This post was migrated from my previous blog managed by an old CMS. Some parts may be broken or poorly formatted, images may be missing, etc. Feel free to report an issue.

Continuing after last month, this is my review for February. I'm going to take a slightly more utilitarian approach to the post this time to keep it brief. For more on why I'm doing this, see last month's post.

The Numbers

Here are this month's numbers, along with the percentage change from last month, when relevant.

  • Rescuetime productivity pulse of 57 (+12)
  • Average of 7h 8m of sleep / night (-3.6%)
  • Average of 2,806 calories / day (+17.3%)
  • Average of 8,328 steps / day (+62.4%)
  • Money spent: 54.25% of income
  • Books read: 1.5 (+0)
  • Blog posts written: 2 (+0)
  • Habit: Read at least 10 pages of a book: 17/29 days (+6.9%)

Exist insights

These are some interesting insights from Exist this month. Not much has changed, though my productivity-related correlations are noticably stronger. Percentages are how strongly correlated the relationships are, as noted by Exist.

  • I get more steps when I’m more productive (47%)
  • My weight is higher after I’m more productive (47%) and when I walk more steps (34%)
  • I’m more productive when I spend more time active (58%), when I get more steps (47%), and when I tweet more (22%)
  • I have more okay days when I spend more time active (25%)
  • I have a better day when I wake up later (16%)

Rescuetime top 5 categories

How my tracked time was spent this month. "Business" includes class time and my various meetings.

  • Social networking (19%)
  • Business (18%)
  • Communication and Scheduling (12%)
  • Software Development (12%)
  • Design & Composition (10%)


The most obvious things that stand out are the fact that I actually made money this month. Last month was rough because I wasn't working for more than half the month, but working much more and getting my tax return made this month pretty profitable.

I was also more productive this month, but I think that mostly comes from the fact that I didn’t spend half the month on vacation. I’ve also gotten much better at consistently logging offline time (time spent in class, offline at meetings, etc.). This has provided a big boost to my productivity pulse, and helps me have a more accurate log of my time. How I spent my time also didn’t really change much - the top 5 categories are basically the same this month.

The other big changes are how much more I walked this month, and the fact that I’ve been sleeping less. Again, this is just the result of me not being on vacation so it is unsurprising. I also failed to read more, still just reading on 17 days. I am starting to feel the nagging guilt on days I don't read, which is nudging me to crack the pages a little more often.

I've also left out the new correlations that have popped up in Exist. I've started logging my Yoga classes as workouts in Fitbit so now there's new data for Exist to play with. With only one month's worth of workout data (I never logged workouts before), I don't think the correlations really mean anything at this point. Perhaps by the end of March they will be a little more interesting.

The other correlation I find interesting is that I have more “okay” days when I’m more active (I keep a mood journal in Exist and provide a rating for each day). Thinking about how hectic the end of February felt, I don’t think this is necessarily caused by being active, but is a reflection of just how much I’ve taken on. With my increased work load I find myself running around campus more, which causes my Fitbit to log more active time and running all over the place is defintely causing some stress.

What to Focus on in March

As for this month, I’d like to ensure I keep up on my sleep. Getting 8 minutes fewer on average each night really doesn’t make a big difference (though over the course of a month that is about 4 hours of sleep!), if I continue to drop sleep then I’m only going to feel worse. Maintaining my average should be my goal this month (and maybe a few extra minutes here or there wouldn’t hurt).

I’d also like to spend less than 85% of my income, but considering I have to pay a tax bill this month, that will be a steep order. Just coming out ahead a second month in a row would be good.

Getting a slightly better balance of productive time vs relaxing time should be accounted for as well. Ideally, my Productivity Pulse would be 50. I should more more time for reading and I should be logging that offline time as well (which I didn't do all last month). If reading helps me manage my stress there’s an argument for logging it as productive time, but I think I’ll just log it as neutral time as it’s not a “task”, but it does have a lot of benefits that I don’t think should make it count as “distracting”.

I also had more "okay" days in February, so focusing a little more on managing my mood this month would be good. After the stressful end of February and the coming stress of an earnest job hunt, I'd like to not die of stress. If I can have a happier March, I’ll be doing just fine.