Something that I’ve struggled with for a very long time is the matter of morning momentum. When I was little, I would wake up almost immediately ready to do whatever was needed of me. These days– particularly since the end of college– getting up in the morning has become a long, drawn-out affair that sees me taking sometimes hours to get out the door. This isn’t good. I can pinpoint, in fact, when I got into this bad habit. When I worked the evening and night shifts at Adelphia, I tended to get up earlier than I should have to “do stuff”. This meant that if I had to be at work at 10p, I would be awake by 4p so I could putter around– surf the web, play some games, that sort of thing. I would then go to work, come home, and instantly crash into bed (around 8a). Do that for a year and you have a bad habit in the making– made worse when, later on, I got a second-shift job and did more or less the exact same thing, also for a year.
There’s lots of ways to break this habit, but the first one that I decided to use was LeechBlock. I’ve set it up with an aggressive filter, giving me just ten minutes to get through my normal webcomic crawl in the morning.
Secondly, I was thrilled to hear that Minuteur had been updated to Universal Binary. A good timer is invaluable for constraining slacking, and Minuteur is one of the best for OSX. Since I’d last used it, though, it added some very nice features, including the “time-left bar”, a simple vertical meter that drains as time goes by. I’m sure it will get a lot of use once NaNo comes around.
Finally, I dusted off my shell scripting skills in order to gather data for GeekTool. GeekTool works along the lines of Samurize, which allows you to specify information to appear on the desktop. Since I’m using quite a bit more of the base OS X tools such as iCal and the like, and because I have the annoying tendency to not dress properly, I set it up to show the next week’s worth of events as well as the current weather. (I also have my current memory usage listed for curiosity’s sake more than anything else.) This allows me to save time by not having to react to things, but rather being able to be more proactive (for example, if I know a game or something is being released, I’ll make a plan to swing by and pick it up).
Overall, while it seems like I’ve spent a lot of time getting all this set up– and I have– the cumulative effect of all the wasted time being put to better use from here on out far outstrips the initial investment. We’ll see in the morning how well it works.