Saturday, June 06, 2009

Automated self-monitoring

Looking for a way to self-monitor my working habits, I decided to write a script to analyze my notebook file and determine on which dates I had made an entry. Ideally, I ought to be working and making notes on my progress every day.

I decided to grep through the file for datestamps and form something like an ASCII sparkline, indicating whether I had made at least one entry on a given day.

The output for the last couple of months looks like this:

It looks even more badass displayed on my desktop via Geektool. I am also displaying the actual number of entries for each day immediately below the corresponding sparkline symbol. Admittedly, this contradicts the idea of displaying the information in tiny graphical form. I may eventually switch to something like this:

This is almost like Benjamin Franklin's system for reinforcing his 13 virtues. Admittedly, I am only reinforcing one virtue now, but I have a few other habits that I have been monitoring with my all-purpose tracking script, and these are ripe for display and correlation with other behaviors.

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