Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Setting priorities

I am terrible at prioritising my time. This is obviously not a boast. It's also how I ended up with over a hundred YouTube videos waiting on my attention, a growing backlog of podcasts, tons of unwatched TV and many articles and books (physical and ebook) to read, all sitting and rotting in multiple lists I might never get around to.

Recently I realised that I need to make some choices. Clean house. Admit my limitations. I also realised that I have a suitable toolset for the task already. I have a program I use to vote pending blog posts up or down, relative to each other, to help ensure I post the best stuff here. As it turns out, that same tool can let me prioritise my entertainment if I put it all into one giant list, and the only decisions I have to make, now and then, are whether I want to watch, for instance, this TV show more than I'd rather read a particular book.

So far, it's working pretty well. It's still a bit of a pain deconstructing my other playlists and wish lists, but because everything is in one big list, it's really no extra trouble once it's done. It's helping me to feel like I'm not going to neglect something important or fun. And eventually, if I keep at it long enough, the worst items, whether books, movies, TV shows, articles or YouTube videos, should naturally fall off the end of the list, never to be heard from again. That is the ultimate goal: discarding what I really didn't need to spend my time on while using my recreation time on the most enjoyable things. It's a system for strategically neglecting the least important entertainment.

I'm actually pretty excited about it at this point. My previous method had been to arrange one whole type of entertainment - say, my TV backlog - before all others, and to stick with that until I was completely done with everything in that category. I'd listen to all my podcasts on the train ride home until that queue was empty, then allow myself to read books. It wasn't working. This new way, with everything in one list, a good book has an actual chance of winning out against TV that, in the end, I might rather not watch at all.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I rewrote the voting algorithm just for this.
PPS - That's another bonus of this method: I get to write more software.

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