiment.  I was heavily inspired by some people

The time log:
So I put a little notebook in my pocket and started writing down
every single context switch in my life and the time it occurred.

endeavor with specific goals and some idea of how to reach those

But from that habit came a powerful desire to keep doing that habit
out of the sheer desire to keep the habit going!

So after a lot of soul-searching (hey, this was four years of
logging every single minute I got into a car, fell alseep, or ate a
meal!), I decided to radically cut down on the data I was

The current log:
times.  I still transcribe the previous day's entry into my
computer at the beginning of the next day.

But I don't record the time something occurred (with some
exceptions) and I try to limit myself to the highlights of the day.

that's something I want to write up in detail at a later date.
entry looks like.

What's come of it:
event in that time.  If I can figure out which keywords to search
for, I can find the event and tell you on which date it occurred
and what happened right before and after that event.  That's pretty

be handier than a notebook in your pocket?

log the next day.

And perhaps just as importantly as those quasi-tangible benefits,

language from the "White Book" (The C Programming Language by K&R).
That was a watershed moment in my life at which I finally realized
that I could teach myself anything I wanted to learn. (Before that,
as hard as it is now to remember, I had no idea that was possible
and was under the common delusion that some subjects were too hard
to learn on one's own.)

So keeping at this gopher logging business is something I _can_ do.
But like many other habits I've aquired and shed since the logging
one, only time will tell if this earns its place in my precious

                            * * * 

Sheesh, this got long fast.  That always happens to me.  I think
"I'm not sure I have much to say about this." and the next thing
you know I've written off on a dozen different tangents and I'm

Speaking of tangents, I just remembered a previous success I had
assignment in 1993.  It's just a simple Title, Author, and Page
Count log, so it was easy to keep.  So I suppose I wasn't suuuch a
failure all along. :-)