What's now, next, and later?

It's 5:53 am on a Monday. I think it's a great start to the week. It's quiet, dark outside, and the shades are still pulled on the windows.

I'm cleaning my e-mail before I go into work for the morning. This is a task I usually reserve for Sundays, but yesterday I spent most of the day on Coursera, knocked out week 3 on R Programming and Machine Learning and looked into the new Introduction to Computational Finance and Financial Econometrics course I'm starting today. I got so. much. done. But at the same time, I was frustrated because I don't really count academic results as tangible results. Sure, my Github got a commit and I got a 5/5 on a quiz, but where's the stuff I share with society? Where's the good? Where's the wheat when all I perceive is chaff?

Well, apparently my subconscious, internet-surfing mind decided to send an e-mail to me in the future. The article in that link points to a product development methodology utilized by Noah Weiss, the VP of Product Development at FourSquare. I'd like to apply this same methodology to my life. I'm terrific at self-micromanaging, but sometimes I lose focus (like not updating this blog for 10 days straight).

now - 70% next - 20% later - 10%
for the next 2-4 weeks 1-3 months out 3+ months out

The percentages cited are how much time one should dedicate toward planning for what's now, next, and later, and Weiss says that 'now' is a product of the length of your sprint. A question I'll have to answer is 'how long are my personal sprints?' I like Google's concept of quarterly OKRs, so I think I can change the above durations to 3 months, 3-9 months, and 9+ months out, respectively, for more long-range goal-setting.

After reading Reid Hoffman's The Startup of You, I've come to think of my life as a series of plans A, B, and Z while simultaneously being open to the experiences life may come to offer. I suppose my next step is to craft a vision statement...

Published February 23, 2015