Forming a study habit - Measurements


At work, measurements are an important part of my role. I coach my direct reports on their goals and help evaluate their progress. I measure the cycle time of user stories. I try to get the error count to 0 in our production systems.


For my habits, I measure them. I want to know how I am progressing and to keep motivation high.

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” - Peter Drucker

HabitBull



I track most of my habits with an app called HabitBull (http://www.habitbull.com/). With HabitBull, I mark off each day as a success or failure, based on my criteria. Success varies for each habit: when I study for at least 30 minutes with no distraction, writing at least 5 words on my blog, and a simple yes or no for going to bed before 11pm.

Habit trackers like these encourage me to keep going. As you can see in my screenshot, 6th of January was a bad day. A disaster with my sleep knocked my whole routine off, and I chose to use my remaining brain cells to struggle through work that day. These issues do happen.

Forecasting

I am also looking for other measurements for my habits. Let us take a look at one measurement from my math self-study.

datenumber of completed exercisesComments
2019-12-302.75
2019-12-317.17
2020-01-014.6
2020-01-021.5
2020-01-030.5
2020-01-041
Big exercises on
geometric progressions,
still working at it
2020-01-051.666
2020-01-060
Sleep disturbed
2020-01-072
2020-01-082
2020-01-090.2
One induction proof
2020-01-100
Work in progress on induction proof


Here I am counting how many math problems I have completed for each day. We've already discussed the 6th of January, but what we can see on the 9th and 10th highlights to me that I need more practice with induction proofs. Another example measurement I use is the number of pages I have read. With this, I can roughly forecast my completion date for the textbook I am working through.

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