Teaching an Old Dog a New Trick

And so my Christmas break begins. The large aerospace company for which I work is primarily a manufacturing company. As such it can’t afford to keep the lines running when over half of the employees are taking vacation so, to keep everyone happy, we get one less week of vacation than other companies and instead, the company starts the Christmas holidays on Christmas eve and carry it on through New years day. This year that means that by taking four days of vacation I can be off for seventeen days. That is a good deal.

In past years I have started the break with the best of intentions but usually by the time January rolls around, I haven’t achieved any of the plans that I made at the beginning of the break. This year I’m starting the break. With the help of a nifty little application called Airtable I have come up with a super todo list to support a new strategy I have come up with. I have created a list of tasks. Each task has a group of tags associated with it, like “domestic” or “chore” or “ham radio” or “artistic” or “musical”. It also has a status, and a completion date. Every task starts with a status of “TODO” and a completion date that is blank. When I complete a task, I change it’s status to “Done” and fill in the completion date.

I can create multiple views of the list and each list can apply a filter that determines which items are shown. For instance, I have one view with a filter that only shows tasks with a status of “TODO”. Another view only shows tasks with a status of “Done”. I can create a view with a filter that shows tasks with a completed date after a start date and before an end date. This allows me to keep track of what I do and when. The plan is to try to balance the things that I do that are chores with the things that I do that are recreational. That way, I can feel like I accomplished something in both domains at the end of the Christmas break. I’ll update you next year and let you know how it worked.